For Immediate Release
October 29, 2013
Parks and Recreation
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The Boston Parks & Recreation Commission voted unanimously today to name the Spring House Trail in Allandale Woods Urban Wild in honor of long-time park advocate Margaret Eugenie Beal.
Ms. Beal spent more than forty years working to preserve and create open space in the city. During her career she was the first director of the City of Boston Environment Department, chaired the Boston Conservation Commission, was a board member of Friends of the Public Garden, cofounded the Boston Natural Areas Network, initiated formation of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and served on the Mayor’s Central Artery Completion Task Force which oversaw the creation of the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
Paul Sutton, Director of Urban Wilds for the City of Boston, addressed the Commission this morning, “Without Genie Beal’s vision and leadership, Boston would look very different today.” Sutton added that Ms. Beal was “exceptional” at planning, negotiating, and executing land acquisitions to create green space. He cited as example the creation of Bussey Brook Urban Wild, a corridor of open space which now connects the Forest Hills MBTA Station in Jamaica Plain with the Arnold Arboretum.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino wrote a letter of support to honor Ms. Beal. In the letter, the Mayor writes “that because of Ms. Beal’s leadership, the City of Boston acquired Allandale Woods to ensure its protection and this past summer Ms. Beal was helping to organize nature walks and improvements to Allandale. She was a great friend and advocate to our parks and open spaces and will be sorely missed.”
The Boston Parks and Recreation Department will be installing a sign to honor Ms. Beal at the trailhead of what formerly was called the Spring House Trail at Allandale Woods. The property consists of more than a dozen trails on 86 acres of land and is located adjacent to the VFW Parkway, west of Arnold Arboretum on the Jamaica Plain/West Roxbury line. Composed primarily of oaks, maples, and pines, Allandale Woods is one of the few relatively pristine secondary growth oak-hickory forests in the city of Boston.
Ms. Beal, who passed away at the age of 92 last August, is survived by three children and two step children. She graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees.