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Charles River Reservation
Charles River Esplanade, Boston, MA 02116
Charles River Reservation starts at Watertown Dam and stretches 20 linear miles. Part of the Department of ConservationMore and Recreation, it features recreational facilities and activities for the entire family to enjoy, including three swimming pools, numerous playgrounds, paths for running, biking, walking and rollerblading and tennis courts.
Southwest Corridor Park
145 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116

This 52-acre park stretches from Forest Hills to the Back Bay. Its playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts,More community gardens and bike paths are living monuments to the community rising up to stop a 12-lane highway that urban planners wanted to build. The proposal was to run Interstate 95 from the Back Bay to Hyde Park.

Residents had seen the enormous damage the Central Artery had done to the North End, downtown and Chinatown. In the words of historian Robert J. Allison, residents stopped the project by engaging in "some of the most creative acts of civil disobedience since the Stamp Act."

State Transportation Secretary Fred Salvucci had the idea to create the biking and walking trail we see today. In addition to providing recreation, it also serves as a major artery for bikers and walkers commuting to jobs downtown.

The entire park contains 11 tot lots, two spray pools, seven basketball courts, five tennis courts, two street hockey rinks, two amphitheatres and about six miles of biking, jogging and walking paths, according to the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Carleton Court Dog Park is in the Back Bay section.

Public transportation: Use any Orange line stop between Forest Hills and Back Bay. At Back Bay, the park is accessible off Dartmouth Street, behind the Copley Place Mall.

Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay
337 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115

A volunteer organization, the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) is highly involved in the everydayMore issues residents care about -- from graffiti, to bike lanes, to new buildings and developments in the neighborhood.

With more than 2,000 members, a 50-member board of directors and a 13-member executive committee, the neighborhood association also takes positions on city decisions and projects, and acts as a voice for Back Bay residents. Members also host a variety of social and charity events, including the Alley Rally where volunteers clean up city streets, and the annual Taste of Back Bay fundraiser every spring.