The Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s recently expanded offices at the former home of Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, one of Boston’s most notable (and notorious) mayors. And they're giving you the opportunity to check out it out -- virtually. Although the Conservancy’s staff have been working remotely for the past year, they can’t keep this historically rich landmark overlooking Jamaica Pond to themselves any longer. The Curley house, located at 350 Jamaicaway, is situated just across the street from Jamaica Pond, the largest standing body of water in the Emerald Necklace park system. The 21-room, neo-Georgian mansion is registered as a historical landmark in Boston, however, the conservancy has not made any notable changes.
The Jamaica Plain Historical Society is leading four real life walking tours during the next four weekends. The hourlong tours are on Saturdays . The tour schedule is as follows: Stony Brook; Hyde Square; Green Street; and Jamaica Pond. JPHS has had to adapt their tours to modern pandemic times. "Luckily, the tours are all outside and that also makes things safer.
Check out a rare sighting of a black-crowned night-heron that was photographed by a local resident at Jamaica Pond.
Ben Achtenberg provided Jamaica Plain News with these photos of the black-crowned night-heron he recently spotted at the pond. Here are several facts about them from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
They are not on the national endangered birds list. All migratory birds are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan says they are a species of moderate concern
As their name indicates, they feed mostly at nighttime through dawn
They are the most widespread heron in the world
Nature abounds in Jamaica Plain. For example check out the amazing fishing expedition a local resident captured at Jamaica Pond. "My husband and I saw this blue heron eating a catfish. It took a long time but the heron did manage to swallow the whole thing," wrote Dianne MacPherson-Laffey on the Jamaica Pond: Sightings, Stories, & Snapshots from an Urban Oasis Facebook page. MacPherson-Laffey said the heron caught the catfish on the Perkins Street side of the pond.
Seemingly to reduce crowds and limit exposure to each other around Jamaica Pond, vehicles are indefinitely banned from driving on Francis Parkman Drive between Perkins Street and the Arborway. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation opened segments of four parkways in the Greater Boston metro area to expand pedestrian and cyclist access. DCR said shutting out vehicles from the four parkways will reduce close contact of park users, and large concentrations of people on adjacent sidewalks and paths. The four parkways are as follows:
William J. Day Boulevard in Boston (from Farragut Road to Shore Drive including Castle Island Parking) – open indefinitely;
Francis Parkman Drive between Perkins Street and the Arborway in the City of Boston (Jamaica Plain) – open indefinitely;
Greenough Boulevard (Little Greenough) between Arsenal Street and North Beacon Street in the Town of Watertown – open indefinitely; and,
Fellsway West between Sheepfold Park in the Town of Stoneham and Parkway Park in the City of Medford – open weekends only (dawn to dusk).