For Immediate Release
October 14, 2013
Parks and Recreation
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The Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Park Partners Program is inviting local residents to join the Friends of Nira Rock, a local advocacy and stewardship group for the unique Nira Rock Urban Wild located at 22 Nira Avenue in Jamaica Plain.
“We invite Hyde Square and Mission Hill residents to take advantage of this opportunity to discover and help support this unique natural resource,” notes Boston Parks Commissioner Antonia M. Pollak. “It is like having a piece of the Emerald Necklace in your own back yard, without having to cross the Jamaicaway to get there.”
The Nira Rock Urban Wild is overseen by the Parks Department’s Urban Wilds Initiative which seeks to protect the city's publicly-owned urban wilds and thereby ensure access and enjoyment of natural treasures to present and future Boston residents.
The Parks Department has set up a web link for those interested in joining the Friends of Nira Rock at www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1406762/Friends-of-Nira-Rock. Residents can also call the Park Partners Program at (617) 961-3006 to join.
Formerly part of a quarry, Nira Rock consists of upper and lower sections about equal in size. The upper section consists of a 40-foot puddingstone outcropping. The east, north, and west sides of the outcrop are bordered by steep, rocky slopes and shrubby woodlands.
The southeastern portion of the rock ascends gently from the end of Arcola Street. A mown path leads to the top of the rock providing good views of Parker Hilltop. The unique features of Nira Rock have lent themselves to rock climbing events and the cliff face has also acted as a screen for evening movies.
The lower section of the site can be accessed from the end of Nira Avenue, or by following the trail down from and around the rock. It is maintained as an open meadow/orchard, with yearly mowing required to prevent the establishment of dense woody vegetation.
The fall ParkARTS Watercolor Painting Workshop held September 29 at Nira Rock provided the perfect outreach opportunity for the Urban Wilds Initiative, doubling as a sign-up and re-launch for the revitalized Friends group. Local residents who participated in the painting workshop were invited to join.
“Our friends groups act as our eyes and ears in the neighborhoods,” adds Commissioner Pollak. “We’d like to partner with residents interested in using and helping to improve this urban wild and working with City agencies to provide programming and events. We’re especially interested in reaching out to the community of dog walkers who visit the site regularly.”
Past accomplishments of the Friends of Nira Rock include a successful campaign to have an unsightly utility pole removed, establishment of a walking trail and orchard, extensive tree plantings and cleanups, grant applications, and installation of two dog mitt stations.