Census of 7K Emerald Necklace trees completed

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy (ENC) and its partners have sponsored an extensive census of the Emerald Necklace’s trees as a starting point for a long-term management plan.

Co-sponsored by the Arborway Coalition, the ENC, the Friends of Jamaica Pond, the Friends of Olmsted Park Boston and Olmsted 2022, the census surveyed 7,000 trees and their location, current health, age and expected work needed, Olmsted 2022 organizer Gerry Wright told the Gazette.

The census, conducted by landscape architect Kyle Zick, was presented to the community during a June 24 meeting. Zick did not return the Gazette’s call.

The Olsmted Tree Society (OTS), a new branch of the ENC, is “interested in gaining support from the community for maintenance and care of these trees,” Wright said. The census will provide OTS with data for their mission: which trees need light or heavy pruning, or thinning out, or their soil checked or upgraded, he added.

“Obviously, with 7,000 trees, it’s a massive project, from the Fens to the Muddy River to Olmsted Park to Jamaica Pond to Franklin Park,” Wright said. But “this is why many of us are very excited about the project. It’s an opportunity to enhance the present canopy, the present urban forest.”

ENC Director of Park Operations Ray Oladapo-Johnson told the Gazette that the END is currently working with its community partners to finalize the management plan.

“We want to run it through the community and go through all the proper steps,” he said.

The Emerald Necklace is a system of parks designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in the late 19th century and includes Olmsted Park, the Riverway and Higginson Circle. It extends from Jamaica Plain through the Fenway.

The ENC’s website is emeraldnecklace.org.

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