Reflecting on 2020

28, Dec, 2020

For over a decade, it has been the Greenway Conservancy’s mission to manage and care for The Greenway, providing vibrant green space that is essential to everyone who shares our city. This year, despite many challenges, we were grateful to remain your backyard, your outdoor art museum, your fitness studio, your respite — your park.

In a year of tremendous change, we are especially proud of the opportunities we had to grow and adapt, and thankful for what our community of supporters helped us achieve. 

We built connections. As the world turned virtual, the Conservancy engaged thousands in a series of free webinars taking you behind-the-scenes in our work managing and maintaining The Greenway. From your favorite food truck recipes to at-home Augmented Reality installations, we provided everything needed to Bring The Greenway Home.

We helped you stretch and unwind. We hosted over 100 free outdoor fitness classes in 2020, from yoga to cardio sculpt to a small but dedicated group of Tango enthusiasts. We heard from you that our park was more important to your well-being than ever. 

Before the world changed, I was going to my gym three times a week, for the elliptical. I’ve stopped doing that. The last two days I started running outside, something I haven’t done since 1978! I choose to run on The Greenway. As I was circling back from South Station, your beautiful mural was right in front of me. I realized how lucky I am to have this fabulous park to run in, right in front of my home.”

We supported our community. This season, the Conservancy was proud to partner with We Love Boston Chinatown, a resilience campaign led by a collective of Chinatown community stakeholders to reactivate and heal Chinatown’s economic and social fabric. Along with additional seating and signage to support local restaurants, the Conservancy partnered with the Pao Arts Center and Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center to safely bring live music to The Greenway through Experience Chinatown.

We expanded horizons. In a time when opportunities to experience art were scarce, the Conservancy’s Public Art program continued to showcase the best of Boston’s public art in 2020. From the rich traditions of Mesoamerica with Global Connections by Mexican-American master folk artist Catalina Delgado-Trunk, to Wind Sculpture (SG) V by world-renowned British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, to the community based artwork celebrating Boston’s Chinatown with Lantern Stories by Boston-based Yu-Wen Wu, the Conservancy brought diverse perspectives to the Boston landscape.

“During these worrisome times we are so fortunate that The Greenway and all the dear souls that maintain and support it exist. Nothing eases the mind like a walk through the park, stimulates the mind like the contemporary art chosen and exhibited and lightens the spirit as watching little (and big) bodies delight in the Rings Fountain. Thank you Conservancy for taking such good care of all these precious gifts.”

We invited you to learn and discover. This fall, we launched The Greenway Interactive Bloom Tracker, letting visitors locate and explore flowering perennials across our organically maintained park. This interactive map graphs more than 300,000 data points and over 800 varieties of plants. Paired with our new seasonal bloom blogs and Compost Tea Program tour, you can appreciate the beauty and bounty of The Greenway year-round! 

You supported us. We are so grateful to our community who contributed to the successes of 2020 on The Greenway. With a dedicated team of volunteers, we sustained the green space that has meant so much to you this year. Volunteers worked throughout the seasons on The Greenway, spending over 1,500 hours with our staff to make the park shine. 

“I have been a volunteer at The Greenway for a number of years. And I must say, never in that time has the park held more value and importance than this year. And not just for me…but also for everyone in the city of Boston and its visitors, who I have watched enjoying the park’s stunning plantings, its engaging art displays, and its refreshing water features — all in a safe and healthy way.” 

As we look forward to 2021, we hope to carry the strength and innovations of 2020 into the new year. A gift of any size will support our work moving forward. Will you help us care for this cherished green space?