2016 Volunteer Spotlight - Boston Cares

2016 Volunteer Spotlight – Boston Cares | Dec 16, 2016

Esplanade Association would like to recognize Boston Cares as our volunteers of the year for their continued commitment to improving the park in 2016. We are pleased to have Boston Cares Volunteer Leader, Anthony Rufo accept this honor on behalf of the group and share his experience below.

My name is Anthony Rufo, a Boston Cares “Volunteer Leader” who coordinates between the wonderful Boston Cares organization and the eminent Esplanade Association. I began volunteering to offer my hand to help my adopted home of Boston while I was a student at Northeastern University and post-graduation volunteering has remained a very important part of my life. I enjoy relaxing, running and the like in our great parks, so it seems only right that I spend some time cleaning them up a bit. Some of my best experiences helping out have been with the great crew of skilled employees at the Esplanade Association. I highly encourage EVERYONE to get involved in their communities and lend a hand in any way they think helps. I am inspired by former governor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis who picks up and throws away the litter off the ground as he walks to work every day.

Boston Cares is very grateful to accept the Esplanade Association’s designation as their volunteers of the year. The year was filled with excellently planned projects and Boston Cares was always able to provide energetic volunteers to keep the Charles River Esplanade looking absolutely gorgeous all year round. In 2016 Boston Cares volunteers spent 16 Saturdays with the Esplanade Association, helping to weed the greens, clean litter, remove invasive species along the river banks, lay playground safety fibar chips, and assist with planting some of the park’s awesome annual flowers. The Esplanade Association’s amazing horticulture team, Renee, Shiann and Meredith, and the DCR always made the work easy by providing us with the tools and guidance we needed. Boston Cares is the city’s largest volunteer mobilizing organization providing Greater Boston with thousands of hours of community service each year. Each Esplanade Association’s Park Cleanup and Restoration Project has a Boston Cares team of up to ten volunteers who sign up on www.bostoncares.org to participate in the project. Volunteers showed up for each project eager and prepared to help beautify the park.

To learn more about Esplanade Association volunteer opportunities visit https://esplanade.orgvolunteer/

2016 Volunteer Spotlight – Boston Cares

Planning for Spring Blooms | Nov 20, 2016

As the leaves begin to fall and winter slowly presses in upon us, it is important to think towards warmer times and the return of spring. We here at the Esplanade Association are already looking forward to spring and planning on how to celebrate spring and enhance esplanade-goers experience. Over the last few weeks, the EA horticulture staff along with the help of several volunteer groups have been digging, fertilizing, and planting roughly 42,000 flower bulbs throughout the Charles River Esplanade. Among the thousands of flower bulbs are different species of Tulips, Daffodils, Crocuses, Muscari, snow drop, spring beauty and many more! Depending on what type of flower, a hole is dug anywhere from 2 to 8 inches down (typically the depth is about twice the height of the flower bulb). Between 7 and 15 bulbs are then placed at the bottom of the hole, sprinkled with fertilizer, and then covered with soil. Sometimes multiple layers of flower bulbs are planted in a hole with a layer of larger ones at the bottom and smaller ones sitting on top.

These bulbs have been planted in patches and waves throughout the esplanade including in front of the Hatch Shell, along shorelines and bridges, and near exercise courses and scattered across open spaces. Different flower species will bloom at different times. Some flowers such as Crocus and snowdrop are early spring bloomers and can be seen from late January to early March. Others such as Scilla and Daffodils can be seen in the esplanade starting in March and April. Then we have planted some late bloomers such as our Tulips and Lilac. So when the snow finally starts to melt, be sure to head down to the esplanade to enjoy the vibrant waves of purples, golds, whites, and reds when spring comes.

Regatta Ready | Oct 14, 2016

On Wednesday, October 5, the Esplanade Association hosted 35 volunteers from Pierce Atwood for a corporate volunteer day. The spent the day working in the upper park area near the Esplanade outdoor exercise course. This worksite is one of the most popular gathering places for viewing the upcoming Head of the Charles Regatta. Unfortunately, it is also one of the areas in the park most plagued by invasive species, especially False Indigo bush. Volunteers cleared nearly a quarter mile of the shoreline of these dense invasive plants, ensuring that park spectators will have a clear view of the regatta come the event.

The Head of the Charles, is the world’s largest two-day regatta.  This year the event will be taking place on October 22 and 23, 2016. The regatta welcomes top crew teams from all over the world who come to compete on the Charles River.

Thank you to Pierce Atwood for clearing the view for the tens of thousands of spectators expected to flock to the shores of the Charles for the race. As you finalize your regatta viewing plans, consider watching from the banks of the Esplanade!

esplanade association fall

5 Tips For Photographing Fall Foliage | Oct 4, 2016

It’s hard to believe that it’s already October! Mid-late October may be the prime time for leaf peeping in Boston, but you can still see some beautiful fall foliage right now.

The Charles River Esplanade, with over 1,700 trees, is the perfect location to capture the leaves changing colors. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or a complete beginner, Popular Photography has provided some easy tips to help you take better fall foliage photos.

5 Tips for Better Fall Foliage Photos

EA Moondance

A Magical Evening to Benefit the Park | Sept 28, 2016

The Esplanade Association hosted our annual Moondance Gala fundraiser on Saturday, September 24. It was truly an amazing evening for the park, as well as a fantastic celebration for the Esplanade Association as we celebrated 15 years of making life better on the Esplanade.

