A Commitment to Collaboration

The Solomon Foundation’s mission  is to provide a complete and connected network of beautiful parks and greenways connecting people to open spaces.

Our Values

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Access

We share the multi-generational vision of everyone regardless of age, income, race, ability, or mode has comfortable access a complete and connected network of beautiful parks and greenways linking dense urban communities to open space.

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Comfort and a sense of Belonging

We believe everyone should have access to and feeling comfortable in and a sense of belonging to their communities shared public spaces.

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Collaborative Visioning and Inclusive Design

We believe that the knowledge and expertise of community members who live near and frequent our parks and greenways should be central to visioning and planning for design of their public spaces to meet community needs. We believe that people should dream and plan and influence the places they live in and participate in the process of designing changes to the places they live.

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Shared Ownership and Stewardship

We believe that we all play a role in shared ownership and stewardship of our open spaces. We value connecting state, municipal, nonprofit, and community stewards to work together to decide how we will use and care for our public spaces.

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Learning

We value the opportunity to learn from and with our partners. We grow from our past successes and, even more so, from our setbacks. We work to  share what we have learned each step along the way.

Our History and Our Future

The Solomon Foundation works with diverse partners across the Commonwealth to advance the planning and design for an ever changing and growing portfolio of greenway and park projects. We provide organizational support, technical advice, and funding support for specific projects.In 2005, David Solomon and Herb Nolan launched the Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation with the purpose of providing thought leadership for the enhancement and expansion of Greater Boston’s parks and greenways. Over the first decade they developed an effective public/private partnership model that emphasized private support for upfront planning and design leading to public funding and implementation of key greenway and park projects. During this time, they helped grow a network of greenway advocates inside and outside of government. They helped to change the conversation and shape expectations. The result was a number of designed and built projects that materially improved the character of key corridors.

In 2016, recognizing the power of this methodology and wanting to expand its impact, the Barr Foundation offered support for a new technical assistance and regranting program at the Solomon Foundation:  A Greener Greater Boston (AGGB). With that support, the foundation was able to engage communities further from the center of Boston and fund ambitious planning and design studies. In 2019, the foundation hired its first program manager, Allison Burson, who is managing A Greener Greater Boston.

Looking forward, we aim to strengthen and grow our collaborations with our public and private partners.  We will strive to be even more effective advocates telling the stories of our partners and our shared projects and continuing to champion, build, and extend Greater Boston’s greenways and parks.

Our Team

DAVID SOLOMON

President

David has had a keen interest in parks since his youth when he enjoyed runs through Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. Reflecting his recognition that the improvement of green spaces make a unique and lasting contribution to the social, economic, and environmental health of cities, he made Greater Boston’s major parks and greenways the focus of the Foundation. As President, David guides the Foundation’s overall direction and manages its investments. David enjoys exploring the area’s major parks and greenways.

HERBERT NOLAN

Executive Director

Herb helped start the Solomon Foundation with David Solomon in 2005 and has been a creative force behind dozens of park and greenway projects since then. Trained as a landscape architect, Herb worked with the Nation Park Service and with major design firms on both the west and east coasts for thirty years before joining the foundation. His experience in both the public and private  sectors have helped him form the kinds of partnerships needed to advance complex projects. When he’s not delivering kids to school, Herb bikes to work through an Olmsted park he worked to restore. 

ALLISON BURSON

Program Manager

Allison joined the Solomon Foundation in 2019. She brings experience working in the nonprofit, private, higher education and public sector in Seattle, Boston, and the United Kingdom. In addition to being a fair and foul weather bike commuter and regularly cycling from Boston to Wellesley, when she’s not cycling, Allison enjoys exploring paths while running, finding ponds and lakes to swim in, and navigating hiking trails in and out of state, all fueled by her encyclopedic knowledge of New England’s bakeries and ice cream shops.