Emerald Network — a vision for 250 miles of seamless shared-use greenway paths connecting Boston and adjacent cities.
December 2022 Vol. 5 Issue 6
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NEWS FROM THE NETWORKThank you for being a dedicated reader of the Emerald Network newsletter. Despite the chilly weather, there are plenty of ways to explore nature on the Emerald Network. We enjoy curating the latest greenway news, stories, and events from around the region and in your backyard. Help continue to grow the Network by forwarding this issue to a friend and encouraging them to subscribe today!
LivableStreets is Growing (again)!
We are happy to announce that the Emerald Network is expanding! Starting in January, we will have a new Emerald Network Project Manager. This person will oversee our priority projects like the DOT Greenway, Charles River Area Project charrette series, and other advocacy efforts. While we must keep you in suspense for just a bit longer, we are excited to introduce the new Project Manager in 2023!
12th Annual 10-in-1 Talk Was A Success
On December 8th, LivableStreets hosted its 12th annual StreetTalk at the Old South Meeting House in Downtown Boston. After three years remote, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was such a joy to be back in community with in-person and virtual attendees.
Emerald Network Director, Abby Jamiel, and Design Manager for Culture House, Maitlyn Lang, presented a talk entitled “Feel Good Tactical Urbanism.” Abby and Maitlyn argued that while tactical urbanism is a successful community engagement technique for transportation projects, more can be done. By focusing on feeling and emotion, tactical urbanism and transportation community engagement, the transportation field overall can create more enjoyable and dignified systems to get us from A to B.
Jen Mergel, Director of Experience & Cultural Partnerships for the Emerald Network Conservancy, also spoke about the remarkable work of the Olmstead NOW program. Entitled “ Rethinking Transit through Olmsted Now: How an Overpass, Boatramp or Greenway Can Move You to Expect MORE of Boston,” her talk explored how transportation infrastructure can become spaces for arts and culture—with a little imagination.
The Fort Point Community Design Workshop Presents Community-Sourced Ideas
Photo credit: Proposed multi-modal / greenway connections to Fort Point Channel Created by Abby Jamiel
The Fort Point neighborhood faces sea level rise, development pressure, and a desire to protect its artistic community. The Fort Point Waterfront Community Design program is an initiative to devise solutions to these issues in order to steward a sustainable, responsible and habitable future for the Channel.
Led by Boston Harbor Now in partnership with Stone Living Lab, the Boston Planning and Development Agency, Fort Point Neighborhood Association, The Boston Society for Architecture and Boston Society of Landscape Architects, the program invited community members to propose solutions for two potential sites in the neighborhood.
Emerald Network Director, Abby Jamiel, participated in the multi-week design process collaborating with architects, designers, residents, historians, and small business owners to imagine the creation of a new public beach with a community boat house. Abby brought her advocacy for the Emerald Necklace to the conversation, proposing the expansion of both on street and greenway connections to the site.
A draft of the final report will be available in Winter 2023.
Partners Doing Amazing Work
Present, from left to right, included Parker James of the Charlesgate Alliance, Karen Mauney-Brodek, president of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Doug Rice, Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, State Senator Will Brownsberger, Tony Pangaro of the Esplanade Association, Jamey Tesler, chief executive of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, City Councilor Kenzie Bok, and Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.
Image and caption: Charlesgate Alliance
Charlesgate Vision Secures Monumental Funding
In November, the Charlesgate Alliance, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced the Bowker Overpass Rebuild Project had secured major funding. The massive rebuild of the overpass is critical to the vision for Charlesgate Park. The vision includes daylighting the Muddy River, realigning Storrow Drive, and opening more than 13 acres of parkland to the public. These changes will restore Frederick Law Olmsted’s original vision for the Emerald Necklace.
Community members have led advocacy efforts since 2017, and securing funding is a massive win many years in the making. The Bowker overpass project is expected to begin in 2024, cost $120 million, and take 2.5 years to complete. Read more about this project and the Storrow Drive realignment here.
