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Emerald Necklace Conservancy Updates Us on Park Happenings

Randal Engelmann & Erik Gould

We are Randal Engelmann and Erik Gould, partners in providing exceptional customer service...

We are Randal Engelmann and Erik Gould, partners in providing exceptional customer service...

Apr 22 8 minutes read

 We Zoomed with Jamie, the Events Director with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy for an update in what is happening in our parks during the Covid crisis. She has some great tips to stay engaged with our beloved Emerald Necklace Parks. 


Randal:

Welcome back to Stay Focused. Today we're chatting with Jamie's Santuccio from the Emerald Necklace Conservancy in Boston. We're very proud sponsors of their summer concert series and what's happening there. She's the events manager. Welcome, Jamie. Thanks for joining us to give us a little bit of an idea of what's happening in our beloved parks.

Jamie:

Like you said, I'm the events manager for the Conservancy. We work to steward the 1,100 acre Emerald Necklace park system in Boston, which you are a very proud supporter and we're so grateful for your partnership over the years.

Randal:

Always happy to be [crosstalk 00:00:35]. Yeah.

Jamie:

I do all of our events, which as you know right now has been a little bit challenging. But I work on our summer concert series, and we have movie nights in the parks, fitness programs. We do several fundraisers throughout the year, which I manage, our annual meeting, which is typically kind of a forum where we talk about something big that we're working on. Of course, this whole situation has changed a lot of things for ourselves and then for everyone else in the world right now. But for us specifically, we've been having to kind of shift our focus from in-person events to doing some online virtual engagement stuff with our audiences. [crosstalk 00:00:01:15].

Randal:

What does that look like for you guys, Jamie?

Jamie:

Yeah. Right now, we're working on really trying to connect people with the parks in a virtual way. Our mission is to connect people with parks, and we're still trying to do that. The parks, we're really lucky, are open right now for passive recreation [crosstalk 00:01:32].

Randal:

I think our viewers are probably... Thank you for passive recreation. What does that mean? Can I go for a run?

Jamie:

You can go for a run, but remember to maintain proper social distancing, keep six feet away, wear a mask, and follow the guidelines from the CDC, the city of Boston, the town of Brookline, the state of Massachusetts. That's really important when you're in the park. Like I said, passive recreation, that's basically walking through the parks, going for a run, getting your exercise, taking a deep breath out in the parks. But no playing on the playgrounds or sports activities, that kind of stuff.

Randal:

And no gatherings, right?

Jamie:

No gatherings. Exactly. Picnics.

Randal:

Wow, that's a really big impact for [crosstalk 00:00:02:13]-

Jamie:

It is.

Randal:

... especially as an events manager.

Jamie:

We can't hold any events in the parks right now. But we're finding from a lot of park users and a lot of our supporters like yourself who are realizing even more deeply than we already knew beforehand, how important these parks and open spaces are. There's 1,100 acres of parks that you could go and explore. It's so nice right now when you're stuck in your house for so long to go out and walk through the parks and have that space and connection to nature, which, even for me who works with the parks day in and day out, I'm appreciating it so much more than I ever have before.

Randal:

Indeed. In fact, even before I knew it was okay to be out using the parks, I had to post something in the window of our office to say, how grateful are you for these parks right now?

Jamie:

Yeah, definitely. We're so grateful also for all of the maintenance workers and people who are still working in the parks to maintain them and keep them clean from Boston, Brookline, and the state of Massachusetts. They're also frontline workers in pandemic. They're out there every day making sure you can't go on playgrounds, but making sure the park is still clean and safe. We're really grateful and thankful for them, too.

Randal:

Great. You had mentioned doing some online interactive stuff with the parks. What does that look like for you guys?

Jamie:

We're sending out our e-newsletters a little bit more frequently now. If people aren't on our e-news, you can go onto our website, EmeraldNecklace.org, and sign up to join our e-news and you'll be getting really biweekly messages now.

Jamie:

We're doing online educational stuff. We're doing scavenger hunts that you can find online, different stuff you could do with your kids at home if you're trying to find activities, which I know a lot of families are right now. You can teach them about life cycle of trees, water cycles. Like I said, we have scavenger hunts and drawing activities, nature journaling, which they can do, which teaches them how to connect to nature.

Jamie:

We have a symphony online that you can download and listen to, which is actually inspired by the Necklace. It was composed by a resident of JP actually, Andrew List, through the BSO.

Randal:

[crosstalk 00:04:26].

Jamie:

Yeah.

Randal:

Yeah.

Jamie:

He made a three-part symphony, which was inspired by the Emerald Necklace and Frederick Law Olmsted. You can go online on our website, EmeraldNecklace.org/hereforyou, and you could find all of that information, all of these materials, listen to a symphony, stare out into the parks, and relax a little bit. But as you know, everyone's been so busy, but now we have a little bit of time on her hands. We're able to kind of transfer that education that we wanted to be sharing online with an even larger audience, which is kind of a positive outcome.

Randal:

Great. Great. Do you guys have any events that you'd like to share with our viewers that are coming up soon?

Jamie:

We do. Yeah. Next week is Earth Week. Earth Day is on the 22nd of April. We have a lot of fun stuff happening. We have a few different e-newsletters that are going out next week with different ways of being involved in Earth Week, lots of stuff going on on our social media. You can follow us on Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter. Then we also have Olmsted's birthday, Frederick Law Olmsted who built these beautiful parks in the late-1800s. We are doing a live Zoom kind of watch party of this PBS documentary about Olmsted and how he built these parks and so many others all over the country and the world. Evan Bradley, who's our marketing communications coordinator, is doing a Zoom kind of live stream and then a Q&A afterwards.

Randal:

Well, thanks for all the hard work that you put into maintaining these parks, and doing events, and kind of keeping people, most importantly, I think engaged with the parks. I think that's a really good point you have is people are getting out and discovering areas of the parks they didn't even know were there before. I always have to put a plug in for Franklin Park because there's so-

Jamie:

Yes.

Randal:

... much there that people have no idea even exists.

Jamie:

It's so true.

Randal:

Yeah. Yeah.

Jamie:

It's 500 acres of parkland, Franklin Park. That's huge. Boston's largest park. There are so many places. The Woodlands.

Randal:

It's not just the park.

Jamie:

It's not just the park.

Randal:

Or the [inaudible 00:06:33].

Jamie:

No. Yeah, which are wonderful places-

Randal:

[inaudible 00:06:36].

Jamie:

It's so true.

Randal:

Yeah.

Jamie:

There's so much there.

Randal:

Excellent. Well, thanks for joining me today. Thanks for getting the word out there a little bit more with us. I hope all is well with you and your family, and your coworkers. Certainly look forward to seeing you guys this summer from a good six foot distance and just kind of still being out there and enjoying the space that surrounds us.

Jamie:

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me, Randal. I hope to see you in the park soon.

Randal:

We'll see you there.

Jamie:

Six feet away.

Randal:

Thanks, Jamie.


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