What is the Emerald Necklace? Full History

Most modern-day Bostonians are familiar with the Emerald Necklace – a chain of connected parks and green spaces that run through the city of Boston. Not as many people may be familiar with the origins behind the Emerald Necklace. This article serves to recount how Boston’s most beautiful present-day parks were first created.

What is The Emerald Necklace

The Emerald Necklace is park system of 1,100-acre that stretches throughout the city of Boston. The trail of parks spans over 7 miles long, and runs from Boston Common to Franklin Park.

Parks Included in the Emerald Necklace

The Emerald Necklace is park system of 1,100-acre that stretches throughout the city of Boston. Present-day, the list of parks include:

The Emerald Necklace was designed for each park to connect to each other.

Image from Emerald Necklace Conservancy

How Did the Emerald Necklace Come to Be?

The parks in the Emerald Necklace were created by Frederick Law Olmsted, the nation’s first landscape architect. After successfully designing New York City’s Central Park, the city of Boston hired Olmsted.

Olmsted vision for creating these parks was for people to escape to a place of beauty with peaceful surroundings after a days’ work. The city life created an industrial setting, and these parks would be used to escape to those settings and be surrounded by beauty.

Another reason these parks were built were for people to congregate. At the time, Boston was struggling with the division of social classes, and Olmsted’s plan to build these parks. Olmsted’s work was fueled by his unwavering belief in democracy and vision to bring those from different cultural backgrounds together.

Impact & Today's Legacy

Olmsted’s original vision is still maintained today, as the parks that consist of the Emerald Necklace are used as an urban oasis. The parks are filled with wonderful bodies of water, botanical gardens, and greenery. Boston’s parks are used by both locals and tourists to congregate and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

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