Share |

Charles River Conservancy Inc

 43 Thorndike Street, S3-3
 Cambridge, MA 02141
[P] (617) 608-1410
[F] --
Laura Jasinski
Facebook Twitter
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3503656

LAST UPDATED: 05/06/2019
Organization DBA CRC
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes



Mission StatementMORE »


The Charles River Conservancy (CRC) is dedicated to the stewardship, renewal, and enhancement of the urban parks along the Charles River, for the enjoyment of all.

The CRC promotes the active use and vitality of the parks, increases recreational opportunities, and works to ensure the beauty and integrity of this extraordinary public resource from the Watertown Dam to the New Harbor Locks in Boston with the help of volunteers and staff.

Mission Statement


The Charles River Conservancy (CRC) is dedicated to the stewardship, renewal, and enhancement of the urban parks along the Charles River, for the enjoyment of all.

The CRC promotes the active use and vitality of the parks, increases recreational opportunities, and works to ensure the beauty and integrity of this extraordinary public resource from the Watertown Dam to the New Harbor Locks in Boston with the help of volunteers and staff.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2018 to Sept 30, 2019
Projected Income $613,500.00
Projected Expense $887,917.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Advocacy
  • Conservancy Volunteers
  • Floating Wetlands
  • Lynch Family Skatepark
  • The Charles River Swimming Initiative

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement


The Charles River Conservancy (CRC) is dedicated to the stewardship, renewal, and enhancement of the urban parks along the Charles River, for the enjoyment of all.

The CRC promotes the active use and vitality of the parks, increases recreational opportunities, and works to ensure the beauty and integrity of this extraordinary public resource from the Watertown Dam to the New Harbor Locks in Boston with the help of volunteers and staff.

Background Statement


The Charles River Conservancy (CRC) was founded in 2000 to inspire stewardship, renewal and the enhancement of the urban parks along the Charles. Over the past two decades the CRC has worked with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and other community groups to organize volunteers to beautify the parks, preserve the landscape, and advocate for land use that advances healthy living. We promote public access, campaign for physical park improvements, and build awareness of the Charles River. We look to encourage public use and access to the parks, which we believe inspires the community’s active stewardship of these amazing public resources.


Impact Statement

The Charles River Conservancy (CRC) is dedicated to the stewardship, renewal & enhancement of the urban parks along the Charles River. We are proud of the following accomplishments from 2018:

  • Successful transition from a volunteer, founding president to a paid executive director. This major organizational milestone was carefully planned by the founder, board & ultimately the new executive. The retirement was celebrated at a gala, which raised over $800,000 for the CRC’s work.
  • Lights for the Lynch Family Skatepark. With the support of generous funders, the CRC successfully advocated for installation of lights, allowing the park to be used into the evening. Donations by the City of Cambridge and DCR made the lights possible.
  • The Hybrid Variant Design for the Allston I-90 project. The CRC, along with a coalition of advocates, has worked to ensure this infrastructure investment incorporates as many positive park & transit benefits as possible. Through highly successful letter writing & social media campaigns, the coalition pushed MassDOT to commission an independent review. In January 2019 MassDOT selected the option advocated for by the coalition.

In CRC’s two decades, many projects have left a positive impact on the parks including:

  • Conservancy Volunteers, to bring roughly 2,000 volunteers annually to support park maintenance
  • Lynch Family Skatepark, CRC’s multi-million-dollar commitment to design, build & gift to the state a park for wheeled athletes
  • Swimming Initiative, to return swimming to the Charles through advocacy, an annual swim event, & development of a seasonal facility
  • Advocacy, to inform our supporters & decision makers on key environmental issues, to comment on park & park-adjacent development, & to participate in stakeholder meetings
  • River Stories
  • RiverSing
  • Pathway Restoration
  • Bridge Lighting
  • Sunday Parkland Games

Needs Statement

  1. The CRC is looking for board members who are passionate about open space and have professional expertise in development, public relations, strategic planning, or law (particularly related to public private partnerships).
  2. The CRC needs assistance in starting an endowment campaign to enhance the organization’s financial sustainability.
  3. The CRC needs pre-development funding for the permanent swim park. We are looking for $100,000 in 2019.
  4. The CRC is looking for more corporate partners to sponsor and/or participate in events such as outdoor volunteer events and our annual City Splash.
  5. In 2020, the CRC looks forward to celebrating the Charles River and the CRC’s 20th anniversary and will be announcing plans soon to support a celebratory campaign.

