Friends of Jamaica Pond, Environmental Education Advocacy Stewardship Boston


36 Perkins St., PO Box 300040, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-0030
Gerry Wright, Founder and President
Telephone: 617-524-7070

A program of Community Service Care, Inc. a non-profit, tax exempt organization

Like our page on FaceBook for updated notices on events and policy issues at

Friends of Jamaica Pond

History and Annual Park Keeper Award

Frederick Law Olmsted a one-man play by Gerry Wright

Nature's Class Room: Environmental Education Projects

Environmental Research Projects

Forestry Protection Projects

Emerald Necklace Bird Club

Volunteer Stewardship Program

Calendar and Meetings and Press

Memberships and Donations

Links and Resources

Contact and Email Info

Scroll Down Page for Details
'Let it be not for present use and delight alone, but let it be of such a work that our descendents will thank us for it."
Frederick Law Olmsted

Jamaica Pond Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and preserving this "gem" of Frederick Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace. Boston's Emerald Necklace is a series of parks and parkways -- Franklin Park, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Pond, Riverway, and Back Bay Fens, which connects to Commonwealth Avenue Mall, Boston Public Garden, and Boston Common to create a seven-mile linked necklace of green spaces.

Olmsted described Jamaica Pond as "favoring great beauty in reflections and flickering half-lights." Jamaica Pond is a 60-acre kettlehole formed by an ancient glacier. Olmsted Park is named in honor of the man who designed the Emerald Necklace. This park has woodlands, meadows and three ponds: Ward's, Willow and Leverett.

National Park Service reading and guide with maps and photographs on the design of the Emerald Necklace

Jamaica Plain Historical Society's web pages with history articles and photographs of pond HERE

Jamaica Plain Historical Society's web page on the Native American Algonquin tribe Massachusetts led by sachem, Kuchamakin (after whom Jamaica Plain and the pond are probably named)  HERE

Ancient Fishweir Project:  Native people over 5,000 years ago built 4 foot high fishweir fences in the tidal flats of the back bay which later became the Emerald Necklace parks to catch herring, alewife, smelt and salmon.  Details: HERE

Satellite Map provided by Digital Globe, Sanborn, GeoEye MassGIS, Commonwealth of Mass EOEA

Directions from Google Maps HERE

History and Annual Park Keeper Award

Christine Cooper was a Founder and Project Director for the Jamaica Pond Project for 21 years from 1983-2004. She was responsible for directing the Sailing School, the Open Classroom, operation of the boat house concessions, information specialist, coordinating the public row boating and sailing programs, maintenance of the bathrooms, parklands clean-up project coordinator, motivator for major restoration programs; collaboration with the Boston Police, Boston Municipal Police, State Police for the safety of citizens in the parklands, partnerships with the staff of the Boston Parks and Recreation Departments, partnerships with teachers of the Boston School Department, a friend of hundreds and greeter of thousands who visited Jamaica Pond. And by her nature and on-going study, a passionate voice and example of carrying forward the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted.

Each year the Jamaica Pond Porject presents the Park Keeper Award to honor Christine Cooper's legacy and the on-going stewardship required to protect and preserve the park and environment.

  • 2006 Maura Hennigan, Former Boston City Councilor, Boston Mayor Candidate

Charlie Hauck, was a Founder and Executive Director for 21 years of the Jamaica Pond Project and 36 years at Community Care Center. Charlie fits the description of being a gentleman and a scholar more than anyone. Charlies relized in his life the noble aspiration which was Olmsted's mantra from Thomas Caryle: "Do the Duty which lies nearest thee."

Each year the Jamaica Pond Project honors Charlie Hauck's legacy with the "Annual Walk with Charlie."

Tenth anniversary celebration of the Jamaica Pond Project 1993.


Passages in the Life of an Unpractical Man

one-man play by Gerry Wright

Photos by Renee DeKona

FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED  Passages in the Life of an Unpractical Man

one-man play by Gerry Wright

"A hundred years after his death, America continues to be challenged with issues of social justice and conservation

for which Olmsted was a most persevering, principled pioneer."

Gerry Wright has researched, written and produced a one-man show honoring the life and work of Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture. The play provides insights into Olmsted's passionate vision as he played critical roles in the dynamics of slavery as a writer, Executive Secretary of the U.S. Sanitary Commission in the Civil War, and as the landscape architect for New York City's Central Park, Boston's Emerald Necklace, the US Capitol grounds, along with multiple plans for colleges, communities and private estates.  Olmsted was a key pioneer in the movement to preserve land as national parkland, both at Yosemite and Niagara Falls.

