Our activities include convening open space advocates, engaging activists to advocate for funding that supports open space, facilitating participation in public planning processes, and raising visibility for open space issues in the press and among candidates and elected officials.
- Advocacy Bootcamp - Boston Park Advocates welcomed Boston open space advocates at an Advocacy Bootcamp on March 11, 2017 to encourage networking and sharing of best practices and information. Sixty-five open space advocates turned out on a frigid Saturday morning and had a great time meeting and learning. Thank you to the Boston Parks & Recreation Department staff for their terrific presentations, the Fenway Community Center for hosting us, and Whole Foods Market for donating the delicious breakfast and lunch.
Visit our Resources page to view the presentations.
- Advocating for increase to Boston Parks & Recreation Department operating budget.
- Advocating for funding restoration for Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR), which manages state parkland and parkways.
Community Preservation ACT
On November 8, 2016 Boston voters passed the Community Preservation Act (CPA). Boston Park Advocates played a key role in the Yes for a Better Boston Coalition, comprised of open space, historic preservation, and affordable housing advocates, which urged CPA's passage in Boston.
CPA establishes a dedicated fund for affordable housing, historic restoration, and parks and open space. Across Massachusetts, over 170 cities and towns have passed CPA since 2000 and benefited from nearly $1.4 billion for improvements. For greenspace advocates, a dedicated park fund is a dream come true. CPA offers huge benefits: Boston will be able to build new parks in underserved neighborhoods and restore features and facilities in existing parks - from basketball courts to field houses, walking paths to park benches.
What do parks need? Which neighborhoods need more open space? Members of the Boston Park Advocates network have been calling attention to the need for open space to serve as a prominent topic in the city's Imagine Boston 2030 planning process. We mustn't let development in Boston race ahead without attention to open space needs. As more people live, work, and play in Boston, it's crucial we protect open spaces and create new ones in order to foster a healthy, livable, equitable city for all.
Successfully advocated for an increase to Boston Parks & Recreation Department operating budget.
- Launched campaign to call candidate and media attention to parks and open space issues
- Recruited 130 park connected groups to co-sponsor the parks & open space campaign
- Hosted preliminary mayoral forum with eleven of the twelve candidates; 350 residents attended
- Hosted At-Large City Council forum with all eight finalists
- Hosted discussion on parks and open space with the final two mayoral candidates, Marty Walsh and John Connolly
- All candidate forums broadcast on Boston Neighborhood Network
- Received print media coverage of the parks & open space campaign
- BPA lead organizer, Christine Poff, published in Commonwealth Magazine: Mayor Matters: Boston's parks need to play catch-up
- BPA represented on Mayor Marty Walsh's transition team on environment, energy and open space
- Hosted at-large city council forum with all eight candidates in attendance
- Engaged 100 park connected groups as co-sponsors of at-large city council forum
- Organized first-ever political debate on parks & open space. All eight At-Large City Council finalists took part and 200 residents attended.
Raised awareness about 2006 Massachusetts Gubernatorial Election
- Published "green" paper on urban park needs for newly-elected Governor Deval Patrick