If you take a look at the number of city organizations whose names begin with “Friends of ..” you’ll see the tip of that iceberg. Particularly for the city’s park lands, we have a wealth of these Friends groups. We have Friends of Edmands Park, Friends of Hemlock Gorge, Friends of the Upper Falls Greenway and on and on and on. All of these groups harness volunteer energy to improve and preserve a particular piece of park land that’s near and dear to their member’s hearts.
The newly formed Waban Area Council has just set up the city’s newest Friends group – “The Friends of the Quinobequin“. Quinobequin is the mile and half strip of park land along the Charles River between Route 9 and Route 16. This piece of the river is bracketed by the two waterfalls at Upper and Lower Falls and consequently much less known by the citizens of Newton than other stretches of the river. Despite the fact that it lives in the shadow of the better known Hemlock Gorge next door, Quinobequin has plenty of pleasures of its own.
The group is hoping to recruit volunteers from the Quinobequin and surrounding neighborhoods to begin to flesh out plans for how the park land can be improved. I’m enthusiastic about the idea because the park starts just a few block from my house and I often walk down there. From what I’ve seen with other parks in the city, a “Friends of …” group can be a great way of focusing energy and rallying support in a neighborhood for a local park. I’m planning on joining and hope the group takes off. There’s all kinds of ways the park could be improved. Involvement by the surrounding neighbors and users of the park is probably the best way to help get it the attention and resources it deserves.
Congrats to the newly formed Waban Area Council for appreciating the park and rallying the neighborhood in support of it.