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Category: green spaces (7)

View of the Zakim bridge and Bunker Hill from the waterfront

Dams, Bridges & Locks

Private Tours : Additional Tours by Request
90 minutes
1 mile
mostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
Take a journey of discovery exploring the new open spaces along the lower Charles River. A hub of transportation and recreation, this area has experienced several cycles of dramatic change resulting from the construction of bridges and dams, the expansion of Boston, and the Big Dig project. From the tidal estuary of the Charles through the mudflats of Millers River, this unique tour traces the evolution of the lost half-mile and the reshaping of Boston. Dams, railroads, bridges, and highways have closed off this area until the recent creation of incredible public parks and recreation space. This tour will also feature a walk over the new North Bank Pedestrian Bridge connecting Cambridge and Charlestown. On this tour you will discover the artifacts left behind, examine up close the bridges and dams spanning the Charles River, and see the reclamation of land once dominated by the railroads of the 19th century while the upper basin developed in the tradition of Frederick Law Olmsted with Charlesbank, the Cambridge Esplanade, and the Boston Embankment. The views on this tour are unique and spectacular. We will see all the nooks and crannies people drive past, but never get out and explore. We will walk over bridges, under expressways, over railroads, and on top of movable locks. Whether you are an explorer at heart, a fan of landscape architecture, a history buff, or have an interest in engineering, there's something on this tour for everyone. find out more
mural of birds on boston's kennedy greenway

The Rose F. Kennedy Greenway

Visit Boston's "People's Park" with lush gardens and contemporary art exhibits.

Walking Tours : Monthly & Quarterly
90 minutes
1 mile
mostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
In the 1950s, construction of the Central Artery, a 6-lane elevated highway through downtown Boston, overtook a 30-acre corridor of land that displaced thousands of businesses and residents and cut off the city’s North End and waterfront. Forty years later, the Big Dig moved the highway underground, creating the rare opportunity to recover this land and transform it into a new civic space for all to enjoy – the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. Join us in walking the 1.5-mile Greenway, a “people’s park” that annually attracts over a million residents and visitors to gather, play, stroll its gardens and experience ever-changing contemporary art exhibits. Learn about the Greenway’s evolution, its stewardship, and the extensive public planning process that shaped the use of this space and continues to influence current and future developments along the route. find out more
the Charles River Esplanade

The Esplanade

Greenspaces Tour Series

Private Tours : Additional Tours by Request
mostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
Join us for a summer evening stroll through the Esplanade, the jewel of the Charles River. The Esplanade is one of Boston's best loved parks with stunning views of the Charles River. From the filling of the Back Bay to the construction of James Jackson Storrow Memorial Drive, the Esplanade was built in stages fulfilling the vision of landscape architect Charles Eliot. Today, the once malodorous mudflats are now bustling with walkers, joggers, skaters, and bikers. This tour begins with Frederick Law Olmsted's Charlesbank, the first outdoor gymnasium in the United States, precursor to today's 17-mile Charles River Reservation, and now home to Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields. Walking among beautifully landscaped paths lined with over 1,900 trees, we'll examine the evolution of this urban park and Arthur Schurcliff's landscape designs. Crowned by the Edward A. Hatch Memorial Shell, the famous outdoor concert venue, the Esplanade is host to concerts, movies, events, and the annual Boston Pops Fourth of July Celebration. Join us on this walk through the jewel of the Charles River, visited by millions every year. find out more
illustration of Boston Common on 19th Century postcard

Boston Common and the Public Garden

Greenspaces Tour Series

Private Tours : Additional Tours by Request
potential uneven surfaces and moderate inclines
This tour includes two unique parks: Boston Common and the Public Garden. As we stroll through them let our guides tell you all about the history of each park. In 1634 the Town of Boston set aside the Boston Common as common land and it is the oldest public green space in any American city. Learn how a utilitarian location used to graze cows transformed into the urban oasis of today. By 1838 attempts to establish a botanic garden next to the Common had begun. It finally took shape as the nearby neighborhood of Back Bay was constructed. There are more than 100 varieties of trees here, all are winter-hardy given the harsh New England winters. Both parks contain significant works of public art that also help tell the story of these parks and the City. These early green spaces set the tone for later park building efforts and are well worth exploring. find out more
Tortoise and hare sculpture in Boston Public Garden

Finding Aesop’s Fables in Copley Square

Private Tours : Additional Tours by Request
There are clues all around Copley Square that are connected to Aesop's Fables. Do we know why these clues are here? What do they refer to? Join us on this free, short, family-friendly tour around Copley Square to find these clues and learn the fables and stories they represent. find out more
Illustration of Cambridge Common in 1808

Cambridge Common

Private Tours : Additional Tours by Request
60 minutes
1 mile
potential uneven surfaces and moderate inclines
Founded in 1631, Cambridge Common Park was once the common pasture for Old Cambridge. Later it served as an encampment for the Continental Army. Today it’s home to playgrounds and ballfields, surrounded by historic houses, churches, and buildings of Harvard University.  We’ll explore nearly 400 years of history & architecture on our loop of Cambridge Common. find out more
View of Weeping Willows over pond in public garden boston

Boston Public Garden and the Back Bay

Private Tours : Additional Tours by Request
potential uneven surfaces and moderate inclines
Join us on a stroll to Copley Square through the Boston Public Garden, the magnificent front entrance to the Back Bay. Walk up Commonwealth Avenue, Boston's and listening to stories about the Boston’s Parisian architectural influences. find out more