The conservancy’s capital projects undertaken in collaboration with our public partners help maintain and improve the Emerald Necklace park system. Some of the completed projects include the adaptive reuse of the H.H. Richardson gatehouse as a visitor center, restoration of the Kelleher Rose Garden, reconstruction of the historic Arborway stonewall and renewal of Mother’s Rest at Franklin Park. Capital projects are defined as those costing at least $10,000 over the life of the project. Costs can include engineering, architectural planning, and contract services needed to complete the project.
Thanks to generous funding from private donors, the conservancy is able to add to available DCR funding to tackle tree maintenance in the Emerald Necklace from the Back Bay Fens, along the Riverway, the Jamaicaway and the Arborway parkways. In addition we work with the City of Boston and Town of Brookline to improve tree health in the Back Bay Fens, around Ward’s and Jamaica Ponds and in Franklin Park. This investment in tree care ensures visitor safety, maintains the health of our urban woodlands and parkway trees and preserves wooded habitats and the natural beauty of the wooded portions of the parks.
Parkway Tree Project
Phase One of the work features safety pruning and removal of trees along the Emerald Necklace parkways. The project is being done in close collaboration with public partners, community groups and institutions along the Emerald Necklace in a coordinated effort to maintain tree health.
Phase Two is the application of deep feed fertilizer to the historic Red Oak trees along the edge of the Riverway and Jamaicaway followed by planting Red Oaks where trees are missing. Provisions are in place for regular watering to service and support the newly planted trees. Planting more trees partially compensates for the removal of some of the older trees this past year and ensures a future tree canopy along these historic parkways.
Olmsted Tree Society
The Justine Mee Liff Fund, a major endowment for parks restoration and maintenance, has announced the launch of the Olmsted Tree Society, an initiative to raise $1 million to replace damaged trees and plant new ones in more than 1,100 acres of public land in the Emerald Necklace park system. In conjunction with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and its public and private partners, contributions to the society will support work that focuses on the completion of a detailed tree inventory; the development of a comprehensive master plan; and a targeted planting and management program. Society funding will also help educate citizens about the critical role trees play in enhancing and protecting the urban environment and assist in the ongoing inventorying and evaluation of Boston’s and Brookline’s urban forests.
James P. Kelleher Rose Garden Fountain Restoration
Arthur Shurcliff’s original 1930 design for the Rose Garden in the Back Bay Fens featured a simple reflecting pool consisting of an 18″ deep basin with a bluestone-capped edge. In 2010 the conservancy initiated a conversation about restoration of the basin with a new fountain and controls, restoring it to the Shurcliff design. A committee of public and private partners advised the fountain restoration, volunteering to research and review historic plans. The Justine Mee Liff Fund provided the funds for this restoration.
Kelleher Rose Garden brochure.
Pinebank at Jamaica Pond
Due to water runoff originating from the top of the hill at the Pinebank Promontory overlooking Jamaica Pond, and frequent foot traffic up and down the landscape, the slopes of Pinebank have significantly eroded. To restore the affected areas, the conservancy and neighborhood park advocates are working with Boston Parks & Recreation on designs for erosion control and new plantings of native plant material at Pinebank. This work will be supported by a comprehensive long-term maintenance plan.
The goal of the Access Group is to increase non-motorized access to the parks of the Emerald Necklace. Acting as a convener and facilitator, the group works with all levels of government to promote access to and through the Emerald Necklace. The group also looks for solutions to missing links in the Emerald Necklace path system and for delineating paths to connect the Emerald Necklace parks with other park path systems, such as Charles River Esplanade and the Southwest Corridor Park.