A Fiscal Year End Update on The Greenway and Greenway Conservancy
With the recent completion of our FY15 audit and the publication of our Annual Report, we wanted to update two overview blog posts we wrote last year.
The first of those blog posts outlined the public-private model that governs The Greenway. We discussed the Conservancy’s history, how the private sector has shouldered a greater funding responsibility (~60%) than originally anticipated (50%), and how the Conservancy’s care of The Greenway has been shown to be cost-effective. In the second blog post, we linked to key Greenway financial, planning, and other documents.
FY15 was a very successful year. The Conservancy commissioned multiple renowned pieces of art, including Janet Echelman’s aerial sculpture. We took on responsibility for the care of an additional ~1.3 acres of public property, and we expanded our contracted landscape care offerings to include specialty organic services for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. We completely renovated a major garden bed in the North End Park to bring more four-season horticultural interest and planted the 100,000th bulb in the park and look forward to a beautiful 2016 spring. We began a new grant-funded Park Ranger program to add security and ambassadorship on The Greenway. In calendar year 2015, 1,194,000 visitors enjoyed the 300 free events, Carousel, food trucks, and free (upgraded!) Wi-Fi, and millions more casually enjoyed the fountains, gardens, and plazas. All this led to awards from Americans for the Arts, the Boston Chamber of Commerce, GreatNonprofits.org, the Boston Business Journal, USA Today, TripAdvisor, and more.
The accomplishments list is especially long since FY15 was 18 months long. In July 2015, the Board of Directors voted to approve a change in the Conservancy’s fiscal year end from June 30 to December 31. The new fiscal year better reflects the natural Greenway season. At the recommendation of our auditors, FY15 was extended to 18 months (July 1, 2014-December 31, 2015) to accommodate the change. FY16 is the new January 1 – December 31 calendar fiscal year.
The balanced FY15 budget of $8.8M was higher than usual because of the 18-month length and because of the monumental Echelman sculpture project. MassDOT continued to cover only basic maintenance and horticulture, and each dollar spent is reported regularly and publicly. Significant private support for the public art efforts meant that government support was 39%, lower than the historical average.
We encourage you to review the Annual Report for a summary of our 2015 activities and financial position.