Renew. Enliven. Advocate.


News & Events

POSTED Jan 28, 2016—Recruiting Now for Summer Jobs! Positions available for Green Team Crew Leaders and  Assistant Crew Leaders. Read the job descriptions: Green Team Crew Leader  and  Green Team Assistant Crew Leader

POSTED Dec 9, 2015—Holiday Open House Stop by on December 15, 4:30- 6:30 pm for our Holiday Open House at the Shattuck Visitor Center. Bid Julie a fond farewell as she approaches her last days at the helm of the conservancy. Refreshments, good cheer and conversation. Write a message for Julie in the memory book that will be presented to her on Dec 31. If you can’t make the festivities on Dec 15 but would like to write something to Julie in the book, send your message to Emma Rose at and she’ll be sure it’s included.

POSTED Dec 8, 2015—Interim Executive Director Board announces Conservancy’s director of development Susan Knight as interim executive director. Board Chair, Ben Taylor, stated following the board vote, “We are lucky to have someone on staff with Susan’s knowledge and familiarity of every aspect of the work being done in the parks by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. As interim executive director, Susan will work closely with the staff, the board, the public partners and all our stakeholders to insure a seamless transition while we go about the process of finding Julie Crockford’s successor.” Susan will step into the position on Jan 2, 2016 and welcomes the challenge. “This is such an exciting time at the conservancy. It’s a privilege to work with our talented staff and committed stakeholders and public partners through this transition to implement all that is planned for the continued improvement of the Emerald Necklace. Together we are a powerful force for the park and all who use it,” Susan stated after the announcement was made public.

POSTED Dec 6, 2015—Conservancy recognized at community event hosted by Olmsted 2022 and Friends of Jamaica Pond. At a gathering to celebrate the people who protect and preserve parks, Julie Crockford accepted a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. Also recognized at the event was Betsy Shure Gross, the longtime parks advocate and supporter.

POSTED Dec 1, 2015—New Speaker Series! Conservancy announces the first annual “Speak Out series of public lectures and presentations designed to inform, inspire, connect and engage audiences in the protection and preservation of the environment. Julie Crockford, conservancy president, says, “We are absolutely delighted to present our first-ever speaker series which we hope will stimulate dialogue about the changes to the environment and encourage stewardship of our green spaces.” The series kicks off on January 27th at the Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse with Derrick Z. Jackson, the award-winning Boston Globe columnist and co-author of Project Puffin, the inspiring story of how one seabird was successfully restored to its previous nesting island. This event is co-presented by the Franklin Park Coalition. The series runs monthly from January to April. Lectures begin at 6:00 pm (doors open at 5:30 pm) followed by a reception and book signing. All events are free with advance registration. Tickets can be reserved online  or by calling the Conservancy office at 617-522-2700. Read more


POSTED Nov 15, 2015—Julie Crockford to leave the Conservancy at the end of 2015 to take on a new challenge. Julie has served as president for the past 8½ years and oversaw the significant expansion of the organization and it’s capacity to preserve, restore, improve and advocate for the Emerald Necklace. “Julie has done a fine job as president and is leaving us in a great position to continue our work of helping the public partners to improve the parks of the Emerald Necklace. We shall miss her great passion for the work, but through her leadership, we are hopefully in a position to make even more of a positive impact on the parks as we go forward,” stated Conservancy Board Chair Ben Taylor. Conservancy accomplishments under Julie’s leadership include the opening of the Shattuck Visitor Center, development of youth programs, expanded visitor services and volunteer programs, and restoration of the fountain in the Kelleher Rose Garden, among others.


POSTED Oct 15, 2015Thank you to all the Emerald Necklace YogaFest participants, instructors, sponsors, volunteers, and marketplace vendors for making the event so memorable and amazing and for supporting the Conservancy’s free programming in the parks! And heartfelt thanks to Wentworth Institute of Technology for hosting the indoor location at Tansey Gym and to Emcee Nelly Carreno who kicked things off and kept the energy level off the charts. What a day! Check out the photos on Facebook.

POSTED Aug 11, 2015—Emerald Necklace YogaFest tickets are now available for purchase. Buy tickets. Learn about sponsorship opportunities.

POSTED Aug 1, 2015Take a walk in the park. Free guided tours of the historic Fens are offered weekly in September and October.  See the schedule.

POSTED July 15, 2015Plans are well underway for the first-ever Emerald Necklace YogaFest fundraiser to be held on October 4, 9am – 3pm at Clemente Field, Back Bay Fens. This daylong yoga festival of fun and fitness will feature top-notch Yoga and AcroYoga instructors, demos, food trucks, pop-up shops and more! Stay tuned for details.

POSTED July 1, 2015Walk in the Park video featuring Julie Crockford, the Emerald Necklace and city parks is now online. Watch.

POSTED June 24, 2015—Summer on the Emerald Necklace kicks off on Sunday, July 12 with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra Ensemble. See the 2015 line-up and schedule.

