Our 2017 Year in Review!

28, Dec, 2017 Gavin Damore

2017 was another banner year on The Greenway, as we hosted over 400
free events, turned heads with surreal Public Art installations, and continued to be the city’s hub of innovation, bringing 21st-century ideas to Boston and the Commonwealth.

All of this is done through the work of the non-profit Greenway Conservancy. As we wind down another year and plan for next season, we asked Conservancy staff to count down their favorite Greenway moments from 2017!

The Z – Boston Zipline

Spanning 220-feet, The Z – Boston Zipline carried one or two riders along The Greenway’s Parcel 12, starting from Clinton Street and landing near North Street, across from The Greenway’s North End Park. With two parallel cords, riders soared (or raced!) alongside each other. From the top of the 30-foot tower, riders had a unique view of downtown Boston, the waterfront, and The Greenway!

‘The Z’ served as a centerpiece of a temporarily revitalized ramp parcel (known as “Parcel 12”), whose development remains in a joint State/City planning phase. This past summer, Parcel 12 was a place for families, friends, and independent explorers to ride a zipline, observe public art and hang out in our iconic Adirondack furniture!

Zone Gardening

In 2017, our #GreenwayHort team began a zone gardening system as part of our Organic Park Care program. In this system, each of our Greenway Horticulturists teamed up with one of our dedicated volunteers to care for one of our unique park districts.

This improved approach to maintaining The Greenway’s plants and landscapes allowed us to better manage invasive plant species, monitor ongoing plant health, and develop deeper relationships with our neighboring communities!

Diner en Blanc

Each year, hundreds of people dressed in their finest all-white attire converge on a secret public space for Diner en Blanc in Boston and around the world. Shortly before the event, it was announced Diner en Blanc 2017 would take place in our Wharf District Park!

Carrying with them everything but the kitchen sink, diners from all over Boston and beyond descended on The Greenway for an unforgettable ‘chic picnic’, followed by an evening of live music and dancing in our Rings Fountain!

Greenwall at the Ames Room

Wrapping the walls of this year’s Far from this setting in which I now find myself was a vertical plant installation, commonly referred to as a greenwall. This unique collaboration between the Horticulture staff of The Greenway and artist, Meredith James, softened the connection between the park lawns and the sculpture and provided an exciting opportunity to explore greenwall concepts.

The majority of the plants were transferred in the fall to permanent homes in Greenway gardens.

Greenway secures long-term funding deal


Earlier this year, the Greenway Conservancy, the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a key business group of abutting property owners reached a long-term agreement to fund the Rose Kennedy Greenway!

This four-way partnership will ensure The Greenway, Boston’s ribbon of contemporary parks, will continue to provide residents and visitors alike a world-class park experience for years to come. The Greenway Conservancy will continue to raise 60% of our annual operating budget to maintain, improve, and program our parks.

Let’s Dance, Boston!

The Greenway hosts 400+ free events each and every year. In September, we were thrilled to once again host Let’s Dance, Boston! presented by Celebrity Series for the second time! For five consecutive evenings, Bostonians danced the night away in Dewey Square Park busting moves to various musical styles. From swing to salsa, mambo to disco, and even klezmer, there were plenty of reasons to put on your dancing shoes and head to The Greenway!

The Lynch Family Garden in our North End Park

This year the Greenway Conservancy received one of our largest gifts on record from The Lynch Family Foundation!

The donation will finance renovations of the southern boxwood gardens in our North End Park, and will permanently endow the area’s ongoing care. The new garden, which will honor the memory of Carolyn Lynch, follows another project in 2015 as part of our continued mission to maintain and improve The Greenway.

Playful Perspectives Public Art Series

For the first time in 2017, The Greenway curated a year-long site-specific series of Public Art installations throughout our parks entitled Playful Perspectives. The surreal installations challenged visitors’ perception of reality while engaging the viewer in a playful manner! This year’s exhibits included:

Stay tuned for a NEW curatorial #GreenwayArt theme, coming soon in 2018!

Rings Fountain Fog Returns!


After a nearly four-year absence, the misty feature of our signature Rings Fountain has returned! Our incredible #GreenwayMaintenance team figured out an innovative way to patch a damaged pipe that was otherwise inaccessible without major renovations to the fountain. Now, park visitors have another way to beat the heat next summer in Boston! Learn more about a year in maintaining our parks on our blog!

Trillium Beer Garden on The Greenway


Cheers! In 2017, we partnered with Trillium Brewing Company and Westport Rivers Winery to bring you Boston’s first open-air beer garden, Trillium Garden on The Greenway! The family and pet-friendly beer garden became a destination for all this summer, and added to the Greenway Conservancy’s earned income revenue.


Honorable Mentions

Greenway commissioned artwork MAY THIS NEVER END wins Americans for the Arts award and finds a permanent home in Allston, MA.

NEW Light Shows added to our Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove.

Color Commons, an interactive exhibit with New American Public Art, returns to The Greenway.

Make and Take brings 3D printing technology and art to the public.