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Rose Kennedy Greenway: A New Park in the Middle of Boston

Parks have long been a refuge from hectic city life. They give people a chance to enjoy the sun, plants, and fresh air.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit a new park, the Rose Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston.

The one and a half mile long park sits above the expressway tunnel. Before, the highway was located above the street level.

The park provides 3 and 1/2 acres of lawn with another 10 acres of pathways, trees, shrubs, and perennials.

Fifty to sixty percent of the plantings are native to the area. Seven hundred unique species, cultivars, or hybrids of plants grow throughout the park.

No systemic fertilizer, chemical, or pesticide is allowed on the property.

Thus there is a a strong emphasis on cultivating pollinators to atttract insects like butterflies.

This year during the whole month of May certain lawns in the park were not mowed. Thus, No Mow May had its first happening for the park. The goal was to increase the number of pollinators.

The Rose Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston is a beautiful linear park made of several different small parks. You can see the green line from this aerial view of the park. [below]

The long greenway stretches all the way to Boston’s North End on the upper far right. [Courtesy of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Horticultural Alliance]

The Rose Kennedy Greenway borders several Downtown Boston neighborhoods. You can enter the park at nearly any spot along its length.

Here is the park’s brilliant fall color now shining in great form. [below]

Courtesy of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Horticultural Alliance

James Vick on City Parks

In the nineteenth century Rochester, New York seed merchant James Vick (1818-1882) wrote about the importance of parks for the city.

Vick said in the 1880 issue of his garden magazine Vick’s Illustrated Motlhly: “I am so glad that people in our large cities who live in narrow streets and crowded houses can see occasionally a little of rural beauty – examples of garden beauty not excelled anywhere.

“What a wonderful teacher.

“How the people learn to admire and respect the plants and the flowers.”

And so a new park welcomes a visitor to see and enjoy a bit of nature’s bounty right in the city.

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