Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Wandering Boston Gardens

Since the spring semester ended, I started a new job, Boston got hit by a heat wave, and I’ve been bouncing back and forth from Boston to CT to handle a few things, like getting an air conditioner and getting my dog vaccinated. However, because it is finally summertime, I’ve been doing my best to walk around Boston and just get to know more of the city. Recently, I’ve been wandering aimlessly and stumbling into some of Boston’s cultivated green spaces. For example: 


(On the top is the Rose Garden near Simmons, and the bottom is in the financial area near Downtown Crossing)

My undergraduate degree in American Studies focused heavily on the history of the environment and environmentalist movements of New England, so I’m always fascinated by these green spaces. A pretty amazing book that discusses Boston’s green spaces in particular is Michael Rawson’s Eden on the Charles. Rawson takes a serious look at green spaces like the Boston Common and this economic, socio-cultural and historical influences which shaped it from an area for cows and farm animals to the park we recognize today. He also brings up discussions about class, urbanization, and concepts of ‘Nature’ which shaped Boston.

As conversation starters go, people are pretty interested in discussing New England’s environmental movement. Especially grandparents, friend’s grandparents, and history majors.

A couple of other books I’d recommend include Richard Judd’s Second Nature and his book Common Lands, Common People, and Jane Holtz Kay’s Lost Boston, for great looks at the environment, urban and natural, that once was and why the city looks the way it does now. I also recommend just stepping out on to the street, picking a direction and walking. You’re bound to hit something eventually!