Matthew Nash

Franklin Park: More New Friends


A while ago I wrote about my attempts to find the Lover’s Leap in Franklin Park, which turned out to be much more of a mystery than I expected. Since that post I’ve received a few emails about what I wrote, all positive. Yesterday was no exception:

Greetings Mr. Nash!

I have had the pleasure of resourcing your blog on Lover’s Leap in Franklin Park and I would like to thank you.  I instruct a class on Urban Ecology in an after school program in BPS, and Franklin Park is our field site.  In the past few years, I have developed a unit on land use which incorporates these subunits: mapping, birding, community planning, and observations on how the community uses Franklin Park.  The last sub-unit discusses the design and historical use of the park,and present day use of the park. The capstone is future visions of the park as the students pull together all they’ve learned over the year.

This year, the treks I made with my 5th graders to Franklin Park were determined by turn of the century postcard images that I obtained from different sources. When the post card of Lover’s Leap came up, since there was no specific map location referenced on the post card, one of the students suggested we have a contest to discover where it really was. This led to many wonderful investigations in the park.  It opened the desire for better understanding of the topographical map!  Alas, the students also felt lost as nothing really seemed to represent the leap–and 100+ years of growth and erosion made it even more of a challenge. With students discouraged, I took to the internet where I found your site. =)

Now today is our last day together and I will take them to a location where they have been a number of times over the past year, but it will be with a new sense of purpose.

Franklin Park has many wonderful stories yet to be revealed to our younger residents that can inspire them to learn more about this city and their community.  I would like to thank you for your posting of what I feel is a well investigated and documented discovery that answers the question my students have been wanting many months now to know!


Elizabeth Boates

UEI Instructor, Rafael Hernandez School

What a great email to get in the morning!


So, this afternoon I went over to Schoolmaster Hill and met with Elizabeth and her class of 5th graders. We talked about the park, and what they were learning. Elizabeth had printouts of my post, and a picture of the students climbing a steep hill in March. It turns out that they had unknowingly climbed the Lover’s Leap while walking through the Park, trying to avoid goose droppings.

Since it’s a hot and humid summer day, they played in the grass on the old Lover’s Leap while we enjoyed the sun and talked. It was cool to hear them share their adventures in the Park, excited about the birds they had seen (red-tailed hawk!) as well as their ideas for how to incorporate urban ecology into everyday life. I think it is great that there is an after-school program that encourages these ideas!

Thanks to Elizabeth for the email. It’s always nice to know that people are reading my crazy rants….

Update (6/25/13):

Elizabeth sent along 2 photos from our trip. If you’ve ever wondered how awkward I get around 5th graders, here is photographic evidence.


On Schoolmaster Hill in Franklin Park


Talking with some students.

Categorised as: Franklin Park | Rants

Leave a Reply