Saturday, April 30, 12:00 noon – Grand Opening of the Emerald Necklace Visitor Center

Celebrate the grand opening of the Emerald Necklace Visitor Center at 125 The Fenway, Boston, on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1.  All events are free and open to the public.  At noon, Mayor Thomas M. Menino will cut the ribbon along with special guests.  From noon until 3:30, a very special Art in Bloom floral arrangement inspired by the Back Bay Fens will be on display, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  From 12:30 until 2, Gerry Wright will appear in his “other” persona, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Park Rangers Mounted Unit “Adopt a Horse” program will be featured.  At 2, 2:30 and 3, there will be screenings of Stories from the Emerald Necklace, a documentary film depicting the variety of visitor stories found in the Necklace.  Also, between 12:30 and 1:15, artist Dustan Knight will talk about the creative process as Dustan works in watercolors to capture the special Art in Bloom floral arrangement on paper.

From 12:45 – 3 pm, you may meet the gardeners at the Fenway Victory Gardens and visit the newly renovated Special Needs Garden, as well as participate in hands-on workshops.  From 1 – 2:30, Alan Banks, Supervisory Park Ranger, will lead an interpretive walk through the Back Bay Fens beginning at the Visitor Center entitled “Garden in the Machine.”  For the athletes, join a fun run with 3, 5 and 7 mile options led by Mark Lowenstein, author of Great Runs in Boston, with a route starting at the Visitor Center, continuing along the Necklace out to Jamaica Pond, and returning to the Visitor Center, starting at 1:15 pm.

Over at the Wentworth Institute, Frederick Law Olmsted, a one-man play written by performed by Gerry Wright, will begin at 3 pm, followed by a short reception, and at 4:30, in the same venue, there will be a screening of The Olmsted Legacy: America’s Urban Parks documentary.  If you prefer, at 3 pm you may join Conservancy president Julie Crockford and City Councilor Mike Ross for a bike ride to Franklin park, and stay for the 4 pm Weeds as Feed walk led by a Franklin Park coalition naturalist.  For complete times and directions, log on to