• The Emerald Necklace Conservancy

Advocacy

The conservancy advocates to preserve and protect the special resources of the Olmsted park system and to establish these historic parks as destinations for fun and free healthy activity. Along with our park overseers, who represent more than 20 park friend groups, organizations and institutions, the conservancy works to restore and maintain the parks, provide public education and improve access to, and through, the Emerald Necklace.

Muddy River Flood Control, Water Quality, Habitat Enhancement, and Historic Preservation

Posted January 2015: Call 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.

Specifically request President Obama to direct the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Jo-Ellen Darcy, to carry out the Muddy River project for flood damage reduction and environmental restoration in Brookline and Boston Massachusetts, substantially in accordance with the plans, and subject to the conditions, described in the draft evaluation report of the Army Corps New England District Engineer entitled “Phase I Muddy River Master Plan,” dated June 2000. Read the conservancy’s letter to the President.

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy was founded in part as a result of the catastrophic flooding of the Muddy River in 1996 and 1998. The Muddy River project will have the largest single impact on the Emerald Necklace of any project in our lifetimes. Please call and email the White House, and ask two other people to do the same.

In 1996 and 1998, the Muddy River experienced two major floods, causing more than $90 million in damages to homes, institutions, and the MBTA. This prompted the Muddy River Restoration Project, a joint effort by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston and the Town of Brookline to reduce the likelihood of another flood and to improve the overall health of the river. The Emerald Necklace Conservancy collaborates closely with public partners and community groups in this important and historic wetlands restoration and remediation project; and is an active participant in the oversight committee.

The goals of the project include improving flood control; water quality; enhancement of aquatic and riparian habitat; rehabilitation of landscape and historic resources; and implementation of best management practices. Construction of phase one of the project began in January 2013.

For additional information on upcoming meetings and volunteer opportunities, graphics, maps, photos and further contact information please visit the Muddy River Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee (MMOC) website at www.muddyrivermmoc.org and the U.S. Army Corps website.

Access

Arborway Bicycle Facilities

On February 5, 2015, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) held a public meeting to present ideas on bicycle access along the Arborway. This followed a charrette on February 3 for members of the public and bicycling communities, to talk about issues of safety and access between Jamaica Pond and what will be the new Casey Arborway. This stretch of the Emerald Necklace has been one of the “missing links” for bicycles for many years. It has also been a very dangerous stretch of roadway and the proposed changes seek to make it not only more accessible but much safer than it is today for all users–bikes, pedestrians and automobiles. We encourage you to take a look at the proposed plans (links below) and send any comments to DCR. You can either email them to dcr.updates@state.ma.us (please note “Arborway Bicycle Facilities” in the subject line) or write to DCR Office of Public Outreach, 251 Causeway St., Suite 600, Boston, MA 02114. The deadline for comments is March 6. Links to the PDFs: Feb 3 Presentation, Feb 5 Presentation Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Greenway Links Initiative

The conservancy convenes its private and public partners to study and make recommendations to the transportation and parks departments of Boston, Brookline and the Commonwealth to improve non-motorized access to and between the Emerald Necklace parks and other greenway systems. Current initiatives seek to make walking, biking and rolling easier at the Casey Arborway in Forest Hills, at crossings to Jamaica Pond, at Route 9 and the Riverway, at Charlesgate, and between the path in the Back Bay Fens and the Southwest Corridor Park path near the Museum of Fine Arts.

Public and Private Partners

Accessibility
Arborway Coalition
Boston Society of Landscape Architects
Emerald Necklace Greenway Project
Fenway Alliance
Fenway Civic Association
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Jamaica Hills Association
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Northeastern University
Boston Parks & Recreation Department
Brookline Parks and Open Space
MA Department of Conservation and Recreation

Muddy River Flood Control
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
City of Boston
Town of Brookline
Muddy River Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee (MMOC)
Emerald Necklace Conservancy

Public Funding of Parks
Boston Parks & Recreation Department

Legislation
Boston Parks & Recreation Department