Best of Boston

2024 Best Natural Refuge

The Emerald Necklace

Skyscrapers and construction cranes may frame the Boston skyline, but in many city dwellers’ hearts, there remains a secret wish: to find a green oasis where nature thrives, and a person can escape the urban buzz. Bless Frederick Law Olmsted, who more than a century ago designed 1,100 acres of public park space that spans from the Back Bay to Jamaica Plain to Dorchester and includes Franklin Park Zoo. What would Boston be like without it? Thanks to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and its dedicated president, Karen Mauney-Brodek, we’ll never have to know.