Provide Feedback on Large Scale Regional Changes
The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) develops regional transportation visions and decides how to allocate federal and state transportation funds to projects that improve roadways, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure. They’re looking for feedback on the Boston region's next Long-Range Transportation Plan, Destination 2050!
The plan will set the vision, goals, and strategies that will guide the Boston Region MPO’s decision-making on transportation infrastructure and service investments.
What needs to be improved about our transportation system? Tell us in this 10 minute survey.
The Franklin Park Action Plan is Live!
Working with the Franklin Park Coalition and in close collaboration with the local community, the City of Boston has created a strategic vision for the future of Franklin Park. The Action Plan provides a roadmap for investment to restore landscape cohesion, support uses desired by park users, and keep the park accessible and welcoming.
The plan was developed by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department along with a contracted design team led by Reed Hilderbrand, with Agency Landscape + Planning and MASS Design Group, and supported by a team of specialists.
Public comments on the plan will be accepted until February 10th, 2023.
Check out the plan, proposed recommendations, and provide comments here.
Boston Gives Back: Winter Wonderland
Join the City of Boston on Saturday, December 17th, from 2-6pm for Boston Gives Back: Winter Wonderland—an opportunity to celebrate and learn more about the various holidays within the season. Activities and games focused on the celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa will be held at the Bruce Bolling Building! Don’t miss out on this free family-friendly event in Roxbury. Read more about the event on their website!
Fenway Flea Winter Market: Skate, Sip, Shop
On Saturdays and Sundays from 12-5pm, Fenway Flea will be hosting pop up markets for holiday fun. Join them at Time Out Market Boston for shopping, skating, food and drinks and of course… plenty of art. There will be a number of small local businesses and personal vendors selling handmade items from jewelry and clothing to local art. Get some wonderfully made last minute holiday gifts, while supporting local businesses and artists.
Small Mart Holiday Market
Brought to you by High Energy Vintage & Existential Thread Co: Small Mart Holiday Market will be held on Saturday on December 17th from 11am-4pm. It is another opportunity to support small businesses and local artists for free! Peruse vendors selling local art, vintage items, and much more! Don’t miss out on joining at the Crystal Ballroom and the chance to explore new local artists and businesses… maybe you’ll find something as cool as their flyer!
Kick Snowy Day Boredom By Sharing Your Boston Story
“Boston, You're My Home (BYMH) is a community arts and storytelling project to map the different neighborhoods of Boston with the folks who call them home.” The project was inspired by the Mapping Mattapan project and stewarded by members of the Mayor’s SPARK Council.
Maps can be printed, designed at home, and uploaded to be included in an online data. Help us spread some neighborhood love! Bostonians all all ages are encouraged to submit either paper or digital maps.
As many of our organizations and partners undergo staff transitions, there are plenty of hiring opportunities to get involved in advocacy work!
WalkBoston, Executive Director
WalkBoston is looking for a new Executive Director. This position will lead the organization at an exciting phase, helping implement their Strategic Plan, expanding statewide outreach, continuing advocacy efforts, and organizing efforts across the organization.
Boston Climate Action Network, Advocacy Director
Boston Climate Action Network is looking to hire an Advocacy Director. This role will lead a volunteer-driven, grassroots, climate justice advocacy organization. Responsibilities include daily management of BCAN’s internal operations and campaigns and facilitating strong relationships inside and outside the organization.
Civic Space Collaborative, Project Planner + Designer
Civic Space Collaborative, a woman owned participatory planning and design firm focused on public space, is looking for a new Project Planner + Designer. Applications will be accepted starting on December 9th, with a start date in January of 2023.
Civic Space Collaborative is the team behind projects such as the Fairmont Greenway organization plan, Mary Ellen Welch Greenway extension plan, and Downtown Worcester Placemaking Action and Implementation Plan. Check out their work here.