Since 2001, the Esplanade Association has worked with the DCR and many community members to restore and enhance the Charles River Esplanade. Annual highlights include:
2021: Celebrating 20 years of successful partnership with DCR; Commissioned Hatched: Breaking through the Silence, a four-week illumination and sound experience created by MF Dynamics; Received $1.2 million gift from Rob Gronkowski and the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation to fund the full renovation of Charlesbank Playground; Hosted first-ever Esplanade Community Day featuring our annual 5K, children’s music programming and a special GroundBeat Music Concert Featuring BAMS Fest; Became a member of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission’s Cultural Institutions Working Group, partnering to develop shared strategies for fighting climate change; Joined Olmsted Now, a coalition of Greater Boston partners celebrating Frederick Law Olmsted’s iconic public parks in the lead up to his 200th birthday.
2020: Completed major renovations of the 20-year-old Stoneman Playground; Planted 49 trees of 20 different species or cultivars along the Esplanade; Hosted 6 award-nominated virtual GroundBeat concerts featuring incredible performances from 10 local artists of color; Launched our Esplanade Non-Emergency Feedback System (E-1-1) form, and more! View the Year in Review here.
2019: Began major, multi-year planting effort to recreate Shurcliff’s orginal tree planting plan with first major planting effort since the 1960s; Designed and opened 15th ornamental garden; Concluded work on new pathway improvement and safety plan; Turned 3 oft-vandalized pumphouse structures into curated art murals. View the full Year in Review.
2018: 6 welcome kiosks installed at park entrances; 50,000 guests visited Night Shift Brewing’s Owl’s Nest Esplanade beer garden, which we helped open; 15 dedicated runners signed up to run with TEAM ESPLANADE, an Official Charity Team of the 2019 Boston Marathon®. Read the full Year in Review.
2017: Cut the ribbon on the Lotta Fountain; completed Patterned Behavior Art Mural; Laid the Foundations for the Wayfinding Directional Signage. Read the full Year in Review.
2016: Pruned over 550 trees; Launched Wayfinding Project; Invested in a new truck to water garden beds during drought
2015: Completed the Hatch Shell Oval Restoration; Completed full tree inventory and tagging system; Launched Campaign to Restore the Lotta Fountain
2014: Re-opened the Revitalized Charles Eliot Memorial (the Memorial located next to Community Boating)
2013: Merged with the Esplanade Playspace organization
2012: Started Composting Program; Unveiled Esplanade 2020
2011: Rebuilt the Community Boating Docks; Installed 10 Adirondack chairs on the river dock; Replanted 10 willow trees and continued tree care program
2010: Renovated Hatch Shell and Dartmouth Street facilities
2009: EA advocated for many improvements to the Park: DCR replaced Storrow Drive Fencing, redesigned and installed Esplanade’s fitness area, repaved Pathway along Storrow Lagoon, and installed recycle bins and high efficiency lighting throughout the park
2008: New water fountains installed; Identification & tagging of more than 1,900 Esplanade trees
2007: Helped raise $400,000 to rebuild the Boat Haven Docks; Conducted the first professional Esplanade User Survey; Installed solar trash compactors in partnership with the DCR
2006: Completed River Dock Restoration project; Completed Phase I cultural landscape report; history and condition analysis; Completed Boat Haven Engineering Study
2005: Initiated restoration of youth sports fields and held groundbreaking of Teddy Ebersol’s Red Sox Fields in partnership with Red Sox Foundation and Hill House; Rebuilt the largest Esplanade dock, (aside from CBI); Successfully advocated for the removal of 30 hazardous trees
2004: Completed the Esplanade’s first tree inventory; Funded the first design phase of Charlesbank Project; Park Volunteer Program launched
2003: Gloucester Street Dock renovated
2002: Successfully advocated for the replacement of all the benches throughout the Charles River Parklands
2001: Built Stoneman Playground and began offering enriching Park programs to children and adults