Wanting to be outdoors in the summer is not unusual.
What makes our walk home or to the office all the more enjoyable in these lazy days of summer is a walk through the Public Garden.
The green of the grass, the statues, the flowers, the trees and lagoon are a visual splendor and respite from the city living. As one walks deeper into the 24-acre park, the sounds of the street traffic just seem to fade away.
In the early morning hours, the swans and ducks that nest around lagoon are just gliding through the water as the swan boats are still tied up to their moorings.
Walking along the paths, under the shade of trees that are almost 100 years old, you can look and see the variety of trees that thrive in this open space.
Bostonians know and treasure this oasis.
So when the Public Garden was ranked in the top ten public parks in the United States, the news came as no surprise.
However, almost 40 years ago, the Public Garden was at a crossroad. And what we treasure and take for granted today could have been lost.
A group of local community activists led by Henry Lee fought City Hall and the developers’ plans to ring the Public Garden with buildings that would have cast shadows over the entire area and deprive the beauty of nature the sunshine that makes the Public Garden a feast for the eyes.
Today, the Public Garden is safe thanks to the work these activists almost 40 years ago and the continued diligence of The Friends of the Public that raise private funds to help keep this treasure beautiful.
As residents who call Boston their home and have not succumbed to urban flight, we treasure public open space more and we need to be ever vigilant since especially in nature there is a very fine line between thriving or destroying these public spaces. We hope that our public officials will continue to balance needs of economic growth and need to keep open spaces healthy. Ultimately, the responsibility of keeping these spaces beautiful and healthy for our children rests with us.