POSTED Jan  14,  2015Call to action! Your voice needed now for Muddy River Phase 2 Advocacy to the White House! The decision on whether to add language to fund the environmental restoration component of Phase 2 of the Muddy River project lies with President Obama and his White House team. Let the President know the importance this project has to you. We urge you to call 202-456-1111 and email the White House and make clear you want the full environmental restoration of the Muddy River. Learn more.

POSTED  Nov 13, 2014–The Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s Julie Crockford and Board Chair Ben Taylor, along with elected officials and parks partners, have written to the President requesting funding for Phase 2 of the Muddy River Restoration Project. Read the letter.

POSTED  Nov 3, 2014–  Discover the Emerald Necklace is now online. Watch the episode. Will Lange, host of New Hampshire Public Television’s award-winning program, Windows to the Wild, visited the Emerald Necklace this summer and took a walk with Conservancy docents, Green Team members and friends. The program aired on NHPTV and WGBH and is now viewable online.

Posted Oct 1, 2014–  New date and location for the Tuesdays with Roses Volunteer Appreciation Reception. Join us on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 5:00-7:00 pm at the Shattuck Visitor Center as we say thank you for helping to care for the Kelleher Rose Garden. Refreshments and fun. RSVP

Posted Sept 29, 2014– Calling all Tuesdays with Roses volunteers. Join us Wednesday (not Tuesday!) Oct 1, 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the Kelleher Rose Garden for a special volunteer appreciation reception as we say thank you for helping to maintain this lovely gem in the Fens. Refreshments, camaraderie and fun, followed by a bit of gardening perhaps!

Posted Jul 29: Join us Wed, Nov 19, 2014 for An Emerald Evening honoring Michael S. Dukakis. Read more 

Posted July 14: Boston Parks announces series of Community Meetings on Open Space. Read more.

Posted July 14: A doctor prescribes a trip to the park. Read more.

Posted July 13: Summer Sundays kicked off  with a concert with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra Brass Ensemble at Pinebank, Jamaica Pond.  See the concert schedule.

Posted July 1: The House and Senate have passed a budget for FY15 with increased funding for many environmental programs and green budget items. The budget now goes to the Governor for approval.

Posted May 16: Voice your support for an increased operations and maintenance budget for Boston Parks. The public is invited to attend and testify at the Boston City Council’s Committee on Ways and Means Parks Budget Hearing. Jun 10 | 11am | Christopher A. Iannella Chamber Boston City Hall, 5th Floor. Learn more.

Posted May 16: Call your State Senator today in support of the Green Budget Amendments!

Posted April 15: New weekend hours at the Shattuck Visitor Center from May through October! And Saturday tours added! Now open Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am – 4pm. See the 2014 Tour Schedule.

Tuesday Evening Garden Strolls begin June 3.

May is Historic Preservation Month Tour schedule To celebrate May is Historic Preservation Month, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy will offer a series of four guided walking tours of the Back Bay Fens. The tours will focus on the history of the park and its unique structures, gardens and landscape. Participants will hear the story of how Frederick Law Olmsted transformed a foul marsh into parkland and the subsequent changes to the landscape over the last century. Tours begin and end at the Shattuck Visitor Center, a historic building designed by H.H. Richardson to serve as a gatehouse in Olmsted’s sanitary improvement project. The 90-minute tours are free and open to the public.

Photography exhibit at the Shattuck Visitor Center April 4 – June 26 Photographer Joseph Weiler’s exhibit, “Central Park: Olmsted and Vaux’s First Park” is on view at the Shattuck Visitor Center Saturdays and Sundays 11 am – 4 pm and selected hours Monday through Friday when the the room is not in use (call for times). A “Meet the Artist” reception will be held Sunday, May 4, 1-4 pm.  View the exhibit online.

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America A new film produced by Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey, a co-production of WNED-TV, Buffalo/Toronto and Florentine Films/Hott Productions, Inc.

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy hosted the Boston premiere of a new Olmsted documentary to a sold-out crowd at the Museum of Fine Arts on April 23. Producer Lawrence Hott introduced the 60-minute film and took questions from the audience after the screening.  Among Boston and Brookline notables appearing in the film (and attending the screening) include Margaret Dyson, Boston Parks and Recreation; Betsy Shure Gross, Co-founder, National Association for Olmsted Parks; and Keith Morgan, Director of Architectural Studies, Boston University. The film will air on PBS in June. Read more


Winter programs to keep the mind and body moving!  

      Emerald Necklace docents lead a series of talks and tours at the Shattuck Visitor Center. Programs are free and open to the public.

March 2014 programs

The Conservancy is hiring!

      Green Team and Youth Leadership Program jobs.

Learn more

A Thank you Party for Parks Commissioner Pollak

      Wednesday, Feb. 26 | 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM | $10  | Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel |

RSVPPollak.2Join us to say thanks to the longest-running Parks Commissioner in Boston’s history, Toni Pollak – who’s not afraid to get her feet wet! Commissioner Pollak stayed to assist with the Mayoral Transition, but is excited to make her own transition and move on to a new challenge. Her work for the city includes many years in the Environment Department and then almost twelve years as Boston Parks Commissioner.

