In recent years, dwindling resources have prevented Boston Parks and Recreation from taking a proactive role in maintaining Dorchester Park. The Park Association has done what it could to fill the gaps. However, experience has shown us that volunteers and free public resources are inadequate to the task.

To assess the scope of the Park’s problems, the DPA obtained preliminary reports from two landscape and forest management specialists. We learned we face two tasks – restoration to undo damage that has accumulated through years of neglect, and maintenance to preserve those gains and to enhance the forest. The endowment fund, to be launched with the The Dorchester Park Gala Celebration on September 28, will provide annual income under the Association’s sole control for the maintenance initiatives. The goals are expressed in the mission statement for the fund.

To maintain the park’s ecosystem we must strike a delicate balance. In keeping with the Olmsted vision, formal landscaping is limited to the main entrance and recreational areas. In addition to beating back invasive species we will need to restore a balance between old-growth trees, which are prominent but failing, and the younger, less-noticed trees which fill in the forest. This will require limited clear cutting to allow selected trees to reach their full potential. We expect income from the fund will be sufficient for all these goals.