The Landscape Design Council (LDC) of Massachusetts has recognized Jamaica Plain's Christine Poff, the director of Boston's Community Preservation Committee, as a 2018 awardee for excellence in the field of landscape design. Poff is the 2018 recipient of the Landscape Design Council Award for Excellence, given in recognition of outstanding civic accomplishment. “Throughout her career, Christine has worked in many ways to make life better for citizens,” said LDC chairman George Papavasiliou, via press release. “We particularly applaud her efforts on behalf of Boston’s Franklin Park and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, which stand out as supportive of the Landscape Design Council’s mission.”
As political director of the National Association of Social Workers, Poff advocated for economic and social justice bills at the Massachusetts State House, but she is likely better known for her 14 years’ service as executive director of the Franklin Park Coalition, a nonprofit organization that gives a community voice to Boston’s Franklin Park. She worked to bring back such beloved park institutions as the Elma Lewis Playhouse, the FPC Youth Crew, and the annual Kite and Bike Festival.
Boston has an additional $20 million this year to fund affordable housing, parks, open space and historic preservation thanks to the Community Preservation Act. On April 3rd, the Jamaica Plain community is invited to a public forum to share their ideas on how to spend that money. The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) organized and will lead the forum with a host of elected officials sponsoring the event and local organizations as co-sponsors. Boston adopted the Community Preservation Act (CPA) by voting in support of it in November 2016. More than 170 Massachusetts municipalities have adopted the CPA, according to the Community Preservation Coalition.
For 15 years Christine Poff led the Franklin Park Coalition and started the Boston Park Advocates to helping bring attention to the city's open spaces. So it is very fitting that she was selected to be the director of the Community Preservation Committee. The newly established committee will lead Boston's use of funds provided by the Community Preservation Act (CPA). Last November Boston voters approved the adoption of Massachusetts CPS, which will generate millions of dollars to be used for the creation and acquisition of affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and recreation. “I am incredibly pleased to welcome Christine to this new role as director of the Community Preservation Committee, which will have an important role in ensuring that the funding captured through the CPA is re-invested in our communities,” said Mayor Martin Walsh via press release.
More than 100 people turned out Wednesday to honor the 10-year tenure of JP's Christine Poff as executive director of the Franklin Park Coalition. Poff stepped down from her longtime post in the fall, but Wednesday's party marked a homecoming as a roomful of folks who love the city's largest park celebrated her energy and accomplishments. "She's done incredible work as head of the Franklin Park Coalition," said Mayor Marty Walsh, who brought with him as a gift a reproduction historical map of the mammoth park that connects JP, Roxbury and Dorchester. Walsh and others cataloged Poff's series of accomplishments, ranging from reinvigorating youth programs to pushing City Hall to invest in Franklin Park. She saw to the re-invigoration of the Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park concerts and performances and revived the Kite & Bike Festival, among many other efforts.