With less than a week left in June, which is the Friends of the Public Garden’s Membership Month, now is the ideal time to show one’s appreciation for all that Boston’s first three public parks have to offer.
“Parks are more important than they ever have been seen in people’s experience with nearly every other piece of infrastructure shut down,” said Liz Vizza, executive director of the nonprofit Friends, which in partnership with the Boston Parks Department, works to protect and improve the Boston Common, the Commonwealth Avenue Mall and the Public Garden.
When the pandemic struck, Gov. Charlie Baker labeled these parks, along with others throughout the city and Commonwealth, as “essential,” and since then, many visitors to the Common, the Commonwealth Avenue Mall and the Public Garden have renewed their love for these vital city greenspaces.
“We got to hearing from members of the organization and the public that they seek parks for renewal and as an oasis in turbulent time,” Vizza said.
The Common also took center stage during the May 31 protests over George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died on Memorial Day at the hands of police in that city.
“In a time of protest against the horrible killing of black men, we have place in the Boston Common where we can make voices heard,” Vizza said.
In contrast, Vizza said she walked to the Commonwealth Avenue Mall last week to find visitors set up with lawn chairs and beach blankets, enjoying the warm weather on a makeshift beach.
So with all that these parks have to offer, the Friends now hope that newcomers will consider joining the organization, and that current members will be encouraged to renew their memberships.
“The Friends support the broadest spectrum of benefits we receive from theses parks from the quiet oasis of sunset in the Public Garden to the powerful protests on Common,” Vizza said.
Suggested donations for members range from $25 to become a Friend to $10,000 to become a Champion. Leadership Friends who contribute at the $1,000-level or higher are also honored at a special annual reception. Visit https://friendsofthepublicgarden.org/membership/ for more information.