Several enjoyable parks and gardens are located within Boston's city limits, but the one that's very close to most Bostonians' hearts is the Back Bay Fens, and not just because of its proximity to Fenway Park. The Fens is probably the park most frequented by locals, in part thanks to the fact that it's lesser known than some of Boston's more popular parks, making it somewhat of a hidden treasure. Built on a saltwater marshland older than the city itself, the park is still considered an urban wildlife area, due to the habitat, and despite the surrounding city life many animals and birds are found here. Years of work have sculpted the Fens into an versatile yet natural place with an athletic field, many walking and biking paths, a playground, bridges, and the last operating victory garden that dates back to WWII and still hosts the community's valued vegetables and flowers. Numerous war memorials are located there, as well as statues commemorating significant people of the area, and even a Buddhist temple bell, donated by the Japanese as a sign of peace, completes the area. The Fen's most touted feature however is the Kelleher Rose Garden.
Rose gardens were at their height of popularity in the early 1900s, but the one planted in the Fens managed to fall into disrepair over the years. Today's rose garden was restored in 2008. In the spring, this area bursts with colors and vibrant smells as the roses bloom in different shapes and sizes, eagerly climbing trellises towards the sun. There are over 200 varieties of roses in the garden and some hybrids that are unique to this garden alone, such as the Justine Lee Miff hybrid. Alternating colors of braided and miniature roses are meticulously laced throughout, creating an atmosphere of quiet beauty.
Another grand feature of the Fens is its location, right by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, making it a great place to stop by for a packed lunch after a morning of browsing artwork. Dogs are allowed on leashes and open picnic spaces abound.
- Subway Stop:
- Take the Green Line to Northeastern University or Museum of Fine Arts stops.
- Phone: 617- 635-4505
- Website: www.cityofboston.gov/parks/emerald/back_bay_fens.asp