The Boston Harbor Island National Park Area (NPA) was established in 1996 with strong local support. The driving forces were state, city, and community efforts to clean up Boston Harbor, to revitalize the economy around downtown Boston’s Central Artery, and to realize more effective, coordinated conservation management for Boston Harbor’s islands.
Boston Harbor Island NPA does not own any of the 34 islands within its boundaries, although sixteen of the islands were already part of a State and local regional park system. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston co-own Spectacle Island, and were in the early stages of restoring it as a major green space and park centerpiece when the NPA was created.
Today, thirteen Congressionally-legislated members and a 28-member Advisory Council manage the Park collaboratively. The National Park Service facilitates voluntary, consensus-based, coordinated management among stakeholders. The nonproﬁ t Island Alliance, a neutral non-landowning entity, works closely with the Park Service to generate private sector support to help enhance the park. Modeled after the Golden Gate Conservancy, it is the ﬁ rst non-proﬁ t legislated into a National Park’s management structure.