CEO Statement


In the 1890s, Charles Eliot coined the term “democratic common ground” to describe his vision of the Charles River parks as a space for all people. He had the foresight to protect this land for everyone to enjoy and to own and, in doing so, created an extraordinary resource for generations to come. Whether you live or work near the river, bike and run along its paths, or visit to relax or play, the Charles is a refuge from our busy lives and place to connect to the environment in the heart of the city.

Since its founding in 2000, the CRC has kept Eliot’s intent central to our mission: to make the parks more active, attractive, and accessible to all. This work is needed now more than ever, especially in a time when our city is growing and access to open space is becoming scarcer. We need to encourage people to be active outdoors at a time when obesity is the largest threat to public health. We need to engender interactions across all income levels, races and backgrounds and prioritize equity and inclusion as our population becomes both more polarized and isolated. We need to protect our parks so that they can protect us from the realities of climate change.

Together we can harness the benefits of public space to help tackle these challenges and create today’s “democratic common ground.” Your support of the CRC will not only ensure the protection of the urban Charles River, but its evolution to serve our future.

-Laura Jasinski, CEO & Executive Director


Board Chair Statement

The Charles River has always held a special place in my life, from relaxing walks in college to energizing runs today. I have used the river and its parks as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Being part of the Charles River Conservancy has given me the chance to learn about and contribute to the extraordinary resource that the CRC works so tirelessly to protect and enhance. Through the years, I have witnessed the vision of the CRC’s founder come to life with the perseverance and passion of our staff and the deep dedication of my colleagues on the board. I have seen this small organization succeed at monumental tasks, like the development and construction of a multimillion-dollar skatepark. Now the CRC is entering a new chapter, transitioning from a volunteer executive/founder to a new young leader overseeing a strategic planning process that will guide this organization into the future. As Board Chair, I am proud of our work on all levels - from advocacy on development affecting the river to keeping the parks clean, green, and welcoming. I look forward to continuing this work and hope you’ll join me in supporting these efforts! 


-Debra Iles, Board Chair

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Greater Boston Region-Allston / Brighton Neighborhood
City of Boston- Allston/ Brighton
City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)
City of Boston- Beacon Hill/ West End
City of Boston- Charlestown
City of Boston- Back Bay
City of Boston- Downtown

As the only nonprofit that focuses resources on the entirety of the Lower Charles River Reservation, we are able to support the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Newton, and Watertown in gaining access to the waterfront and the beautiful parks that accompany its banks. With the continued improvements to the parks and the River we hope that all who come to visit this region will enjoy this unique New England river.

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Environmental Beautification
  2. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Alliances & Advocacy
  3. Recreation & Sports - Swimming, Water Recreation

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)




Advocacy for the Charles River parks is central to the Charles River Conservancy’s (CRC) mission. We collaborate with sister organizations and the public to rally powerful support for the parks. Our advocacy efforts include sending e-blasts to update our supporters on key issues, writing comment letters to state agencies and legislators on park-related projects, briefing policymakers, attending stakeholder meetings, and engaging the public on our initiatives with events and through social media.

Budget  $80,000.00
Category  Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Infrastructure
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

Long-term impact in the parks often requires involvement in preliminary decision-making, so the CRC strives to advocate for the parks in the early stages of a project. A recent example is our championing of better design for the I-90 Allston Interchange Development’s “throat” section. By co-hosting a site-walk of this area, we helped demonstrate to the public the need to prioritize multimodal transit and connection improvements to be included in the I-90 project. MassDOT was convinced to commission an independent review, resulting in an improved design.

