Weekend Calendar: Emerald Necklace Parkfest

There is no dearth of activities in and around Weston this weekend–you’ll have to have your Harry Potter Time Turner or whatever to make it work for you. With luck, I will be able to cover a small portion of them here including the WWRA Ergfest, the Phantom Gourmet fest in Waltham and several high school parties this weekend. Oh, just kidding, teenagers, it’s none of my business.

One of my favorite organizations, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy (HUGE hat tip to whoever gave it that sparkling name), is celebrating the bicentennial of Frederick Law Olmstead–yes, he would have been 200 years old this year if only modern science were up to it. Parkfest is Saturday, September 24 and it is going to be wicked fun.

If you do not know who Frederick Law Olmstead is then you have never been to Central Park, the grounds of the Biltmore Estate and the US Capitol, nor to the much-closer and more accessible Emerald Necklace of parks here in Boston. Or you may have been there, but just didn’t know that it was Frederick, or the more accepted FLO, who designed the necklace.

Image credit

The linear chain of parks was designed by FLO to connect the colonial-era Boston Common and the Public Garden (1837) with the “country park” or Franklin Park. The project was, in a word, huge, and started in 1878 by cleaning up the marshy area called Back Bay and the Fens. Today we might have assessed a major wetland violation to that idea.

Now enough of history, let’s go party like it’s 1878. You can find out more at the Emerald Necklace Parkfest website. Me, I was somewhat drawn to the Drag Queen Story Hour in Jamaica Plain. Which book could they possibly be reading? Hmmm. Never mind that, the Caterpillar Lab is at the Arboretum: go there.

1-6pm, Saturday, September 24. Rain date: Sunday, September 25

All 5.5 miles of the Emerald Necklace, including Charlesgate Park, Back Bay Fens, Riverway, Olmsted Park, Jamaica Pond, Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park

Need a ride? Register for a free Bluebikes pass on September 24 here!

Presented by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Emerald Necklace Parkfest marks Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th year with afternoon activities at seven sites across the park system he designed.

Courtesy photo

Parkfest Activities: Saturday, September 24

All Parks
Scavenger Hunts, Picnic Zones and Parade Decorating by CultureHouse

Charlesgate Park (North Lawn) 1-4PM
– Tree Care Tours: 1PM and 3PM
– Tour of Charlesgate Park: 2PM (register here)
– Pétanque play and lessons: 1PM-4PM
– Scavenger hunt by Verizon: 1PM-4PM
– Hip-hop by Bridgeside Cypher: 1PM-4PM

Back Bay Fens (Shattuck Visitor Center) 1-4PM
– Lawn Games: 1PM-4PM
– Trivia & refreshments by Verizon: 1PM-4PM
– Fenway Victory Gardens Pollinator Garden Grand Opening: 1PM-3PM
– Book talk by author Stanley Greenberg (Olmsted Trees): 2PM-3PM
– Intro to Volunteer Field Work: 3PM-4PM

Riverway (Brookline Ave. and Parkway Road) 1-4PM
– Lawn Games: 1PM-4PM
– Nature Immersion: 1PM and 3PM

Olmsted Park (Allerton Overlook) 1-4PM
– Treveni Classical Indian Dancers: 2PM and 3PM
– Music by DJ KO’d: 1PM-4PM
– Lawn games by REI: 1PM-4PM
– Central Park Design competition: 1PM-4PM
– Food Truck (TBA)

Jamaica Pond (Boathouse) 1-6PM
– Analog Photography with Edie Bresler: 1PM-4PM
– Drag Queen Story Hour: 1PM-4PM
– 1-hour Sailing Rentals: 1PM-6PM
– Pop-up learning stations by National Parks Service Rangers: 1PM-6PM
– Food Truck: Kush by Saba

Arnold Arboretum (Hunnewell Visitor Center) 1-4PM
– The Caterpillar Lab: 1PM-4PM
– Tours of the Arnold Arboretum: 1PM-4PM

Franklin Park (Shattuck Picnic Grove) 1-6PM
– Learn about Shattuck Hospital Advocacy: 1PM and 3PM
– Music by A Trike Called Funk: 1:30PM-3:30PM
– Community Art with Canvas Studio: 1PM-6PM
– Puppet Making with Mothers Out Front: 2:30PM-5PM
– Lawn games by Verizon and Emerald Necklace Conservancy: 1PM-6PM
– Youth opera: “Mr. Twister“ by Mothers Out Front: 4PM and 5PM
– Park Parade with music by DJ KO’d: 5:30PM-6PM
– Food Truck: Zaaki

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