Urban Wilds: Mission Hill
The Urban Wilds Initiative seeks to protect the City's publicly-owned urban wilds and thereby ensure access and enjoyment of natural treasures to present and future Boston residents.
Back of the Hill
Back of the Hill Urban Wild is composed of a steep forested slope stretching from Huntington Avenue to Parker Hill Avenue. The only approaches to the wild are from the back of the elderly facility off Huntington Avenue and the end of Colburn Street, a private road owned by NSTAR Electric. NSTAR Electric also owns an adjacent portion of the hill located north of the city-owned conservation land. For years, NSTAR has debated the construction of a transmission station at the base of their land. The southern section of the wild abutting the elderly facility hosts a field of grasses and hedges. Earthworks Projects has strategically planted the lower section of this grassy area in order to prevent erosion near the elderly facility.
New England Baptist Hospital, a 40-year conservation restriction held by Boston Conservation Commission.
Iroquois Woods was not designated as an urban wild in the 1976 BRA report. However, a 40-year conservation restriction on the property was granted to the Boston Conservation Commission in 1999 by the New England Baptist Hospital. As a Conservation Commission restriction, this natural area is managed by the Urban Wilds Initiative. Iroquois Woods lies between Iroquois Street and Parker Hill Avenue and is comprised of a sloped forested area. The site is within close proximity of Parker Hilltop Urban Wild and has been actively managed with assistance from Earthworks Projects and the Friends of Iroquois Woods over the past several years. Work has included the cutting of invasive sycamore and norway maples and the establishment of a pathway leading from Iroquois Street to Parker Hill Avenue.
Parker Hilltop/McLaughlin Woodlands
New England Baptist Hospital - Perpetual conservation restriction held by Boston Conservation Commission
Parker Hilltop Urban Wild is bordered by Parker Hill Avenue to the north, Fisher Avenue to the south, the New England Baptist Hospital (formerly Robert E. Brigham Hospital for Incurables) to the west, and McLaughlin Playground to the east. As a result of natural succession and limited maintenance resources, the open meadow at this site is transitioning into a woodlot. To the south of this site is a wooded orchard managed primarily by Earthworks Projects. Cement footpaths weave through the orchard allowing easy access for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. Parker Hilltop provides spectacular views of the city, ocean, and hills beyond. Neighbors can often be found sitting or playing frisbee in the grassy area below this site.