The Moondance Gala is our organization’s largest fundraiser and is so vital to supporting the work that we do in the park.  This year, thanks to our supporters, we raised over $900,000 for the Esplanade!

We were so grateful to be surrounded by friends, long-time advocates and new supporters – all committed to caring for and improving the Charles River Esplanade.  We would like to extend a special thanks to this year’s Moondance Co-Chairs, Lori and Matthew Sidman as well as all who served on the Moondance Gala committee.

The theme of this year’s Moondance Gala was Back to Our Roots.  To carry this theme into the park, the plants and trees used to decorate the tents this year will be planted in the Esplanade following the event. With the tents looking out onto the park, the amazing decor, and the fantastic group of supporters, it was truly an unforgettable night.

While paying tribute to the Esplanade Association’s founding friends, Executive Director, Tani Marinovich quoted President Teddy Roosevelt:

“We are not building this country of ours for a day. It is to last through the ages.  Any generation fit to do its work must work for the future, for the people of the future, as well as for itself.”

This year proceeds from the evening will help to fund new initiatives including the restoration of the historic Lotta Fountain, the introduction of a Wayfinding Signage System, the development of a long term maintenance and succession plan for the park’s over 1,700 trees, and the beginning of the process to restore the Lee Pool area.

The support of our sponsors, in-kind donors, members of the Event Committee, Board of Directors, and guests – will ensure that the Esplanade continues to enrich the community and all of our lives for generations to come.  We thank all of our supporters for joining us in making life better on the Esplanade.

Esplanade Eats | Sept 14, 2016

One of the best things about the Esplanade is that while the park feels secluded and peaceful, it is only a short stroll from Boston’s bustling neighborhoods. This makes it easy to pick up lunch at a nearby restaurant and enjoy it in the park!

One of my favorite local places is Pressed, a quick-serve health food spot in Beacon Hill. Its location on Charles Street makes stopping in on your way to the Esplanade a breeze. Pressed serves cold-pressed juices, superfood shakes, homemade paletas (popsicles), and healthy lunch items.

On a hot day, there is no better way to cool off than with a superfood shake – my favorite one, simply called “Calm”, is a perfect blend of house-made chai, banana, coconut, almond milk, almond butter, dates, and hemp protein.

Another popular menu item at Pressed is the superfood sushi, a delicious combination of sweet potato, avocado, cucumber, burdock and yacon roots, seasonal pickled vegetables, black rice, and a miso-ginger dipping sauce.

Pressed is designed with the on-the-go health foodie in mind. The space is small, but inviting. Limited seating encourages patrons to grab their food and drinks and explore the neighborhood. This design, coupled with its accessible location, makes Pressed the perfect place to stock up for a healthy picnic on the Esplanade!

Next time you’re in the neighborhood, or on the Esplanade, give Pressed a try. It is located at 120 Charles Street.

esplanade association annual report

Participate in August Tree Check Month | Aug 6, 2016

By Esplanade Association

Asian Longhorned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, ALB adults continue to be active in Massachusetts in August. In fact, the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has called August Tree Check Month, as it is a prime time to find ALB adult beetles and report any insects or signs of infestation.

Importance of Pruning | July 20, 2016

If you don’t have your own trees to care for you may not realize how important, and sometimes daunting, the task of pruning can be. Pruning not only improves the health of the park trees but also ensures the safety of park visitors.

Pruning a tree can have many benefits. The first and most important is keeping the people around it safe. A dead branch can fall from a tree at any time, endangering nearby people, buildings, and power lines. Removing dangerous limbs and maintaining a safe tree is always the best course of action. However, depending on the size of the tree and the location of the branches to be pruned, pruning itself can also be very dangerous. To ensure your own personal safety, we recommend you let an expert do any pruning you’re not absolutely comfortable and confident in doing.

Tree growth and structure

There are many reasons why pruning a tree is important. Pruning a tree can influence in what way the tree grows. With proper pruning, a tree can be made to grow into a certain configuration of limbs and branches that is more ideal for the structural integrity of the tree. Maintaining the tree’s structure helps to mitigate the risk of broken limbs and falling branches. A properly pruned tree will not have compromising branch structures and improper weight distribution that could lead to disaster later on in the tree’s life. Structural pruning can also greatly improve the general look of the tree. If aesthetics are important to you, proper pruning can make a tree grow in the desired fashion.

When to prune

Remember, it’s important that any pruning (other than emergency branch removal) be done in late fall or winter, during the dormant season. It’s during this time that the tree is least susceptible to harm that may result from pruning. Trees are susceptible to stress just like any other creature, and removing their branches does cause damage to the tree. When the tree is dormant, however, less sap is lost and, since they are dormant as well, insects and fungus are less likely to further damage the tree. Certain species of trees require more precise timing and different approaches for proper pruning. If you’re ever in doubt, contact a certified arborist instead of risking both the tree’s safety and your own.

Less is more

It’s also important to remember not to prune too much off of a tree. Generally, you want to prune the smallest amount you possibly can that achieves the desired effect. Never prune more than ¼ of the crown of a tree, as this is where most of its leaves are located and consequently where it gets most of its energy. You run the risk of fatally damaging the tree if too much is pruned too quickly. Again, a certified arborist is your best bet if you want the job done properly and safely the first time.

Information by vintagetreecare on Jan 14 in Tree Care

Learn more about tree care by visiting their site athttp://www.vintagetreecare.com