“Sweet are the uses of adversity and this our life free from public haunt finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones and good in everything. I would not change it.” Duke Senior, As You Like It, Act II. Scene I
On one perfect day in late summer, a small troop of actors, a director, and videographer traveled through the Arnold Arboretum’s landscape—south to north, Peters Hill to the Maple Collection—to film selections from the works of William Shakespeare in seven different locations. The results of their work, incorporating scenes and sonnets with a focus on the natural world, marks the third collaboration between Actors’ Shakespeare Project and the Arnold Arboretum. The Nature of Shakespeare will be presented in two parts, each live-streamed via virtual platforms, with experts from the Arboretum illuminating each specific natural area featured.
Jamaica Plain and surrounding neighborhoods in southwestern Boston have the highest tree canopies in the city. Generally speaking, the tree canopy is the part of the city shaded by trees. The city recently released a tree canopy assessment for 2014-2019. This year's worth of analysis is from high-quality, high resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) images captured during airplane flyovers of Boston, according to a press release. Boston's Parks and Recreation Department commissioned the report to understand which areas have the most potential for increased tree cover, and analyze how the city's canopy cover has changed.
While the Department of Conservation and Recreation work on a longterm plan to improve the Arborway, some short-term changes, including buffered bike lanes are coming as early as this fall.
"We are proposing to remove travel lanes in three locations. Before making this
proposal, we carefully reviewed pre-pandemic traffic volumes (on which we have collected data on several occasions over many years) for the corridor," wrote Jeffrey Parenti, Deputy Chief Engineer for DCR. The short-term improvements could also begin in spring 2021. Parenti provided a list of short-term improvements and the intended goals of the changes. The changes include:
The city should reopen parking on the streets abutting the Arnold Arboretum. Parking was closed on the Arborway and Bussey Street this spring reacting to and anticipating the welcome-back-to-warm-weather crowds and Lilac Sunday. Since then COVID infection rates have been dramatically reduced, and we have learned that the safest place is outside. The Arnold Arboretum is a 281-acre open space jewel in the heart of the city. Never have we needed the availability of open parks more for both our physical and mental health.
Wildlife photographer Chris Lang captured this spectacular scene of a great blue heron grabbing a frog for breakfast at the Arnold Arboretum. "The frog was doing all it could to make itself as big as possible in hopes that the heron would decide it was too big to swallow. It wasn't," said Lang. Click here to see more photos by Chris Lang Photography.