Program Long-Term Success 

Early victories must be followed through to the end of a project. The CRC continues to engage in projects throughout their development. The CRC will be a voice for the potential and promise of the I-90 design to improve access to and experience within the river’s parks. We also seek to improve path connectivity, working with a coalition to see underpasses built at river crossing. Finally, as private development encroaches and impacts the parks, the CRC fights to ensure that such acquisition is met with commensurate benefits for the public.

Program Success Monitored By 

The CRC’s Executive Director is active in our advocacy efforts and is aided by staff and a subcommittee of the board. Success is gauged by evaluating the impact on state decisions to consider impacts to the park and public, the growth and strength of coalitions, and engagement by the public with events and requests for comment letters.

Examples of Program Success 

Over the years, we have worked tirelessly with our advocacy partners to accomplish improvements to the quality and activity of the Charles River parks. We are proud to have been active voices ensuring a bike and pedestrian friendly rehabilitated Longfellow Bridge, improvements to the Paul Dudley White multi-use paths, and major strides towards bridge underpasses and safer pedestrian crossings.

Conservancy Volunteers

The Conservancy Volunteers Program started in 2002 is currently regarded as one of the premier volunteer opportunities in Greater Boston, engaging roughly 2,000 volunteers annually. Combining environmental education, hands-on learning, and active participation in landscaping, the program allows participants to experience the outdoors and give back to the community. The Conservancy Volunteers program invites corporations and individuals of all ages and ability levels to come together for a day of community service and environmental stewardship.
Budget  $118,500.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Urban Beautification
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  Each season, the program helps to maintain park amenities (such as benches), to curb invasive species growth through removal, to keep the parks and river cleaner by collecting trash, and to enhance beauty by planting flower beds.
Program Long-Term Success  The ultimate accomplishment is to turn our volunteers into advocates. Working along the river, Conservancy Volunteers experience the beauty of this recreational asset and are more likely to become active park users and supporters.
Program Success Monitored By  The Volunteer Project Manager oversees all the activities of the Conservancy Volunteers Program. The CRC tracks the number of people who have volunteered, total service time donated, the monetary value of that work, completed projects, and amount and types of trash and invasive species removed.
Examples of Program Success 

The large number of repeat volunteers is a testimony to the program’s success. Since its inception, more than 31,000 volunteers contributed an estimated $1.9 million of donated labor to the CRC and the parks.

Floating Wetlands

In 1995, the EPA launched the Charles River Initiative, which included the objective of a swimmable river. Although significant progress has been made through vast reduction of combined sewer overflows, this goal remains elusive. This floating wetland project explores a complementary approach aiming to reduce harmful algal blooms by enhancing zooplankton populations. The goals are to create a visually impactful wetland installation, document the impact on zooplankton population and water quality, and educate the public about the relationship between river ecology, pollution, and water quality in order to work toward a healthy and swimmable Charles.
Budget  $68,000.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Water Pollution Control
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  This is a new project this year, growing out of the water quality monitoring performed in 2017 and 2018 at the proposed swim park site. In the near term, getting the wetland permitted and installed with help to further that research and provide an opportunity for public education.
Program Long-Term Success  The wetland will help to study the effect of a particular ecological intervention. While this relatively small installation will not solve the river’s challenges, it will provide important information about what can be done. It will also be a focal point for education and community engagement.
Program Success Monitored By  The Charles River Conservancy is working in collaboration with a Northeastern University PhD student and interpretative communications professional.
Examples of Program Success  During the planning and pre-permitting stages, important discussions and engagement has already occurred that has furthered discussions and interest about the Charles’ ecological health. Excitement about the opportunities this presents are encouraging.

