The Park Overseers are a standing committee of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s Board of Directors, represented on both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Board by the Park Overseers Chair. Overseers play a key liaison role between the Conservancy and the communities along the Emerald Necklace.
In collaboration with the City of Boston, Town of Brookline, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Conservancy serves an invaluable role as convener and facilitator of the many parties with a stake in the future of the Emerald Necklace and backer of policies and practices that advance a unified vision of the Emerald Necklace as a single park system. The focus of the Park Overseers is convening the institutions, organizations and friends groups sharing a common interest in the preservation, restoration and public enjoyment of the Emerald Necklace now and in the future.
The purpose of the Park Overseers is to advocate for standards, policies, projects, and funding for the parks, and contribute to programming that supports the Conservancy’s mission, as well as the missions of its public partners. Work on issue areas of joint concern and coalition building, including long-range planning.
Each member organization or institution ideally sends a representative to at least one working group.These meetings are also open to other interested parties, stakeholders, or experts. The working groups help to set priorities, work plans, and work on projects in three areas: Access, Restoration & Maintenance, and Education & Outreach. Park Overseers’ Working Groups meet six times a year or more often if necessary.
Acting as a convener and facilitator, the Access group works in coordination with all levels of government to promote access to and through the Emerald Necklace. With the goal of increasing non-motorized access, looks for solutions to missing links in the Emerald Necklace path system, and for delineating paths to connect Emerald Necklace parks with other park path systems, such as the Charles River and Southwest Corridor.
- Education & Outreach
The Education and Outreach working group works to increase stewardship, conservation, and people’s use and enjoyment of the Emerald Necklace. The group works to raise public awareness of the park, educate park users about the park as a public asset, promote positive use of the park while protecting habitat and the parkland and build understanding and appreciation of the natural history of the park.
- Restoration & Maintenance
The goal of the group is to maintain, restore and preserve the historic landscape of the Emerald Necklace parks for the enjoyment of people today and for generations to come. This is achieved in part through collecting and developing best management practices for maintenance; testing these methods on planting and invasive control projects in collaboration with our public partners; and coordinating related volunteer activities.