Olmsted's life story, from "vagabond," to dry goods salesman, sailor, traveler, journalist, author, publisher, executive (including a goldmine in California), to becoming the father of landscape architecture in America is both inspiring as history and reason for continued commitment in the 21st century.

The Olmsted play has been presented at the Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Boston’s 375th Anniversary Parade, Brookline’s 350th Anniversary Celebration, plus numerous communities of the Commonwealth; along with performances in Volgoda, Russia; in New York City for the 150 year anniversary of the legislation for Central Park; Olmsted Parks Conservancy in Louisville, Kentucky; and in Asheville, North Carolina.

Expanded Program Details, Videos, Photographs, Reviews  HERE

Performance at Maryland Humanities Council "Chautauqua" in July 2010 "Beyond Boundaries" by Gerry Wright as Frederick Law Olmsted at Germantown Campus of Montgomery College Video on YouTube

Class Room:


Jamaica Pond's Albino Gray Squirrel

Jamaica Pond's 200 Year Old American Sycamore Trees

Eastern Chipmunk

Cottontail Rabbits

Great Horned Owls

Red Tailed Hawks

Butterflies, Dragonflies, Insects

Monarch Butterfly and Bring Your Own Butterfly Program

Emerald Necklace Wildflowers

Pink Lady's Slipper

Great Blue Herons

Emerald Necklace Trees

Emerald Necklace Fungi (Coming Soon)

Nature's Class Room: Environmental Education Projects

Alert: Emerald Ash Borer Invasive Beetle Discovered at Arnold Arboretum July 16, 2014

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced that the Emerald Ash Borer quarantine area will go state-wide as of Monday, November 17, 2014. The quarantine area previously covered only Berkshire and Essex County.

The quarantine order means that certain products will be prohibited from moving outside the regulated area, including all hardwood firewood (any piece of wood smaller than 48 inches), all ash nursery stock, and any ash lumber that has not been treated. Proper wood treatments include the removal of the bark plus an additional half an inch of wood, dry kiln sterilization, or fumigation/heat treatments.

Ash trees also remain one of the 13 regulated host trees for the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB). The 110 square mile ALB regulated area in Worcester County restricts the movement beyond the regulated boundaries of ash along with any other ALB host tree. The ALB regulated area includes Worcester, Shrewsbury, West Boylston, Boylston, and parts of Holden and Auburn.

The full press release can be found at

Also, please note that Connecticut is also making plans to extend their Emerald Ash Borer quarantine statewide (

Fact Sheet Identification page:

To report a possible sighting of Emerald Ash Borer or EAB tree damage, visit

To keep up with all the latest Massachusetts pest news, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter @MassPests

Alert: Asian Longhorned Beetle

NOTE: Eradication Notice issued on May 12, 2014 by DCR - "announce the eradication of the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) in Boston. Boston is only the sixth area in the United
States to have an ALB infestation eradicated.

Six infested maple trees at Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain removed on July 6, 2010, represent first confirmed Massachusetts presence of ALB in Boston. Beetles killed 25,000 trees in Worcester in 2008.  ALB infect maples, birch, elms, willows and chestnut trees.

To report suspicious tree damage, view photographs and videos of tree damage, or read about the Asian longhorned beetle, visit or or call the toll-free Asian longhorned beetle hotline at 866-702-9938

Other resources:

Article in Jamaica Plain Gazette by Sandra Storey

Article in Boston Globe: Race to find damaging beetles turns to radar. By Beth Daley

Iridescence In Nature

The blues and purples we see in nature are most often refracted light from tiny scales that act as prisms.  The Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly, Red Spotted Purple Admiral Butterfly and Dogbane Beetle shown above all change colors when viewed from different angles. 

The feathers of the Indigo Bunting, Tree Swallow and Wood Ducks (Photo above) refract the sunlight for their blue and purple hues and will appear black on cloudy days.  For details of this dynamic color process read Iridescence in Lepidoptera:  h Or read Animals Speak Color in Harvard Magazine

Charles Darwin's Birthday February 12th

Celebrate Charles Darwin's Birthday February 12th.  Listen to Darwin's Beagle Diary and read the Origins of Species at:

Indigo Buntings + Cedar Waxwings + Wood Duck

To learn more about why Indigo Buntings are seen as a blue color and how it migrates at night using the stars plus the unique social behavior of Cedar Waxwings  and the recovery of Wood Duck populations after nearly being hunted to extinction click on the photographs!

