Findings & Recommendations | Methodology | Urban Wilds Analysis | Urban Wilds Council and Friends Groups
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1990 Report |
1976 Report |
Welcome to the BNAN Urban Wilds Website. Here you will find in depth information about these unique urban landscapes, where they are located, how many remain protected and unprotected, and how you can help protect them.
We invite you to examine the web site, become familiar with some of your favorite Urban Wilds and take action to preserve them for future generations to enjoy.
In 1976 the first Urban Wilds report listed 143 Wilds in ten Boston Neighborhoods. Today 103 Wilds remain covering more than 1,300 acres in the City of Boston. Their protection is our primary concern. Unless we take steps to protect them Urban Wilds will only be a memory for future generations.
Protection of Urban Wilds is accomplished through a variety of strategies.
Management and Maintenance. Wilds are natural areas, but in the urban setting they are not wilderness. Wilds require human interaction to create the connection that will lead to their protection. Maintenance is an ongoing task performed by those with an interest in the particular Wild. Maintenance is also the result of successful partnerships between interested individuals and governmental entities. Local residents can organize and join with MA Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Boston Parks Department to maintain, patrol and provide programming that will increase interest in the 103 remaining Wilds.
Access. The importance of access to public open space has evolved as a policy priority over the years. While the aesthetic importance of Urban Wilds was immediately recognized as important value, access to the Wilds was not, at first, understood as important value. Access through parking and trails bring neighbors and residents to the Wilds. Public awareness creates a constituency for these valuable public lands. It is for this reason that access to Urban Wilds must not only be established but also maintained as an essential part of the Urban Wilds program.
Permanent Protection. Bostonís remaining Urban Wilds must be protected forever. Designation as an Urban Wild offers no protection, though it is important first step. Once identified the Wild must be defined as public or private and protection strategies must then be examined. While conservation ownership of the Urban Wild is the best form of protection, it is not always the most practical solution. Therefore, zoning and environmental regulation need to be examined and enforced. Again local residents are encouraged to patrol and observe their local Wilds and furthermore, residents must establish relationships with the appropriate government officials so they can take swift and efficient enforcement actions.
Collaboration. Boston Natural Areas Network has worked with hundreds of concerned residents and many public agencies over the past 35 years to protect and preserve 103 Urban Wilds providing Boston residents with more than 1,300 acres of public open space to enjoy. We invite you to learn more about Bostonís Urban Wilds and join us in protecting them for future generations to enjoy.
Comparison of Urban Wilds Existing Acreage (Protected/Unprotected) - Chart Description
Protected Urban Wilds - Chart Description
Unprotected Urban Wilds - Chart Description
Lost Urban Wilds - Chart Description
Neighborhood Status Comparison - Chart Description