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Daffodil Dalliance on the Greenway – Wednesday Night Meeting Scheduled

Planting 10,000 FREE Daffodils on the North End Parks of the Rose Kennedy Greenway shouldn’t come encumbered with much controversy.

Done correctly it would make for a very friendly and colorful Spring ’13, unless this particular “Friends” group runs into the bureaucratic obfuscation of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and their newly, self-appointed State Lobbyist Nancy Brennan.

This is the agenda for tonight at 6:30 pm when “Friends of the North End Parks” (FOTNEP) meet for the seventh time in its attempt to have RKGC Executive Director Nancy Brennan okay the group’s plan to provide much needed (Parcel 8 & 10) remediation and a FREE pre-frost daffodil planting.

The meeting has been scheduled for 6:30 pm, Wednesday, October 10th at the Mariner House, 11 North Square in Boston’s North End and is open to the public.

Nancy Brennan has publicly announced she will attend, while requesting additional ‘community meetings’ re: Daffodils.

2 Replies to “Daffodil Dalliance on the Greenway – Wednesday Night Meeting Scheduled

  1. I attended this meeting. A roomful of neighborhood residents and horticultural professionals offering a landscape plan, free plants and labor, and community support cannot get Nancy Brennan’s permission TO PUT IN FLOWERS!

    The Conservancy, evidently afraid that someone will do something good and show them up, is conducting a classic strategy for control: foot-dragging (“wait, what about the weeds?” “wait, the plan must be approved by every neighborhood resident”), making mountains out of molehills (“well, it depends on the variety of the daffodils”) and hoping to delay, delay, delay until those poor neighborhood folks just give up and go home.

    And when reasons for delay ran out, out came the old “well, we may have to take it to the Board for a decision — in February” — way past the time-lines for fall bulb planting and ordering plants for spring planting. The mighty Board has to vote on planting flowers? The Executive Director is paid almost a quarter of a million dollars a year, and she can’t be trusted with a decision on daffodils?

    Evidently, the Conservancy’s warm welcome to Friends groups has its limits — and they are tight. Where the Conservancy has failed, no one shall succeed!

    On Monday, the FOTNEP and Conservancy folks will go onsite, to view the scene of the proposed improvements and “collaborate” in finalizing the plan. Will Nancy Brennan give her consent to accept the flowers, or will she invent another hurdle to delay this earth-moving (ok, a little pun intended) decision? Stay tuned. This is a warning to other groups who would dare to suggest that they can do better, for free or at nominal cost, than the Conservancy does with five million dollars a year.

  2. Yes, Shirley you were correct; prescient in fact. A month later the conundrum of the Conservancy ‘collborative’ machinations were spelled out precisely in a Thank-you note to the Mayor, for the ‘Daffodil’ largesse and from Conservancy Chairwoman Georgia Murray…

    November 15, 2012

    The Honorable Thomas M. Menino
    Mayor of the City of Boston
    City Hall
    Boston, Massachusetts 02201

    Dear Mayor Menino,

    The Greenway board and staff join the Friends of the North End Park (FOTNEP), in thanking you and Commissioner Pollak for the gift of daffodils for the North End Parks from the terrific Boston Blooms program.

    The Board is very grateful to the neighborhood and community volunteers and FOTNEP members and supporters for their time and enthusiasm. Working with Dorothy Keville, Nate Swain and other FOTNEP members, the Greenway Conservancy’s Maintenance and Horticulture staff worked a total of 78.5 hours in the field over several weeks to support the FOTNEP bulb planting initiative. Amy Dwyer and other staff contributed many hours after work in conversations with FOTNEP members. We greatly appreciate the daffodil donations from Boston Blooms and other FOTNEP sources, and the Conservancy was pleased to contribute our manpower resources to make this effort successful. Our mutual goal was to make a great public park even better. We look forward to making the Greenway parks the best they can be.

    In recent months the Conservancy Board has seen FOTNEP’s keen interest in changing the original horticultural plan for the North End Parks. This has prompted the Board members to address where this project should stand among the Conservancy’s priorities for the next year. The Board will have a full public discussion of the topic in the next few months.

    At the same time, we can predict that over time other proposals to alter the planting beds in Greenway parks will arise from independent groups like FOTNEP who approach the Greenway Conservancy and MassDOT. Both the proponents and the general public need to know that there is a predictable process for review and approval. At the Board’s December public board meeting, we will begin to create a transparent, clear step-by-step procedure for significant alterations to the existing planting plans in the Greenway parks, whether proposed by the Greenway Conservancy or by individuals, groups or organizations.

    Mirroring the Boston Parks Department review process (“Planning and Improvement Checklist”), the Greenway’s new protocol will include reasonable planning guidelines, assurances of financial feasibility, and commitment to broad and timely public input. This new process will assist us in reviewing all requests (e.g. FOTNEP’s request for written permission to plant 2000 perennials next spring) in light of a thorough understanding shared by all stakeholders and the general public.

    Please do not hesitate to call me if you have questions or suggestions. All of us at the Greenway Conservancy hope that you feel much better soon, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.


    Georgia Murray

    cc: Senator Anthony Petruccelli
    Representative Aaron Michelwitz
    Secretary Richard Davey
    Clinton Bench

    Beware the multitudes of unwashed amateur horticulturists and young botanists yearning for a little civic pride and an opportunity to get their hands dirty.

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