The Emerald Necklace Conservancy advocates for and conserves the Emerald Necklace through projects and programs to restore and renew the landscape, waterways and parkways of the Olmsted-designed park system. The conservancy brings together the many public and private park partners to prioritize, fund and implement restoration initiatives throughout the park system.

Mother’s Rest, Back Bay Fens

Steep slopes throughout the Emerald Necklace pose special challenges to the goal of ensuring successful plantings. At the slope near Boylston Bridge in the Back Bay Fens, the conservancy has designed, installed and now maintains a new planting scheme that is both beautiful and functional. It is sustainable in its design to prevent erosion while requiring minimal maintenance. Monitoring the maintenance plan will ensure that plants continue to receive necessary care once established. In Spring 2012, the third phase of the Mother’s Rest planting began with conservancy volunteers and youth leaders planting additional New England asters, Hay-Scented ferns and Hydrangeas on the slope. Thanks to their hard work, regular visits from our watering truck, and follow up care by the Green Team and volunteers to weed and mulch, there is new life at Mother’s Rest slope.

Spring Pond Wildflower Meadow, Olmsted Park

A meadow, an unusual ecosystem in the urban environment, is important because it increases species diversity and provides habitat for butterflies and birds, nature’s pollinators. In collaboration with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, conservancy staff and volunteers maintain the wildflower meadow where Kelly Rink once stood.

Ward’s Pond, Olmsted Park

Working with the Boston Parks & Recreation Department and Brookline Parks and Open Space, the conservancy has undertaken a project to rehabilitate a parcel of woodland by Ward’s Pond that was inundated by Japanese Knotweed. The project called for the permanent removal of the Knotweed from the site, followed by the comprehensive replanting of the forest floor with native understory plant material. Volunteers planted New England Asters, Hay-Scented ferns and Serviceberry shrubs among other native species. The conservancy monitors the site and has it watered on a regular basis.

Long Crouch Woods, Franklin Park

The Long Crouch woods was once a stand of mature Hemlock trees by the Bear Dens section of the woods in Franklin Park. The Hemlocks have since become infected by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, an invasive east Asian insect. The project at Long Crouch woods began with the partial removal of the dead Hemlock trees, leaving the trunks standing to a height of 20 feet to further promote woodland habitat. The forest floor was then planted with native understory plants ranging from Serviceberry shrubs to Hay-Scented ferns. Black Pine was also planted on the site with the intent of creating a new evergreen forest in the years to come. The site is regularly watered, and closely monitored. It serves as a pilot project for restoration of other areas within the woodlands at Franklin Park where the Hemlocks have been badly affected by the Woolly Adelgid insect.

With Thanks and Appreciation

Mother’s Rest, Back Bay Fens
To Sally Muspratt, Carroll Williamson and Don Eunson for their landscape design for the slope and to Boston Parks & Recreation for supplying compost and mulch.

Long Crouch Woods, Franklin Park
Franklin Park Coalition
Harold Whitworth Pierce Foundation
Boston Parks & Recreation Department

Wards Pond, Olmsted Park
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Boston Parks & Recreation Department
Brookline Parks and Open Space

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy is the proud recipient of the 2020 Preservation Massachusetts Fredrick Law Olmsted Award!

Every Sunday through 9/18, park rangers from Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site will be on-site at the Shattuck Visitor Center!

Stop by the Center at 125 The Fenway to chat with expert rangers and learn about Olmsted's "most important work," the Emerald Necklace.