New parks map shows it all

John Ruch

Web Exclusive

A new map of the Emerald Necklace, showing the city park system in unprecedented, full-color detail, has just been published by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy (ENC) and is now available in various locations around Jamaica Plain.

“There hasn’t been a map around of the park system for a number of years,” said Julie Crockford, president of the JP-based ENC. The City of Boston previously had a map that has been “out of print for years…and was about a third of the size of this one,” she said.

Under the leadership of project manager and JP resident Don Eunson, the ENC spent a year and $50,000 working on the map.

The map shows the entire Emerald Necklace, including its JP sections: Franklin Park, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Pond Park and Olmsted Park. The Necklace, most of it designed in the 1870s by Frederick Law Olmstead, also includes the Riverway, the Back Bay Fens, Commonwealth Avenue, the Public Garden and Boston Common.

The map includes a wealth of other details: all paths inside the parks; suggested bike and walking routes; tot lots; scenic overlooks; MBTA stations; and other nearby parks such as Forest Hills Cemetery and the Southwest Corridor. The map also features detailed information on various sites and the history of each park, complete with photos.

The fold-out map is easy to read, but still small enough to carry on a stroll. It also folds up again easily. It was designed by the ENC’s Jill Conley and funded by several other organizations, including the National Park Service and JP’s Arborway Coalition and Friends of Jamaica Pond.

The ENC is now working on a Spanish-language version of the map, Crockford said. The map also may appear on a permanent sign at the Pinebank memorial in Jamaica Pond Park. [See related article.]

The map is available for an optional $2 donation at: the Jamaica Pond Boathouse; the Arboretum’s Hunnewell Building; Forest Hills Cemetery; Bikes Not Bombs; Ferris Wheels Bike Shop; and the ENC’s Arborway office.

The ENC is a non-profit private-public partnership involving the City of Boston, the Town of Brookline and residents. For more information, see

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