• The Emerald Necklace Conservancy

May is Historic Preservation Month

Guided tours are offered on alternate Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons from May through October and are free and open to the public. Tours start and end at the Shattuck Visitor Center. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a water bottle (refillable at the Shattuck Visitor Center). Weather-related cancellations or schedule changes will be posted on the Conservancy’s website homepage.

A Walk with Mr. Olmsted through the Back Bay Fens

Sunday May 3, 2015 | 1:00 – 2:30pm
See the Back Bay Fens through the eyes of the man who designed and built it. Join Frederick Law Olmsted, as portrayed by Gerry Wright, and an Emerald Necklace docent as they lead a walk through the historic landscape. Learn how Mr. Olmsted transformed an area described by a 19th-century city engineer as, “The foulest marsh and muddy flats to be found anywhere in Massachusetts,” into the first link in his chain of parks we know today as the Emerald Necklace. Hear the story of a remarkable life from the man himself. Gerry Wright, actor, playwright and naturalist, has performed as Mr. Olmsted in Europe and Russia and throughout the United States.

Historic Treasures of the Back Bay Fens

Saturday, May 9, 2015 | 11:00am –12:30pm. Sunday, May 17, 2015 | 1:00 – 2:30pm
What do a 17th-century Japanese Temple Bell, a historic bridge made of Roxbury puddingstone, the oldest continually operating World War II Victory Garden in the country and a tree once thought extinct have in common? They all reside in the Back Bay Fens. Learn about these and other treasures on a guided walking tour of the Back Bay Fens that is sure to bring out the history detective in you! Led by Emerald Necklace docents.

The History and Landscape of the Fens

Saturday, May 23, 2015 | 11:00am –12:30pm. Sunday, May 31, 2015 | 1:00 – 2:30pm
From once-foul mud flats to a recreated salt marsh to today’s gardens and parkland, the Fens has undergone many transformations in the last 130 years. Join Emerald Necklace docents as they talk and walk the landscape, uncovering the layers of history from Olmsted’s 19th-century sanitary improvement and H.H. Richardson structures to the 20th-century transformations that brought gardens, memorials and ball fields to the Fens. You’ll visit the Kelleher Rose Garden and meander the paths of the oldest continually-operating WWII Victory Garden in America. Don’t forget your camera for this one!

Shattuck Visitor Center

125 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115

Open year-round Monday-Friday:
9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday and Sunday (May-October only):
11:00am – 4:00pm

Guided Tours

Current Exhibit

Docent Programs
From May through October, docents lead 90-minute tours of the Back Bay Fens every weekend and one-hour evening garden strolls on selected Tuesdays. 2015 schedule.

During the winter months, docents lead guided walks and offer a variety of programs at the Shattuck. Check calendar for schedule and details.