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The Back Bay Fens or more commonly known as The Fens is a favorite place among Bostonians to relax and have fun. However, it went through a rather dark past before it got to where it is right now.

It began with the creation of the Boston Back Bay neighborhood through a reclamation process which gave rise to a plot of land which replaced the tidewater flats of the Charles River. The endeavor began in 1857 and expanded to The Fens in 1900. However, a predicament surfaced just a short period after the project was finished. A mill which was put up together with the reclaimed site was severely polluting the water and turning it into a sewer. The residents clamored for the pollution issue to be addressed.

The local Boston government heeded the call of the residents and they tapped into the expertise of acclaimed landscape architect Law Olmsted who became popular because of Central Park in New York to remedy the issue. He was instructed to rehabilitate the stinky marsh and convert it into a beautiful park that would serve as a recreation area. The existence of The Fens as we know it today started with this.

Olmstead designed The Back Bay Fens to be washed by the tides of the Charles River two times a day, however, when a dam was built in 1910, a stagnant fresh water lagoon replaced the dynamic moving waters. Arthur Shurcliff who was Olmsted?s prot?g?e added the Kelleher Rose Garden in line with the landscaping trend which became popular in the United States in the 20th century. The Rose Garden became a beautiful sanctuary with magnificent fountains and enchanting cherub statues and where people can learn about the rose culture. An athletic field was introduced shortly after. Victory Gardens or vegetable gardens also became prolific at The Fens at the height of World War II to augment the food supply during wartime.

Apart from the vegetable gardens and the Kelleher Rose Garden, guests can also marvel at the several war memorials found within The Fens. These include war memorials commemorating the Vietnam War, the Korean War and World War II. It is also an ideal place where animal enthusiasts can do birdwatching as the marsh area attracts different species of birds. Wedding ceremonies are also a familiar sight within the vicinity.

From a wasteland to a picturesque and peaceful recreation area, the Back Bay Fens is arguably one of the most notable parkland and city wildlife area in Boston.
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