        • The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, Vol VIII: The Early Boston Years, 1882-1890
        • December 2, 6:30 – 8:00 pm | Doors open at 6:00 pm
        • Books available for signing and purchase.
        • Weld Hill Research Building, Arnold Arboretum | 1300 Centre Street, Roslindale
        • Fee: $10  | Students: Call 617.384.5277 to register for free. Register.
          • A lecture and panel discussion in celebration of this newly-published landscape design resource.
          • Program: Welcome, Ned Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
          • Introduction to The Papers, Charles Beveridge, Series Editor
          • Interesting Aspects of Volume 8, Ethan Carr and Amanda Gagel, Editors
          • Panel Discussion moderated by Ted Landsmark, President, Boston Architectural College
          • Panelists: Margaret Dyson, Boston Parks and Recreation; Erin Gallentine, Brookline Parks and Open Space; Patrice Kish, Massachusetts, Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Sponsored by Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Friends of Fairsted, and National Association for Olmsted Parks in collaboration with the City of Boston, Parks and Recreation Department, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Town of Brookline, Parks and Open Space Division.

        • DOT Public Meeting: Boston Ramps Study
        • Dec 4, 6:00 – 8:00 pm | Boston Public Library | CO5/6 on the Concourse Level
        • The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is conducting the Massachusetts Turnpike – Boston Ramps Study. The study is evaluating eight potential build alternatives in addition to the no-build alternative. Four of the alternatives will involve construction of new ramps along the Turnpike in the Back Bay and four of the alternatives will involve reconfiguration of the Bowker Overpass through the Charlesgate.  Read more.
        • Volunteer Opportunity: Put the Rose Garden to Bed
        • December 7, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
        • Kelleher Rose Garden, Back Bay Fens
        • Help prepare the garden for the winter. Gloves, tools and instruction provided.
        • Sign up at:
        • 15th Anniversary Run-Walk Challenge: 2000 miles!
        • 50 Run/Walk challenge participants got to know the park in a new way as they completed 15 specially designed routes in and around the Necklace over the past 3 months. Run/Walk Challengers gathered at the Visitor Center on Oct. 2nd to celebrate their accomplishments, meet Great Runs author, Mark Lowenstein and receive their 15th anniversary tote bag and Great Runs book of their choice. Congratulations to all and stay tuned for the next Challenge. .

          • Strong turnout for Parks Forum >
          • More than 300 people crowded the Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse on August 15 to hear the mayoral candidates talk about parks and open space. Presented by the Boston Park Advocates, the Forum was moderated by Derrick Jackson, columnist for the Boston Globe, and Ted Landsmark, president of Boston Architectural College. Read more about the Forum.
          • Olmsted Award of Excellence Presented to Longtime Park Advocate Sarah Freeman
          • Award announced at 15th Anniversary Celebration on May 14.

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy presented the Olmsted Award of Excellence to Sarah Freeman of the Arborway Coalition for her many years of volunteer service on behalf of the parks and parkways of the Emerald Necklace. Emerald Necklace Conservancy president Julie Crockford announced the award at the Conservancy’s 15th Anniversary Celebration on May 14 at the Kelleher Rose Garden in the Back Bay Fens. Read full story>>

        • Emerald Necklace Parks Champions Announced
        • Awards presented at the 15th Anniversary Celebration on May 14th.

Nominated by their park peers, these award recipients are most often described as the “unsung heroes” of the parks. Their connection to and with the park is deep and longstanding and they have dedicated much time and energy in activities that improve, enliven or protect the parks.

        • Congratulations to the Park Champion Award recipients:
        • John Blackwell (posthumous) Arnold Arboretum
        • Isabella Callanan (posthumous) Riverway
        • Christine Cooper and John Iappini Jamaica Pond
        • Sarah Freeman Emerald Necklace Parkways
        • Walter Little and Dan Richardson Franklin Park
        • Arlene and Hugh Mattison Olmsted Park
        • Freddie Veikley Back Bay Fens

          • Updated Bottle Bill
          • March 2013 | The Updated Bottle Bill (UBB) has a record amount of support in the State Legislature with 95 Legislators signing on as co-sponsors (75 in the House and 20 in the Senate). This represents a 10% increase in the House since last session, as well as a majority of freshman representatives. The increase in support is an indication of the momentum that the bill will have this legislative session according to the bill’s chief sponsor in the House, Representative Hecht.
          • The Bottle Bill has garnered public support over the years as the most effective way to increase recycling and decrease litter in public spaces. With your continued support it could very well become a reality in this year’s legislative session!
          • The Emerald Necklace Conservancy would like to thank all those who contacted their legislators in support of the bill as well as the members of the Boston & Brookline delegations who signed as co-sponsors for the Updated Bottle Bill. A special thank you goes out to Cynthia Creem, chief sponsor in the Senate! More information.