Bussey Brook Elevated Boardwalk

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Boston MA

A project to improve neighborhood access and connectivity.


Boardwalk concept rendering (Image: Practice Landscape and Kiel Moe) 


Practice Landscape is worked with leadership from the Arnold Arboretum to develop the idea, design, fundraising and implementation of the Bussey Brook Elevated Boardwalk. In collaboration with Horsley Witten Group, architect Kiel Moe, and SGH, the project creates connectivity with the adjacent neighborhoods and the elevated structure provides safe, sustainable transit for pedestrians along a steep, wet, largely inaccessible stretch of South St. that currently lacks sidewalks.

This project aims to improve the equity and accessibility to public open space that brings visitors into the living collections at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Establishing a crucial ADA-accessible Greenlink connector for pedestrians and bicyclists, the boardwalk offers a remarkable opportunity to reaffirm Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision of democratic access to nature in Boston while improving accessibility for neighboring communities historically excluded from amenities and interaction with the Arboretum. Learn more about the project at the Arnold Arboretum and the The Roslindale Gateway Path Project to improve carbon-free transportation and green space equity for the city of Boston. 

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University 1927 (Source: Arbold Arboretum) 


South Street Entrance Before (Image: Practice Landscape)


South Street Entrance Proposed  (Image: Practice Landscape)


Boardwalk concept renderings (Image: Practice Landscape and Kiel Moe) 


Boardwalk alignment: The boardwalk structure that limits the area of disturbance by refining the need for multiple footings. The 500’ boardwalk is designed with
regionally sourced Black Locust decking-cassettes for a durable, maintainable surface. (Image:  Kiel Moe)