By Ely and Finness
On Saturday, January 8, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy Leadership Team, along with youth from the Franklin Park Zoo, Boston Nature Center (BNC), and the Franklin Park Coalition (FPC), participated in a group tour of Franklin Park. To begin, we stood in a circle and learned everyone’s names by tossing a ball to each other and calling out the name of the person who would receive our throw. The hike started at Victory Gates, where we learned about the history of different locations like the abandoned Beaver and Bear Dens, which were a part of the Franklin Park Zoo in the early 1900s. They were both closed due to low participation by Zoo visitors, because both sites were too far away from the other exhibits. We moved on to White Stadium, where we learned about its history, including the fact that the stadium has a 10,000 person capacity.
Next we went to the site of an old locker room building, out of which players in games at White Stadium would run it came time. Eventually this building burned down due to the fact that the roof was made of hay. They never found out who started the fire, and to this day nothing has been rebuilt in its place. We also learned that all of the walls in the park were built from rocks that remained after they blew up mountains to make room to build the park. Lastly, we went in through the Zoo to the ECO Center, where we ate lunch, mingled with the youth from other organizations, and shared memorable times from the tour. It felt good to leave Franklin Park knowing more than we did at the start of the tour.