Emerald Necklace Conservancy celebrates 20 years

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy is reflecting on its past accomplishments and future goals as it celebrates 20 years in existence.

The organization restores and improves the Emerald Necklace park system, which includes 1,100 acres of parkland from Boston’s Back Bay through Brookline and Jamaica Plain to Franklin Park in Dorchester.

Over the past 20 years, the Conservancy has advocated for physical connectivity throughout the Emerald Necklace, including projects at the former Casey Overpass and at the Route 9 Crossing in Brookline. It has also connected other park advocacy groups, managed over 300,000 hours of volunteer work in the Emerald Necklace parks, mentored close to 400 teenagers with its Green Team and Youth Leadership programs, and inventoried 7,000 trees and 200 acres of woodlands in the Emerald Necklace for the creation of a tree management plan.

“The Conservancy’s history is one of building and restoring connections— not only in the Emerald Necklace parks, as with supporting improvements to the Casey Overpass area and the construction of a new pedestrian and bicycle crossing at Route 9 in Brookline— but also between the dedicated people, institutions, and organizations that care for these special places,” said Karen Mauney-Brodek, the Conservancy’s president. “As we enter our 20th year, we’re excited to connect even more people to their Emerald Necklace parks.”

The Conservancy has plenty of goals to keep them busy in the upcoming years. One of them is to expand their reach into Jamaica Plain’s Curley House, which the Conservancy is finalizing with the City of Boston. This expansion will come later this year and will allow the organization to expand upon the interpretive exhibits at the Shattuck Visitor Center in Back Bay Fens.

Evan Bradley, spokesperson for the Conservancy, hinted that the organization is excited for a “unique and immersive public arts initiative in the Emerald Necklace parks,” in celebration of the 20th anniversary with more details to come.

This year, the Conservancy will also develop a plan to wayfinding to and within the Emerald Necklace Parks.

To learn more about the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, visit emeraldnecklace.org.

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