Emerald Necklace Conservancyhttp://www.emeraldnecklace.org
MISSION To protect, restore, maintain and promote the landscape, waterways and parkways of the Emerald Necklace park system as special places for people to visit and enjoy. DESCRIPTION Over the past decade, almost $60 million in capital expenditures for parks and waterway improvements have been made in the historic Emerald Necklace by the City of Boston, the Town of Brookline and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. These efforts have included improved pathways, plantings and signage, bridge repairs, and the restoration of boardwalks and buildings. But, these efforts have only begun to address the over fifty years of neglect this environmental treasure has suffered. A not-for-profit organization, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy is a public-private partnership comprised of community, business, government and institutional representatives, residential neighbors, representatives of Necklace-related associations and interested citizens. Now in its fifth operational year, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy focuses on: - Establishing community commitment, parks stewardship, and building an enlarged, united and diverse constituency for the park system through: advocacy; public education presentations, exhibits and, materials; volunteer projects in the parks, and other activities. - Creating and supporting master planning, maintenance plans and related projects which ensure that the six parks are managed as a seamless, cohesive park system and, - Providing private sector and individual support to augment limited municipal parks budgets in Boston and Brookline in order to ensure Emerald Necklace restoration and on-going maintenance efforts. IMPACT Last year, the Conservancy reached more than 160,000 people through its public education programs including slide presentations, public meetings, exhibits and a Web site. Over 600 volunteers served as park stewards in 2003 working on a range of activities related to parks clean-ups and plantings. In addition, the organization has been successful in the start-up of its first major focus, the Muddy River Restoration Project, and completed Phase I of its work to restore the Kelleher Rose Garden (Back Bay Fens). In addition, the organization continues to work on the restoration of the historic woodlands and potential restoration of Gatehouse #2 (Back Bay Fens).