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Arnold Arboretum. Records of the Boston Park Rangers Program, 1981-1988: A Finding Aid.

Archives of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University


Harvard University
July 2003

© 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Last update 2016 June 14

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.
Call No.: I A-6 BPR
Creator: Arnold Arboretum.
Title: Records of the Boston Park Rangers program, 1981-1988
Quantity: 0.67 Linear Feet (2 Boxes)


Access to Finding Aid record in Hollis Classic or Hollis.

Other descriptions of this material

Current version of this finding aid is available at the Archives of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Processing Information:

Processed: March 2001
By: Lisa Pearson

Acquisition Information:

In 1983, the Arnold Arboretum was part of a collaboration that created the Boston Park Ranger Program, a program designed to combat vandalism and violence in Boston. These records were created as a result of the Arboretum's involvement. The material was assembled and turned over to the Archives by various Arboretum staff members who worked on the creation and implementation of the program including the Director, Peter Ashton, his assistant, Wendy Marks, and Kate Nixon, the Arboretum's Public Relations Officer. The HOLLIS # for this collection is 008911411 and the file name is ajp00018.

Access Restrictions:

Researchers seeking to examine archival materials are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. The Director, or an office of origin, may place restrictions on the use of some or all of its records. The extent and length of the restriction will be determined by the Director, office of origin, and the Archivist and will be enforced equally for all researchers.

Use Restrictions:

The copyright is held by The President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University. The copyright on some materials in the collection may be held by the original author or the author's heirs or assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from the holder(s) of copyright and the Arnold Arboretum Archives prior to publishing any quotations or images from materials in this collection.
Photocopies may be made at the discretion of the Arnold Arboretum Archives staff. Permission to make photocopies does not constitute permission to reproduce or publish materials outside the bounds of the fair use guidelines.

Historical Note

The late 1970s and early 1980s saw and upswing in violence and vandalism in Boston, which led to a subsequent drop-off in visitation to city parks. Responding to the growing concern for Boston's parklands, in 1983, under the aegis and management of the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, the Massachusetts Association for Olmsted Parks, the National Association for Olmsted Parks,Friends of the Public Garden and Common, and the Arnold Arboretum collaborated to create the Boston Park Ranger Program. During the first year, rangers patrolled the Boston Common, the Public Garden, the Commonwealth Avenue Mall and the Arnold Arboretum on foot and on horseback. In the following years the program was expanded to include Franklin Park, Jamaica Pond and the Back Bay Fens. The concept of park rangers originated in the nineteenth century with Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted advised that there be a force of 'Park Keepers' to patrol the parks in an effort to prevent vandalism and to encourage the wise use of the City's parks.

Scope and Content

The bulk of the materials consist of administrative papers relating to the Boston Park Ranger Program, including correspondence, fundraising materials, advisory board minutes, programming materials, public relations papers/newsclippings, and budget papers. In addition there is a folder of information on the urban ranger program in New York City (on which the Boston program was based), two folders of proposal materials and a folder of recruitment, hiring and job description papers.
The papers are divided into three series:
I. Administrative records and correspondence
II. Ranger program background and proposal materials
III. Miscellaneous materials

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