Emerald Necklace Conservancy Honoring Mayor Walsh with 2020 Olmsted Award of Excellence

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The Emerald Necklace Conservancy will host its biennial fundraiser virtually and honor Mayor Marty Walsh with its 2020 Olmsted Award of Excellence.

(Mayor’s Office Photo by John Wilcox)

The award will be honoring the Walsh administration’s significant capital investments in the Emerald Necklace, representing historic funding for parks according to a press release.

The fundraiser is being hosted tonight (October 14).

“Mayor Walsh’s tenure has seen unprecedented capital commitments to Boston’s parks – $114 million has been spent by the Boston Parks Department on 170 construction projects and $60 million allocated to the 1,100 acre Emerald Necklace, the largest-ever capital funding for Boston Parks. These projects include Improvements to Jamaica Pond Pathways and Perimeter, Liff Park restoration, Olmsted Park enhancements, projects funded by the Community Preservation Act and many more. The Boston Parks Department is projected to spend $330M in the 2014-2024 decade, ensuring a huge leap forward for Boston in restoring and improving our important urban parks,” said Karen Mauney-Brodek, President of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

In addition to capital improvements, Mayor Walsh has made several other transformative investments in the Emerald Necklace and beyond:

  • Allocated $23M with a $5M maintenance endowment in perpetuity for Franklin Park improvements. The Boston Parks and Recreation Department has convened a diverse cross-disciplinary team to develop a community-driven Franklin Park Action Plan for an engaging and welcoming Franklin Park.
  • Invested over $200M in the Muddy River Restoration Project, currently in Phase 2. This critical restoration will protect Boston from future major storm events by increasing the river’s flood capacity by 90,000 cubic yards (equivalent to 27 Olympic size swimming pools).
  • Boston has been a dedicated partner to the Conservancy’s Olmsted Tree Society, working with the Conservancy to collaboratively prune, water and care for the Emerald Necklace tree canopy. Thanks to this program, the more than 9,000 trees in the Conservancy’s tree inventory are now being tracked for ongoing care for the first time.

“In addition to these investments in our green space, we applaud Mayor Walsh’s forethought with Climate Ready Boston, Boston’s Climate Action Plan and as a member of Climate Mayors and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. We are thankful for these important programs and commitments to lead Boston into a sustainable future," said Mauney-Brodek. "Much like Olmsted’s, Mayor Walsh’s vision for Boston is not for our generation alone, but for the generations to come who will call our city home. We are proud to recognize Mayor Walsh’s achievements and planning for the enduring importance of green space in Boston.”

"The Emerald Necklace is one of Boston's most-loved outdoor spaces, and as we continue to respond to and recover from this ongoing public health crisis, green spaces and parks are vital for residents' mental and physical health," said Walsh. "I'm grateful to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy for their partnership, and we will continue to ensure all Bostonians have access to safe, clean and beautiful parks in their neighborhoods."

Proceeds from An Emerald Evening In benefit the Conservancy’s work to restore, activate and advocate for the Emerald Necklace, shining a spotlight on these 1,100 acres of green space that have been serving Boston and Brookline residents for over 100 years. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit emeraldnecklace.org/events/an-emerald-evening/.