The Garden Club of the Back Bay web site has a new link on the right hand side of our home page – the Friends of the Boston Park Rangers.Â The Boston Mounted Horse Project: Preserving Boston’s Park Ranger Mounted Unit, can be found at www.SaveBostonsHorses.org.Â The friends group, led by Julie Donahue and Cokie Perry, has applied for independent non-profit status, but on a temporary basis, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy is serving as the fiduciary agent for the friends and welcomes donations payable to the Justine Mee Liff Fund, designated for the Boston Park Ranger Program.Â Checks may be sent to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy at 125 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.
The Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit was created in 1982 through an initial effort by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. It has since grown into a program that once boasted more than twelve patrol horses and twenty-four year-round park rangers plus the addition of seasonal rangers. However, due to budget constraints, the program has been halved and is under consideration of total disbandment.
When the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit faced disbandment last year, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy raised $140,000 in donations to maintain the unit through the fiscal year 2010 and the early part of 2011. The efforts of the Conservancy saved jobs and protected the safety of the park system by providing funding to local enforcement to continue providing mounted security to the Emerald Necklace.
Now, facing a renewed effort to cease the mounted program, the Friends of the Boston Park Rangers have taken up the cause. Through fund-raising and donations, they hope to reach their goal of providing the city of Boston with $155,000 to maintain the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit through the fiscal year, and further prove the mounted programâ€™s importance and necessity in maintaining the safety of Bostonâ€™s park system.Â Some very nifty aprons are available for purchase, too.