Cold Weather Park Work, Planning for 2010, and Preserving and Improving Greenspace

20, Nov, 2009 Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy


The Greenway fountains are off and much of the perennials have been cut back. The horticultural team has put the parks to bed for the season and we now turn our attention to lessons learned from our first year in operation, and plan for 2010.


Planning  for a number of improvements in all of the Greenway Parks has begun for the 2010 public season. Based on our experience in 2009, the Conservancy is exploring improvements that will 1) address bare planting spots by adding more sustainable plants, shrubs and trees while maintaining the current collections and 2) add more comfort for park visitors –  like providing more tables and chairs, and shade.  But we’ll talk more about these additions in a future post…we have some fun ideas!

Meanwhile, we will be gathering ideas in conversations with interested groups over the next few months.  Join us for an upcoming public open meeting of the Greenway Leadership Council (January 13, 2010 and April 14, 2010. Time and location to be announced. See our website for more information.  Or if you would like to share your ideas from home or office, contact us at [email protected].

After collecting and vetting ideas, the Conservancy will prepare a budget for fundraising for these improvements and implement them as fast as funds and in-kind contributions allow.


Some areas need more four-season color and urban-hardy plants.  The Conservancy’s park operations professionals have been exchanging ideas with some of the most respected names in landscape design and horticulture about how to continue to stabilize and strengthen the health of the horticultural collections and make appropriate additions to these beautiful parklands.


Volunteers – from expert gardeners to people who just want to be outdoors for a great experience –  will continue to be be an important part of our success. The Conservancy will seek volunteers for an expanded Volunteer Program in the early spring from all neighborhoods, near and far.


The Conservancy’s experience in our first 9 months of daily operation has revealed a few long-term items that must be addressed:

  • Soil composition (healthy horticulture starts here)
  • Emergence of wear from pedestrian “desire lines” through the lawns and plant beds
  • Drainage (unsightly and hazardous run-off on pathways)
  • Problems with some existing irrigation system
  • Grading and land contouring (where desirable to buffer noise and add a perceived sense of separation from the road)
  • Lack of supporting utilities to sustain programming (the things that bring people back to enjoy our parks)

We will talk more about the research and possible approaches to such issues in a future post.