A Commitment to Collaboration

The Solomon Foundation works with diverse partners across Greater Boston 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.

Our Values

==
Our Vision

We share the multi-generational vision of a complete and connected network of beautiful parks and greenways linking Greater Boston neighborhoods. This audacious idea will only be accomplished with patience, persistence, and practicality.

==
Risk Taking

As a private foundation, we are able to take calculated risks to test new ideas and forge new connections. Ours is a process of peeling back risk through careful planning and design to demonstrate the value of something new.

==
Creative Problem Solving

We look for complex projects that have resisted solution thus far and call for innovative approaches. These are complicated projects that might not happen without private partners and concerted effort from a broad coalition of community of leaders.

==
Inclusive Collaboration

Everything we do is done through collaboration with leaders inside and outside of government. We  bridge between local neighborhood groups, citywide advocacy organizations, and government agencies to forge alliances. Each group brings their unique strengths to the partnership and shares ownership in the outcome.

==
Learning

As continuous learners, 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

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 joined the Solomon Foundation at inception. Since 2005, Herb has  initiated a wide range of park and greenway projects. Trained as a landscape architect, he previously he worked with national design firms on both the west and east coasts and with the National Park Service. On his way to work,  when time allows, Herb enjoys cycling 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.