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4 Brattle Street
Massachusetts 02138

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The Conservancy’s mission is to make the Charles River Parklands more active, attractive, and accessible for all. The Conservancy works closely with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to enhance and renew the 400 acres of urban parklands from Boston Harbor to the Watertown dam. The Conservancy undertakes projects that focus on landscaping and maintenance, and structural improvements as well as creating more opportunities for festivities and recreation along the river.

Since the inception of our Conservancy Volunteer program in 2002, we have recruited over 12,000 volunteers, and completed over 450 projects to improve the landscape of the Charles River Parklands and to restore the shoreline.  From pruning trees to clearing debris, volunteers are trained in groups and supplied with tools. While volunteering, they also receive an educational overview of the history and ecology of the Parklands and the Charles River and how their involvement can impact this natural jewel, preserving it for generations to come. As a result, the Conservancy has built a corps of landscape volunteers and parkland advocates who help maintain one of Boston’s most cherished open spaces. The majority return to participate in additional hands-on or advocacy and become long-term Parkland stewards.

Other projects include tree stewardship, restoring pathways, service learning and environmental education, advocating for a return of public swimming to the Charles, hosting an annual community event RiverSing, and building a world-class skatepark under the ramps of the Zakim Bridge.

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I wish I lived in Boston because of the Charles River Conservancy - the way they are bringing swiss style water infrastructure, safety, and enjoyment to the long underutilized Charles River is truly inspiring. I only hope we can do something similar in New York soon... more »
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