Thank you to all our Friends and park fans. Our mission continues to inspire us, as does the generosity of our supporters and the commitment of our staff and volunteers. Looking back over 2021, our parks have been an ongoing source of renewal and joy. These special greenspaces remain unique urban treasures, loved and valued by people from every walk of life and from every city neighborhood and beyond.
Throughout the past year, we have thought often about the three parks and how we describe them. Beautiful. Rejuvenating. Magical. Educational. Accessible. Connecting. Peaceful. There are so many words to express the impact of these 84 green acres and how they bring millions of us together.
We celebrated a number of new projects and programs with our community this year. We commissioned our first public art installation. What Do We Have In Common?, asked what we all share in common and represented a whole new way for visitors to experience Boston Common. Inspired by the history of the park itself, nationally acclaimed artist Janet Zweig immersed herself in the concept of “commoning,” reflecting the Friends long commitment to build community around care for a public space.
Lighting the Patrick Collins statue enhanced the beauty of a historic sculpture, as well as safety, along the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The statue lighting is part of a wider effort kicked off during our 50TH anniversary. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we found ways to connect to the larger community by bringing the joy of song to the Common and parks throughout Boston in partnership with the Boston Children’s Chorus and our park partners in Chinatown, Mattapan, Roxbury, and Dorchester.
Our Parks Care team continued to ensure that our three parks are vibrant and resilient greenspaces with their scientific approach to turf management, tree pruning, soil biology, smart irrigation, beneficial insect monitoring, and conservation maintenance for statues and fountains. As we plan for the future, we can look back over the past year with pride and remember how the parks continued to be lifesavers in bringing people together and offering a respite in a challenging time.
Your dedication, time, generosity, and vision have allowed the Friends of the Public Garden to advance our vital work to ensure that our parks are healthy and welcoming to all people, from Boston and beyond.
We are grateful to each one of you who has helped to make this all possible.
Leslie S. Adam
|Draw on Invested Funds||848||804|
|Release of Temporarily Restricted Funds||580||600|
|Common, Garden & Mall||$1,230||$680|
|Personnel & Overhead||641||565|
|Total Parks Care||$2,240||$1,573|
|Communications & Development:|
|Personnel & Overhead||438||386|
|Total Communications & Development:||$630||$722|
|Transfer to Temporarily Restricted Funds||$(153)||$(580)|
|Cash & Cash Equivalents||$743||$638|
|Pledges & Accounts Receivable||967||334|
|Total Current Assets||$1,749||$1,008|
|Property & Equipment||682||703|
|LIABILITIES & NET ASSETS|
|Accounts Payable & Accruals||$328||$310|
|Pilot Bathrooms (fiscal agent)||900||1,093|
|Total Net Assets||$32,252||$27,798|
|Total Liabilities & Net Assets||$32,599||$29,366|
Notes to Operating Results and Statements of Financial Position
Total Income was $3.2 million in 2021, 6% higher than the $3 million received in 2020. Support, which consists of Membership, Designated and Undesignated Contributions, Bequests, and Special Event proceeds, was 10% higher than 2020 primarily due to a large corporate gift from Zegna plus the success of the virtual 50th Anniversary Celebration. Sponsorships for Benches and Trees were down 2% compared to 2020, but non-project support for the Public Garden was up 15%. Although Membership came in 6% lower than the previous year, it still exceeded the Expanded Budget by 4%. The Duckling Day and Making History on the Common events were held virtually for the second year and Brewer Fountain Plaza was programmed for a half season. The rolling three-year average value of our investments, measured at September 30, 2020 for the 2021 draw, increased from $20.1 million to $21.2 million, resulting in an increase in the draw from 2020 of $44,000 to a total of $848,000. Income from Temporarily Restricted Assets decreased slightly due to a smaller pool of funds available from the previous year.
Total Expenses for 2021 were 24% higher than in 2020 primarily because direct Parks Care spending tracked to the Expanded Budget and came in 81% above the pandemic-induced essential services spending of the previous year. Spending on Public Programs was 12% higher in 2021 due to the return of half-season programming on the Brewer Fountain Plaza. Development spending decreased substantially compared to the previous year due to the phasing out of the consultant hired to provide development and 50th anniversary capital campaign support after the departure of our Development Director in 2020. The increase in Administration resulted from the incremental expenses associated with the hiring of the new Vice President of Advancement & External Affairs for a full year, two capital assessments to pay for projects in our co-op building, and the hiring of a DEI consultant. We transferred $153,000 to Temporarily Restricted Funds for parks care work in the three parks in 2022.
Investment performance for 2021 was 15.3%, slightly higher than our benchmark. Our performance remains in the top 25% of the Cambridge Associates universe of endowments of less than $100 million. The large increase in Pledges Receivable was due to pledges made for the 50th anniversary capital campaign. Lastly, we are acting as the fiscal agent for a $1.5 million grant from a charitable trust for a multi-year pilot program to bring temporary public restrooms to the Boston Common. In 2021 we spent $193,000 of that grant for a somewhat shortened season. The remaining $900,000 of the grant should allow for another three years of the pilot program.