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Boston residents really like their parks, worry about their waterfront: Poll

Group behind the survey says its proof city should use green infrastructure to combat effects of climate change

People ride bicycles along a river esplanade. The bike path has grass on both sides. There are trees on one side of the path. Tupungato/Shutterstock

The results of a recent survey found that Boston residents really like parkland and open space in general, and they’re worried about the effects of climate change on their city’s waterfront.

The Trustees of Reservations, a nonprofit focusing on land conservation and historic preservation, polled 453 residents from July 23 to August 8. The group sees the survey’s results as bolstering its call for using parkland and other green infrastructure to combat the all-too-apparent fallout from climate change.

The group recently launched a multi-site, multiyear effort to protect waterfront open space as a public park.

“This survey demonstrates that Bostonians clearly understand and value open space that benefits climate resilience and support increasing resources to address these challenges,” Trustees’ President and CEO Barbara Erickson said in a statement.

Some 85 percent of respondents agreed that the Boston waterfront is vulnerable to climate change’s effects, with 42 percent agreeing that it is “very vulnerable” to flooding, erosion, etc.

As for open space/parks, 71 percent of respondents said Boston needs more such expanses, with 28 percent saying the city needs “a lot more.” More than half of respondents said they go to parks in the Boston area at least several times a week, and 60 percent said that proximity to a park was extremely or very important when considering where to raise a family.

Interestingly, the survey found that residents will pick parkland over development in most cases, presumably even in light of the city’s chronic housing shortage: 70 percent preferred the former when it came to an either/or choice.