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Top 10 Boston Parks moments of 2020

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Parks and Recreation

Join us as we count down Boston Parks and Recreation's “Top 10 Moments” of 2020.

Despite the hardships that 2020 brought, we still think it is important to look back on this year and find the good. Join us as we count down our "Top 10 Moments" of 2020 and reflect on some of our proudest moments as a department and as a community. 

#10: The Mayor’s Mural Crew executed a summer of safe, socially-distant art projects with Boston youth.

2020 was a year for creativity and problem solving for the Mural Crew. Employing 31 City of Boston youth, the Mayor's Mural Crew successfully executed a summer of safe, COVID-19-inspired art projects throughout the City. Some notable projects that you may remember include:

  • socially-distant seating on the Boston Common
  • face-mask self-portraits, and
  • nature-inspired watercolor painting workshops.

For more info on some of their projects, visit this WCVB Channel 5 Story.


#9: We were able to conduct safe recreational programming, both virtually and in person.

In an effort to keep Bostonians healthy both physically and mentally, our Recreation Division hosted a variety of free, fun, and safe programming throughout the year. Some of our most well-attended programming include: 

  • Free Fitness Classes: From bootcamp, to chair yoga, line dancing, and more, these classes kept more than 2,400 Bostonians moving with over 250 hours of virtual and in person fitness classes.
  • Summer Sports Centers: With COVID-19 safety guidelines in place, our annual sports centers at Moakley Park, East Boston Stadium, and Franklin Park's White Stadium went off without a hitch.  Kids from all over the City of Boston safely participated in activities such as archery, obstacle courses, fitness classes, and more.
  • Youth Golf Lessons: Hosted at both George Wright and Franklin Park, these lessons provided kids the opportunity to get active and outdoors while learning the basics of golf. 
  • Fun fact: We noticed a big uptick in golf throughout the entire year, with over 39,000 rounds played at both of our courses. 

#8: Our community engagement efforts went online as we pivoted to virtual community meetings and webinars.

With many of us working remotely, our department quickly adapted to virtual community engagement, ensuring that our work did not stop. From design and construction meetings, to Parks Commission meetings, to tree hearings, we hosted over 40 community meetings and webinars, making sure that our various projects stayed on track!

We even provided our very own Zoom backgrounds for panelists and attendees to enjoy.  Download your zoom background today


#7: We hosted our first-ever Drive-in Movie Series

With support from Mayor Walsh and the Highland Street Foundation, we partnered with the Mayor's Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment and the Age Strong Commission on our first-ever Drive-in Movie Series.

Over the course of 16 shows, we were able to safely entertain more than 9,000 City of Boston residents, completely free of charge. For more info on this series, visit our Summer Drive-in wrap up and our Fall Drive-in Movie wrap up.


#6: We made some exciting new investments to our Animal Care and Control Division

Since joining our department last year, City of Boston Animal Care and Control welcomed a new Director and the City of Boston's first ever full-time veterinarian. This investment helps to ensure the safety and well-being of our furry friends for years to come.


#5: Our Maintenance Division worked tirelessly to keep our parks clean and safe for all users

With City of Boston residents using parks more than ever before this year, our Maintenance Division stepped up to the needs of the time, adjusting their normal work duties to focus on keeping our parks and playgrounds clean and safe.


#4: Our Design and Construction Division 'cut the virtual ribbon' on 15 newly renovated parks throughout the City of Boston.

Our Design and Construction Division was very busy this year, completing projects in nearly every neighborhood of our City. All in all, we completed major constructions on the following parks: 

In early 2021 you can expect to see even more renovations including major improvements to Garvey Park and the North End's Langone and Puopolo Park.


#3: We were able to safely conduct quality, free programming during the pandemic. 

Not being able to provide our regularly scheduled parks programming was a hard adjustment for us. Even so, our team got creative and adapted many of our programs to be enjoyed remotely.

Some fan favorites include:


#2: All of our parks planning initiatives continued.

All of our long-term planning initiatives continued, ensuring a bright future for our open space in our City:

We also had three new initiatives kick off in 2020: 


#1: Our staff not only continued their normal day-to-day duties, but also took on many other roles throughout the pandemic. 

Our team went above and beyond this year as they not only continued their normal day-to-day duties, but many also became at-home teachers, caretakers, food distribution volunteers, and much more!