Boston Natural Areas Network
Boston Natural Areas Network, a city-wide organization, was founded in 1977 as Boston Natural Areas Fund. The organization was created by a small group of citizens who took up the challenge of a Boston Redevelopment Authority report entitled Boston Urban Wilds. In it, 143 Urban Wilds or unprotected sites of natural beauty and environmental significance in Boston neighborhoods were listed. Five years later, through working with and engaging residents with open spaces in their neighborhoods, began to protect Community Gardens threatened with development. Most recently, with major resources made available from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, BNAN began linking Urban Wilds and existing and proposed parkland into multi-mile Greenways in East Boston and along the Neponset River.

Forging effective partnerships has been a hallmark of BNAN's work since its inception. Working for a Greener City, BNAN brings community groups, public agencies, non-profit organizations and businesses together to develop common visions and to combine resources. Our work is often described as "community building through greening."

In 1995, BNAN was instrumental in starting Garden Futures, a collaborative of the non-profit organizations that own and manage community gardens. Garden Futures developed into the common service provider and voice for all of the Boston area's 200 gardens with 30 different owners, involving 10,000 gardeners. BNAN owns 25% of these gardens. In January 2002, Garden Futures merged with BNAN to more efficiently and effectively support Boston Community Gardening.

Environmental education programs, special events, exhibits and publications are some of the ways BNAN builds an informed and enthusiastic constituency for urban open space. Come participate in an Event soon. 


Contact Boston Natural Areas Network

Valerie J. Burns
62 Summer Street
Second Floor
Boston, Massachusetts  02110-1008
Phone: (617) 542-7696
Fax: (617) 542-0383


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Massachusetts

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