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1927 Map of the Arboretum

The Emerald Necklace

Copyright Emerald Necklace Conservancy
Map of the Emerald Necklace

The Arnold Arboretum is a key link in the Emerald Necklace, a 7-mile-long network of parks and parkways that civic visionary Frederick Law Olmsted laid out for the Boston Parks Department between 1878 and 1896.

The parks that make up the Emerald Necklace  – Boston Common, The Public Garden, Commonwealth Avenue Mall, The Back Bay Fens, Riverway, Olmsted Park, Jamaica Pond Park, Arnold Arboretum, and Franklin Park – extend from the Charles River to Dorchester and span over 1,000 acres of parkland, representing half of the City of Boston’s park acreage. The Emerald Necklace is the only remaining intact linear park designed by Olmsted, America’s first landscape architect.

“Beyond the natural beauty Frederick Law Olmsted harnessed or redesigned in his many works, perhaps his greatest legacy is the social vision and the unwavering belief in democracy which he brought to his profession – a belief that parks could serve as meeting grounds for people of different backgrounds and classes. In the Emerald Necklace, this belief has been achieved.”

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy

The Arnold Arboretum is managed through a public-private partnership between the City of Boston Parks and Recreation and Harvard University. As a public park and a research institution, the Arnold Arboretum has also established valuable partnerships with local and regional parks, gardens, and environmental organizations, including:

Download a full map at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy website.