2015 marks the “Year of the Common” – a collaborative effort between the Friends of the Public Garden and the city to improve safety on the park, to upgrade its maintenance and overall condition, and to ensure its longevity for future generations.
“You can love a park to death,” said Elizabeth Vizza, executive director of the Friends group. “We’d like to make sure that the Common is more resilient and come closer to the balance between its use and care.”
In concert with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, the Friends will look to implement the goals from last year’s strategic plan, including enhancing support and partnering with the city to revitalize the Common.
“This will result in a plan to jointly develop with the Parks Department that looks at physical needs and what needs to be done,” Vizza said. “It will be an opportunity for a conversation when people can hear one another and understand what each other’s needs are. Some pieces of this might result in future programming at the park.”
This “multi-pronged approach” will seek to not only improve the park’s infrastructure, but also to increase community awareness for the Common, Vizza said.
“We want to build stewards for the park,” Vizza said. “This isn’t just about raising money.”
Boston Parks Commissioner Chris Cook expressed his appreciation to the Friends for partnering with the city in this endeavor. “ I think this added attention to the park will see tangible benefits in the upcoming season,” Cook said. “We hope to improve public safety, increase partnerships with police and provide more infrastructure on the park.