On April 28, dozens of community members from around Boston and neighboring communities gathered for a spring walk in historic Franklin Park, organized by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and Franklin Park Coalition to raise awareness about the park’s past and its continuing function as a public health resource and answer to many of Boston’s urban challenges. The walk was led by Mark Swartz, former National Park Service Ranger at Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, and JoAnn Robinson, Landscape Historian and Chair of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy Board of Overseers, who provided an update on the status of the Shattuck Campus and the Conservancy’s desire to see more open space incorporated and consideration of other nearby state -owned property would could be considered, such as Arborway Yards.
“Today we have the opportunity to repair the area and restore the 13-acre parcel to its previous use as parkland. We must take the time to explore all options and opportunities to provide the most public open space possible in this high-needs area and at this critical time for climate resilience,” stated Emerald Necklace Conservancy President Karen Mauney-Brodek.
The event commenced with some remarks by the Picnic Tables near the Franklin Park Tennis Courts below Shattuck Hospital, along Circuit Drive. Participants enjoyed the winding paths and views, including the beautiful new Scarboro Pond Pathways. They also toured the area surrounding the current Shattuck Campus, in light of the pending relocation of the Shattuck Hospital. Participants learned about Heathfield and its historic role as a part of Franklin Park.