What's Happening Now

A “Momentous Occasion” for the Muddy River

By Kelly Brilliant, Chair, Muddy River Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee

These remarks were delivered at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the Phase 2 Completion of the Muddy River Flood Risk Management Project on Wednesday, November 29th, 2023.

On behalf of the Muddy River Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee (The MMOC), I am so appreciative of this opportunity to thank the many contributors to this historic Park and Project on this momentous occasion. The MMOC would like to express our thank you to each of the speakers we have just heard from, and to give a special thank you to :

  • The US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Mayor Michelle Wu, City of Boston 
  • Chief of Planning and Engineering, Department of Conservation and Recreation Patrice Kish
  • Boston Commissioner of Parks & Recreation Ryan Woods with his right-hand man Tom Timmons, Special Project Manager
  • Commissioner for Town of Brookline Public Works Erin Chute; and the Conservation Administrator, Tree Warden and Town Arborist Tom Brady, and Director of Parks and Open Space Alexandra Vecchio

I’d like to honor three individuals who are sadly no longer with us but who made a tremendous contribution to this Project:

  • Fran Gershwin, Chair Emeritus of the MMOC
  • Jack Martin, VP of Business Administration for Northeastern University
  • Mike Keegan, former Project Officer from the US Army Corps of Engineers

I’d like to thank another person who is very much still with us, and wishes she could be here today!  Betsy Shure Gross, former Director of Public/Private Partnerships for the Commonwealth says hello to everyone and sends her congratulations. Betsy would be here, but she now resides in CA. Betsy is certainly with us in spirit today

Lastly, as the representative for the MMOC, I want to deeply thank the numerous citizen and organizational advocates here with us today, and those who cannot be with us. 

The MMOC includes representatives from the following esteemed organizations, and I’d like to recognize them:

  • Brookline GreenSpace Alliance
  • Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC)
  • Charlesgate Alliance
  • Charles River Watershed Association
  • Emerald Necklace Conservancy
  • Fenway Alliance
  • Longwood Collective
  • And all the dedicated private citizens

I’d like to end my remarks with one of my favorite quotes, and I think a fitting one for today by Louis L’Amour:

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.

The MMOC is delighted to begin with all of you in the stewardship of this restored Olmsted treasure—a generational gift to Boston and Brookline citizens, and to our thousands of guests and visitors each year.