Back Bay Fens
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This pretty park is a reminder of the very thing that gave the Fenway its name: wetlands. It’s hard to believe that this was once tidal saltwater marshland connected to the Atlantic Ocean. But, as part of the massive landfill operation that created the Back Bay, it was cut off from the sea. As part of the Emerald Necklace development, Frederick Law Olmsted created a fresh water lagoon amongst the park’s shrubbery and trees. The park has some wild parts with a wild reputation as meeting places for trysts, shall we say, and there are formal gardens like the Kelleher Rose Garden, where spring blooms bring color and fragrance. Landmarks include The Westland Gate with its lions heads, the cottage-y Duck House, the Fire Alarm Office, which is a municipal building of great neoclassical beauty, and the Japanese Temple Bell. The bell dates to 1675 and was brought from Japan at the end of WW2 by the crew of the USS Boston. The Fens actually houses many interesting memorials, several sports fields, and space to wander and feel free of urban cares.