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Margaret Pokorny

Margaret Pokorny

Margaret Pokorny

On March 13th, 2012 Margaret Pokorny will receive the Park Partners Award from Mayor Menino. This award is the city's first major award for a citizen's contribution to Boston's open spaces. Margaret Pokorny has dedicated her attention to revitalizing the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, the Esplanade, and street trees in the Back Bay.

"I attended the LI (then Radcliffe Seminars) after the birth of my second child. I had been out of the work force for about 3 years having moved to Boston and leaving my job in corporate philanthropy in Chicago. I had always been interested in gardening because of the interests of my Mother and Grandmother, but never really considered it to be anything more than a pleasurable activity."

Margaret Pokorny is an advocate for green space preservation and care. She is the Chairman of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall Committee, a board member of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, the Friends of the Public Garden, the Garden Club of the Back Bay, and the Esplanade Association. In all these groups Margaret focuses on horticultural issues drawing on her education at Radcliffe/The Landscape Institute. Margaret credits her mentor and neighbor, Back Bay advocate Stella Trafford for encouraging her to focus her final independent project on the history, site analysis, tree inventory and master plan of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall; this document has become the foundation of her work in the Back Bay for the last 20 years.

In a recent interview, Margaret reflects on her education, the unexpected paths that have opened for her as a result of her study. With a smile Margaret comments:

"Basically what I did at Radcliffe/the LI set me on a course for the rest of my life. I am now a gardener, garden consultant, tree "expert", advice giver to many about tree issues. This is how I spend a good deal of my time. I never would have thought it! It is so nice to know that this knowledge can be used late into my life-until I can't remember anything anymore."