Jamaica Pond's Albino Gray Squirrel

To learn more about albinism and gray squirrels click HERE

Class Room: Summer

Emerald Necklace Butterflies and Dragonflies: 

A colorful American Copper, Tiger Swallowtailed, fluttering Cabbage White, Red Admiral Butterflies, darting White Tailed and Eastern Pondhawk (young male is green which latter turns blue) Dragonflies, Juvenal's Duskywing, secreative Mourning Cloak, Little Wood Satyr, a Monarch sipping nectar from Milkweed flowers, and an American lady (see Nature's Classroom web page for additional detail and links to online field guides HERE)

Bring Your Own Butterfly:
A Monarch Butterfly symbolic migration program 
linking art, environment, and communities.

Program details HERE

Emerald Necklace Wildflowers:

Yellow Iris (Yellow Flag), OxEye Daisy, Garden Phlox, Solomon's-plume (False Solomon's-seal) , False Indigo, Canada Hackweed, Daisy Fleabane, Tansy, Queen Ann's Lace, Chickory, Bull Thistle (see Nature's Classroom web page for additional detail and links to online field guides HERE)

Class Room: Spring

Spring Bird Migration: Black and White Warbler, Yellow Rumped "Myrtle" Warbler, Eastern Kingbird

Visit the next page to learn about the Spring Bird Migration.  Click HERE

Class Room: Winter

Winter Moth - Operophtera brumata (L) Insect Order: Lepidoptera, Family: Geometridae

Visit the next page to learn about the Winter Moth.  Click HERE

Class Room: Fall

Cabbage White Butterfly, Spotted Sandpiper and Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Visit the next page to learn about the Cabbage White Butterfly, Spotted Sandpiper and Woolly Bear Caterpillar.  Click HERE

Environmental Research Projects

Environmental Research Projects

  • Water Quality and Watershed Drainage Survey
    • August 2008: Began to test the water quality (pH, turbidity, conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, blue green algae) of the Charles River, Muddy River, Leverett Pond, Ward's Pond, Jamaica Pond and Scarboro Pond with a YSI (Yellow Springs Instruments Environmental) probe loaned to us by Rob Ellison. Hope to raise $3000 to purchase probe for water quality testing during the ongoing monthly wildlife surveys.  Contact us if you can join the team.
    • Robert Ellison from YSI Environmental and a JP resident coordinated the water quality survey of Jamaica Pond by the YSI EcoMapper on April 2, 2008.  The EcoMapper "Yellow Submarine" was controlled by an on board computer using GPS and the Massachusetts GSI. The probes tested Jamaica Pond's water temperature, ph, dissolved oxygen, turbidity (chlorophyll) and blue-green algae; plus the depth and volume with sonar.  (Mean depth was 32 feet and maximum depth was 53 feet on April 2nd)

We hope to follow up this test with an on-going volunteer monitoring program of the entire Emerald Necklace watershed.  Contact us if you can help.  Below is map of shore sample sites for tests conducted in August and September.

    • A 24 hour test was done by Rob Ellison on April 16-17, 2009.  Probe was attached to buoy in center of pond 6 feet below surface.  It was the first hot day in April and the test results showed  a temperature increase.  Algae levels were normal for early spring and cold water (Ice did not leave pond till March 15th).

    • Gerry Wright instigated a water analysis by Boston Parks Department when he noticed Jamaica Pond was becoming murky. See article on Alge bloom in Jamaica Pond, July 7, 2006 Jamaica Plain Gazette, 7 Harris Avenue , PO Box 301139, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 Phone: (617) 524-2626 Fax: (617) 524-3921
  •  Pinebank Mansion Historical Ruins Survey

