About the Esplanade Association

The Esplanade Association is a 20-year-old non-profit dedicated to revitalizing, enhancing, programming, and maintaining the historic Charles River Esplanade in downtown Boston. The Esplanade is a 64-acre park revered for its natural & cultivated beauty, riverfront access, miles of populated running trails, and thoughtful programming. In the last few years, the Esplanade Association completed planning studies in pathway safety, tree succession, invasives management, and interpretive services while partnering to launch a new beer garden, producing dozens of high-quality events, and much more.

The Esplanade Association was formed in 2001 because the park had fallen into a state of decline, and local community members recognized the need for a park friends group that could help to restore and enhance the Esplanade.

Since our founding EA has been the catalyst for over $28 million in park improvements. This work has been accomplished in collaboration with the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

We invite you to explore the Esplanade Association’s website to learn more about what we do, and how you can help. We look forward to seeing you on the Esplanade!

What We Do

The Esplanade Association works with volunteers, members, donors, and community partners to ensure that the park remains a resource for everyone to enjoy.

Park Projects

With the help of supporters and community partners we have successfully completed major capital projects including rebuilding the boating docks, building new playgrounds, revitalizing the Eliot Memorial, and restoring the Hatch Shell Oval lawn.

Park Care

We employ three full-time horticulturists who help to green and beautify the park using sustainable landscape practices. In addition we host 2,000 volunteers each year to assist with landscape care, trash removal, and general maintenance.


We  offer free community-enriching programs such as outdoor group fitness classes throughout the year (yes, even in winter!), free concerts, Guided Tours of the park, and summer field days that bring almost 1,000 youth from under-resourced areas around Boston to enjoy a day of outdoor recreation on the Esplanade.


We advocate for additional public and private resources for improved park access and connections to the surrounding neighborhoods, for the restoration of parkland and horticulture, and for improved park amenities. We also monitor projects with potential negative impact on the park.