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Back Bay Fens

By adamg - 4/26/24 - 9:52 am
Dumpster fire in the Fens

Fire and firetrucks light up the sky. Photo by Ryan.

Boston firefighters responded to the Fens off Boylston Street around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday for what turned out to be a dumpster fire, not the more traditional spring brush fire, which may have become a thing of the past, anyway, now that the reeds have all been cut down.

By adamg - 8/9/21 - 9:34 am
Juvenile yellow-crowned night heron

Mary Ellen spotted this juvenile yellow-crowned night heron in the Back Bay Fens, amazingly serene given what's going on right behind it: Read more.

By adamg - 7/22/21 - 9:58 pm
Defaced Vietnam memorial in the Rose Garden

Update, Friday: Crews have started cleaning the memorial.

A disgusted citizen files a 311 complaint about the vandalism to the Vietnam War memorial in the Fenway Rose Garden.

By Irma la Douce - 4/6/20 - 2:21 pm
Back Bay Fens without reeds

This view of the Muddy River would not have been possible before the recent cutting down of the reeds that have plagued the Back Bay Fens for decades. The park in general feels a lot larger and more open.

By adamg - 10/24/19 - 10:11 am

The US chapter of the National Trust for Scotland announces that the Fenway's long missing statue of Robert Burns and his dog, Luath, will be formally re-unveiled in its original location in the Back Bay Fens on Wednesday. Read more.

By adamg - 4/1/19 - 4:43 pm
Burns statue in 1920

Burns and Luath at their 1920 commemoration (Source).

The Fenway Civic Association is hoping to restore the statute of Scottish poet Robert Burns - and his faithful companion, Luath - to its original perch in the Fens this May, association Vice President Matthew Brooks says. Read more.

By adamg - 3/28/19 - 11:14 am

In an annual rite of spring, the Back Bay Fens burst into flames shortly before 11 this morning, sending a thick plume of smoke high into the air. One person with burns was rescued from the Muddy River at the scene of the brush fire, near the Boston Fire Department's dispatch center. Read more.

By adamg - 3/28/19 - 10:54 am
New look of Winthrop Square without Burns

At a Boston Civic Design Commission meeting on Tuesday, Millennium Partners showed off its plans for a re-done Winthrop Square in front of its skyscraper there, in which an oval water fountain replaces the statue of Robert Burns and his faithful companion, Luath, which the company will pay to move back to its original home in the Back Bay Fens. Read more.

By adamg - 4/1/18 - 9:57 pm
Burns statue

From a 1920 account of the statue's dedication.

Last week, the BPDA sent a bunch of questions to Millennium Partners about its planned $1.3-billion Winthrop Square tower that ultimately came down to asking what the developer would do to keep the building from going up as the city's blandest skyscraper (the Globe has more).

But at the bottom of the list of questions was a request that the company consider fixing one of the odder things in Boston - that a statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns sits at the center of a square named for John Winthrop. Read more.

By adamg - 10/13/16 - 9:52 pm

A woman walking along Agassiz Road around 9:40 p.m. was robbed by a man and a woman, both black, both in their late 20s. The man was about 5'8" and wore a black vest, the woman wore a red sweater, a black vest and glasses. They ran along the Fenway towards the MFA.

By adamg - 4/28/16 - 2:26 pm
Fens on fire

Flaming Fens. Photo by Amanda McNeil.

The reeds right behind the Boston Fire Department's dispatch center are burning like there's no tomorrow.

The Fens last caught on fire last Friday.

Right behind the Victory Gardens (photo by Andrew Ferreira): Read more.

By adamg - 9/30/15 - 1:31 pm

PRI interviews a Finnish landscape architect about everything that's wrong with the Emerald Necklace.

Ed. note: Interesting article, but it sounds like she doesn't know anything about the Muddy River reclamation project and didn't spend any time south of Rte. 9.

By adamg - 5/6/15 - 10:57 pm
Back Bay Fens fire

Firefighters responded to the Back Bay Fens shortly before 10:50 p.m. after the Fens caught on fire, as they seem to do every spring, in the area between the BFD dispatch building and Boylston Street. The fire was reported knocked down shortly after 11.

By adamg - 6/21/14 - 11:43 am

UPDATE: Boston Police identify the body as male.

The Boston Fire Department reports a body was discovered around 9 a.m. where Boylston Street crosses the river. The body was in bad enough shape the gender could not be immediately determined.

On Boston Reddit, ChickenWhiskers describes finding the body:

By adamg - 3/30/13 - 6:29 pm

Firefighters move victim to ambulance. Photo copyright T.S. MillerFirefighters move victim to ambulance. Photo copyright T.S. Miller. More photos.

What seemed like your basic springtime Fens fire this evening took on a more somber tone when firefighters pulled a badly burned man out from the water behind the Fire Department's fire-alarm building.

By adamg - 7/29/10 - 7:47 pm

After some renovations, natch. City Council President Mike Ross reports the legislature took some time today from figuring out whether to allow a casino at Suffolk Downs to approve a home-rule petition to let the city parks department rent out the "Pink Palace" men's room on the Common and the "Duck House" shelter in the Back Bay Fens to restaurant operators.

"“We have seen restaurants transform neighborhoods from the South End to Dorchester, and I believe bringing a quality restaurant or business to the Boston Common and Fens will play a major role in revitalizing those parks," Ross said.

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