South Ender Gene Bolinger appointed to Boston Parks and Recreation Commission

South End resident Gene Bolinger was welcomed on October 20 to the Boston Parks and Recreation Commission, a seven-person review body appointed by the Mayor and created by a legislative act and a vote of the people of Boston in 1875. 

The Commission oversees the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and has authority over the properties in its inventory. The Commission also reviews projects that are within 100 feet of a park or parkway. The Commission typically meets on the last Monday of the month. 

“I am honored to have been named to the Boston Parks and Recreation Commission,” Bolinger said at the time of the announcement. “To my core, I believe that public parks are essential. Having spent my professional career as a landscape architect, working to improve public parks and open space assets in Boston and elsewhere, I now have a chance to contribute in a new way.”

A Massachusetts native, Bolinger and his wife Sharon reside in the South End, and their two adult daughters are also Boston residents. Gene joined the Massachusetts-based environmental engineering firm Weston & Sampson in 1999 as the first landscape architect and established a vibrant landscape architecture practice. He helped the firm grow various business lines, and led, at times, the transportation, architecture, and municipal facilities practices in addition to landscape architecture.

For 38 years, Gene worked to improve public parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities, athletic fields, and civic spaces through the capital planning and construction process. This included approximately 150 projects in the Boston Parks and Recreation system since 1984, the first being the reconstruction of the first pedestrian path on Boston Common, Railroad Mall, and the recently completed Master Plan for Boston Common. Gene retired from professional practice as a registered landscape architect in July 2022. 

“We are pleased to welcome Gene Bolinger as an Associate Commissioner,” Boston Parks Commissioner Ryan Woods said upon his appointment to the Commission. “Gene’s history of participation in the protection, enhancement, and expansion of Boston’s amazing park and open space system aligns with our goals to help provide safe, compelling, equitable and essential park and recreation facilities to all residents of our great city.”

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