    • Pinebank Promontory construction began September 2008
    • Pinebank Mansion Demolition began January 25, 2007
    • Pinebank Promontory Public Meeting, Tuesday, July 18, 2006 6--8:30 PM, James J. Curley House, 350 The Jamaicaway, co-sponsored by Emerald Necklace Conservatory and Boston Parks Department. Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Two Brookline Place, Brookline, MA 02445, Telephone 617-232-5374 Walk around site 5:30-6:00 PM. Follow-up meetings at Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Building (Arborway entrance)
    • Wed, July 26, 2006, 6-8 PMWed, August 2, 2006, 6-8 PM
    • Thurs, September 14, 2006, 6-8 PM
    • Jamaica Plain Gazette, June 23, 2006, Letter to the Editor by Stephen Baird HERE
  • Park Usage and Impact Survey
  • Invasive Plant Survey
Forestry Protection Projects

Forestry Protection Projects

American-Russian Forestry Association, a program of the New Horizon Project, in collaboration with the New England Governors Confrence and Institutions in the Tomsk Region of Siberia, Russia. Contact: Gerry Wright, Executive Vice-President, 238 Main Street, Suite 401, Kendall Square Station, Cambridge, MA 02142-0003 Telephone 617-524-7070 Email Web:

Emerald Necklace Bird Club

Emerald Necklace Bird Club

Join the Emerald Necklace Bird Club and explore this landscape and natural wonder each season -- spring, summer, fall and winter. Add bird sightings to both the Emerald Necklace Bird Club master list and your own life list. Support the conservation of natural habitat and become a steward of the earth. The Emerald Necklace is the urban oasis for much of the natural world in Boston. Both migrating and long-term resident birds find the Olmsted Parks a haven. Frequent visits will slowly reveal a landscape full of life and wonder from the soaring flight of a Red-Tailed Hawk to the statute-still Great Blue Heron to the busy Massachusetts state bird --the Black Capped Chickadee.

Complete List of Parks, Field Guide of Emerald Necklace Birds, Sightings by parks and dates, plus Emerald Necklace Map Details HERE

Volunteer Stewardship Program

Volunteer Stewardship Program:

Help renew and restore the parklands! Volunteer stewards might help with anything from trimming plants on the banks of the pond, pruning trees, and helping to control invasive plant species, to planting a new landscape, reseeding a lawn, or repainting benches and light posts. The opportunities are as varied as the views around the pond.

  • Earth Day Event Coordinator, Arbor Day Event Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Environmental Education Coordinator, Annual Walk with Charlie Coordinator, Annual Park Keeper Celebration, CoordinatorAnnual Lantern Parade Collaboration with Spontaneous Celebrations, Annual Fishing Derby Coordinator... New ideas welcomed!

  • Brookline Pop Warner Football Team did a Jamaica Pond Clean-Up on October 7, 2006

  • Hoopz Excellence with Director Robert Lewis joined the Spring Equinox Stewardship Day at Jamaica Pond 2010

Calendar and Meetings and Press

Annual Earth Day Celebration Jamaica Pond April

Annual Lantern Parade October

Annual Summer Solstice Celebration

and Butterflies Over Boston June

Calendar and Meetings and Press

36th Annual
Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade

Saturday and Sunday, October 25 and 26, 2019
5:30 PM, Free

Jamaica Pond Boat House
Pond Street and the Jamaicaway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130


Save the Boston Park Rangers' Horses

Thanks! Due to vocal public support, private fundraising and successful negotiations with the Park Commissioner over staffing issues the mounted unit was saved in 2009.  Ongoing lack of funds for the Boston Park Department, which is less then one percent of the city budget for one of the largest city park systems in the country, will likely mean this issue will be repeated in future years.
Sign the On-Line Petition  Details HERE

Note: As expected the issue resurfaced in 2010 inspite of the private funding.  The horse unit faced elimination on June 30, 2010.  An extension to October was announced in July 9, 2010 Jamaica Plain Gazette article (

The Friends of the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit non profit was formed in 2010 to raise on-going private funds to save the horses.  Please join their efforts to save the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit.  Learn about the
Friends of the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit, the rangers, the horses, and how you can help at

