Fall 2020-2021 Letter from the President

Posted on Oct 29, 2020

Fall 2020

Dear Friends,

FlowersHave you been getting out to cherished places like the Bussey Brook Meadow? Our open, public spaces are more important now than ever. But since early spring, our APC activities have been very different, as we’re sure yours have been as well. No “Love Your Block” clean up in the spring, no bird walk. In spite of Covid 19, our work continues. We have met with our directors and fellow advocates outdoors and by zoom. Over the past year, there has been great progress with plans to extend the Blackwell Path system to other parts of the Arnold Arboretum and increase the number of entrances. Before the “stay at home” order, the MBTA removed a rusty corrugated metal shed next to the entrance archway at the end of Arboretum Road. The historic stone abutment is no longer blocked and can now become an appealing entrance for neighbors who live near Washington Street.

Exciting progress has been made on the design of a second phase of the unified path system, which would establish a pedestrian and bicyclist connection between Arboretum Road, Bussey Brook Meadow and Peters Hill. An elevated boardwalk will connect the path in the Bussey Brook Meadow to a planned crosswalk at the intersection of Bussey and South Streets next to the Arboretum entrance at the base of Peters Hill. This “canopy-walk” for Arboretum visitors, will transform a long-underused tract of urban land into a democratic public landscape that can be used even when the basin is filled with water. The Arboretum is planning an extensive planting of native species during this phase. This elevated boardwalk will be the most significant addition to Boston’s Emerald Necklace of public parks since Olmsted’s time.

The Boston Transportation Department, the Boston Public Works Department, WalkUP Roslindale, Rozzie Bikes, and the Livable Streets Alliance continue to be energetic partners in this ambitious effort. We appreciate the funding the path projects have received from institutional partners and neighborhood organizations, but donations from individuals, like you, who love this wonderful urban wild as we do, are key to our advocacy efforts. Can we count on you again this year?