Since its formation in 2005, Friends has undertaken a number of activities to support, improve, and enhance the park, and to better understand how to address pollution that has built up over time in Salisbury Pond. Based on a Master Plan for the Park, which it created with the city, Friends has accomplished the following:
- designed and created the Levenson Concert Stage in Institute Park;
- restored the historic Tremont Columns and relocated them as a park entranceway on Salisbury Street across from Boynton Street;
- provided for a new and expanded restroom facility in the park to replace the prior facility, and provided for a concession facility adjacent to the restroom facility;
- modernized electrical power to the park by facilitating a permanent underground 400 amp. electrical service;
- secured a $62,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to build a new gazebo in the park near Salisbury Street across from West Street and on axis with the fountain on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (“WPI”) campus;
- secured for the City of Worcester a $400,000 federal appropriation to fund planning and design of various park improvements including:
- commissioning a master plan for walkways throughout the park;
- commissioning multiple studies of Salisbury Pond including bathymetric and bench scale studies and recommendations for dredging and cleansing the pond;
- secured a $2 million appropriation from the Massachusetts Legislature in the Commonwealth’s 2018 environmental bond bill toward updating plans and specifications for the construction of a forebay (continual water purifier) for Salisbury Pond.
- as a result of strong advocacy by Friends, the forebay will now be funded from American Recovery Act funds administered by the City of Worcester; and
- sponsored various recreational activities in Institute Park with Mass Audubon including
- canoeing and paddle boating on Salisbury Pond,
- bird watching educational excursions in Institute Park,
- snowshoeing in Institute Park.