Walsh, Friends of the Public Garden Sign Agreement to Strengthen Care for Downtown Parks

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced on Jan. 10 the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of the Public Garden have signed a formal cooperation agreement to enhance the care of Boston Common, the Public Garden, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), signed today, strengthens the 50-year partnership between the Parks Department and the Friends at the strategic and operational level, committing to a shared objective of preserving, restoring, and caring for these historic parks in the heart of downtown.

“Our parks and gardens are so important to our community: they hold our history, they bring people together, and they bring the beauty of nature into our City,” said Mayor Walsh. “The Friends of the Public Garden put their heart and soul into these community spaces, and has been a partner to the City for a long time. I want to congratulate them on their 50 year anniversary, and am proud that today, we made our partnership official.” 

The Common, the Garden, and the Mall are some of the most heavily used parks in the City and the sites of Boston’s largest collection of public art. Since 1970, their restoration has been made possible through the public-private partnership of the City of Boston and the Friends of the Public Garden. This MOA supports ongoing cooperation in achieving common goals of innovation and excellence in parks care and enables more efficient and effective stewardship through a deepened cross-sector understanding.

Boston Common, the Public Garden, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall are civic treasures in the heart of downtown Boston. They are celebrated and beloved green spaces, functioning as the neighborhood parks for over 55,000 people, and serving as major attractions for tourists; visited by more than seven million people annually. 

“Our core mission at Boston Parks and Recreation is to design and maintain parks that delight visitors,” said Commissioner Ryan Woods. “I look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the Friends of the Public Garden and ensuring that all visitors to these iconic parks have the best experience possible.”

“Parks remind us that we are not alone. They are places that do not charge admission but are where we come together and make some of our most priceless memories,” said Liz Vizza, Executive Director of the Friends of the Public Garden. “Together, the City and the Friends will continue to ensure that these parks remain special sceneries that serve the people of Boston and visitors alike while protecting these important open green places for decades to come.”

The agreement aligns with the City’s Open Space and Recreation Plan focusing on access, equity, and excellence, so that every neighborhood is home to beautiful spaces that serve both the people and the environment. The partnership will improve quality of life for downtown residents while increasing the resilience of these three parks that welcome millions of visitors from the metro region and the world. Restoration and maintenance work in Boston Common, the Public Garden, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall are part of investments outlined in Imagine Boston 2030.

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