APRIL 2009
  • THANKS ALL FOR PARTICIPATING: We wish to thank all who participated in the Earth Day Celebration at Jamaica Pond on Saturday April 18, 2009.  Emily Wright coordinated the community service project to reclaim the Olmsted designed stairs leading to Pinebank.  Bill Moyer and the Backbone campaign parade of a polar bear, bees and earth delighted all.  A flock of bird watchers spotted a Pine Warbler singing in the white pines of Pinebank.  Cindy Delpapa from the Department of Fish and Game's Riverways Program educated a steady stream of curious people on the pond life  Park Rangers opened up the Nature Center.  Rob Ellison from YSI Environmental presented the first 24 hour water quality test results of Jamaica Pond. Gretchen Grozier from the Jamaica Plain Historical Society hosted a well attended history tour of the pond.  The sun shined too!
  • Earth Day Celebration at Jamaica Pond -- Saturday, April 18, 2009, 9 am - 3 pm, Rain or Shine, FREE. at Jamaica Pond Gazebo
    • Nature’s Classroom: 9 am-3 pm -- Explore pond life with Mass. Department of Fish and Game Riverways Ecologist Cindy Delpapa
    • Spring Migration Bird Walk: 10 am -- Join Emerald Necklace Naturalist Stephen Baird for a walk to discover migrating warblers, waterfowl and birds.  Bring walking shoes, binoculars, ears and eyes. Host: Emerald Necklace Bird Club 
    • Stewardship Park Clean-Up: 11 am -- Help reclaim the Olmsted designed stairs to Pinebank. Bring work clothes, gloves and energy. The whole family can help!
    • Procession of the Future: 12 noon -- Join the national campaign for environmental and social justice awareness.  Costumes. puppets and banners parade.  Details: Host: Kathleen Kautzer Email: Tel: 781-768-7457
    • Water Conservation: 1 pm -- Join Jamaica Pond Water Conservation Team as it monitors  and tests the pond water with Rob Ellison of Yellow Springs Instruments for pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, chlorophyll, and temperature as we try to discover sources for recent algae blooms. Host: Rob Ellison  YSI Environmental
    • Jamaica Pond History Tour: 2 pm -- Learn the many uses of the pond over the centuries plus the extraordinary people who have lived along it’s shores.  Discover how the pond was transformed into a parkland. Host: Gretchen Grozier of the Jamaica Plain Historical Society
    • Arts and Nature: 9 am - 3 pm -- Music, Stories, Meet Frederick Law Olmsted!
    • Info: Gerry Wright  617-524-7070 x 14 and Stephen Baird 617-522-3407


      Act Now! Become A Supporter of the Jamaica Pond Project!

      Protect Jamaica Pond and the Hill!

      Help preserve and protect Jamaica Pond’s Watershed for not only our immediate enjoyment, but for future generations. The park is used by thousands of people to revitalize their physical, mental and spiritual health.  It is where Queen Ann’s Lace and Chicory wild flowers, Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies, Black Capped Chickadee and Great Blue Heron birds and all the wonders of nature gives us reverence of our place on this planet earth.  Eternal vigilance and advocacy will be required to save the pond’s watershed - Hellenic Hill from future development and Jamaica Pond from future algae contamination.  Your support is vital for us to succeed in these endeavors. 

      Thank You!

      Frederick Law Olmsted aka Gerry Wright at
      Yosemite National Park

      Your donations will help:
      • Frederick Law Olmsted - Tours, walks, readings and plays at parks, conferences, schools, libraries and community events including National Park Service sponsored Yosemite Report 150th Celebration
      • Bring Your Own Butterfly -  Monarch Buttterfly migration and conservation program with art exchange between US and Mexico school children
      • Nature’s Classroom - Environmental Education Programs for children investigating water quality, air quality, insects, plants and animals
      • Research & Collaborations - Water quality studies of blue-green alge, PH, dissolved oxygen and temperature with YSI.  Threespine Stickleback habitat protection with DCR and area universities. Wood Duck nesting boxes installed with Boston Nature Center and area groups
      • Community Caring Institute World Citizens - Promotes social justice, conservation and public health to build up sustainable communities utilizing Boston’s young professionals’ passion, ideas and knowledge

      Make your tax deductible contribution online with the secure server PayPal:

      Mailing Donation Form and Additional Details HERE

      Contact and Email Information

      Friends of Jamaica Pond

      36 Perkins St., PO Box 300040
      Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-0030
      Gerry Wright, Founder and President
      Telephone: 617-524-7070
      TTY/MA RELAY 800-439-2370

      A program of Community Service Care, Inc. a non-profit, tax exempt organization

      For translations into different languages -- Arabic, Chinese, Italian, French, German, Russian, Spanish or others visit the web site:

      Community Arts Advocates

      Copyright 1999-2019 by Stephen Baird