Green and open spaces are an important part of Boston — not only do they help clean Boston’s air, but they reduce the urban heat island effect, and absorb flood waters. Trees and open space are also exceedingly recognized for their public health benefits, from improved air and water quality, to creating peaceful places for Bostonians to recharge. Boston has long been recognized for its historic park system; however, maintaining Boston’s parks and growing the urban forest will take the support and collaboration of the public and private sector.

Expanding green and open space goes hand-in-hand with the expansion of access to healthy and local food. By participating in urban food growing, whether by growing food to sell; purchasing fresh products from a local farmer; or, growing your own food in a community plot or backyard, people can contribute to positive environmental, economic, and social impacts. Climate change is predicted to have a profound impact on the global food system. Therefore a robust, local food system is critical component of climate preparedness planning and expanding Boston’s green spaces.


Here are ways you can get involved here in Boston!

Urban Forest

The urban forest is an important part of the City’s landscape. It’s made up of all the public trees in Boston, along with the City’s shrubs, grasses, ground cover, soil, and waterways.

Urban Wilds

Urban wilds form an essential part of the City’s open space system. These urban wilds harbor native plants and animals, and perform a wealth of ecological services, such as storing floodwater, producing oxygen, and filtering stormwater runoff. They offer refuge from hectic City streets and serve as outdoor classrooms for children and adults learning about nature. They also expand the range of landscape experiences beyond that of the dense built environment and manicured Boston parkland.

Protecting Boston’s Wetlands

The Boston Conservation Commission protects open space and natural areas in Boston, with a special emphasis on the City’s wetlands.

Open Space Plan

The City of Boston Open Space and Recreation Plan 2015 – 2021 presents the process, analysis, plan goals, and objectives for improving and protecting open space in Boston.


The Grassroots program supports the development of community gardens.