Lynch Family Skatepark

The Charles River Conservancy (CRC) led a multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort to design, plan, and permit the Lynch Family Skatepark, located under the ramps next to the Zakim Bridge in East Cambridge and now under the oversight of DCR. This 36,000 square-foot accessible facility was opened to great fanfare in 2015 with over 2,000 athletes in attendance. The Lynch Family Skatepark is a “wheel-friendly” park with bowls, ramps, transitions, and street skating elements for all kinds of users – skateboarders, roller skaters, bmxers and more. The skatepark is accessible for wheelchair athletes and has been called the “most heavily used park per square foot in the Commonwealth.” Lighting was installed in 2018, extending its daily use. Now that the capital project is completed, the CRC is looking forward to more engagement opportunities and events at the space.

Budget  $48,000.00
Category  Recreation & Sports, General/Other Recreation & Sports, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) College Aged (18-26 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success  With many site constraints, strict constructions procedures and permits for the brownfield on which it was built, the skatepark took many years to be realized. But it now offers a fun, free, and safe alternative to more traditional sports, helping children, adolescents, and adults to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
Program Long-Term Success  The Lynch Family Skatepark is a site that greatly promotes activity and continued improvement in the Charles River Basin. The skatepark serves as a regional attraction for skateboarding, providing an important new opportunity for area youth.
Program Success Monitored By 

During its planning and construction, the skatepark project was overseen by the CRC. Once it was donated to the state, it is now overseen by the DCR. The CRC continues to advocate for its maintenance and enhancement, most recently by supporting the installation of lights.  

Examples of Program Success 

A non-profit organization funding the construction of a public park on state land was an unprecedented venture, but this small group showed its tenacity and perseverance by raising millions of dollars and shepherding this project through a complex approval process to completion.

The Charles River Swimming Initiative

In the 1950s, public health awareness about polluted water grew, and swimming in the Charles was banned. Thanks to the hard work of many government agencies and non-profits, water quality began to improve in the 1990s and the EPA’s grade for the river improved from a D to a B+/A- for recent years. During this time, the Charles River Conservancy (CRC) has made swimming is an integral goal of a cleaner and restored river and is working towards the day when there is a designated, seasonal space for it. Swimming is currently allowed only through special permits from DCR, which the CRC uses to host an annual community swim day. The CRC is also currently working on the design of a seasonal swim park that will be built on the river.
Budget  $176,000.00
Category  Recreation & Sports, General/Other Swimming
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 


Early and ongoing work around swimming has included significant advocacy and outreach to change the perceptions about the river’s health as it has improved. The CRC’s annual one-day sanctioned swim event, City Splash, has become a much-anticipated tradition and has allowed over 1,200 people to experience the joy of river swimming.


Program Long-Term Success 

Because one day of swimming is not enough, the CRC has undertaken a multi-year effort to plan and build a seasonal facility. In 2016, the CRC released a feasibility study demonstrating the possibility of a swimming facility in the Charles River off of North Point Park, and the CRC has begun to develop a design and engage stakeholders around operations, programming, and permitting.

Program Success Monitored By 

This initiative has significant involvement by the CRC’s Executive Director as well as a project manager. Two CRC board and advisory board members, both experienced in project management and large construction projects, participate on the Swimming committee. As this initiative is being developed, success is measured by the number participating in swims, engagement and meetings with neighbors, government leaders, and other stakeholders, as well as meaningful progress in the development of the design and operations.

Examples of Program Success 


The Charles Swimming Initiative has steadily made progress towards returning swimming to the Charles on a regular basis, first with the annual swims, then the release of the swim park feasibility study (which had significant media coverage), followed by a successful crowdfunding campaign on the study’s next steps ($25,000 raised with 299 backers), partnership with Northeastern University on two summers of daily testing on the proposed site, and an engagement with an experienced marine engineering firm on the facility’s design.


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The CRC’s programs are designed to actively engage the public in the stewardship of the Charles River Parks. We connect community members to their environment in a way that transforms them into educated advocates. When City Splash participants jump in the river and experience the thrill of swimming with a cityscape view, they start to care more about the health of the river. When volunteers cut back an invasive plant after learning about its threats to biodiversity or collect a bag of litter they immediately develop a sense of responsibility to keep the parks clean and activated. The civic awareness, resilient communities, and emphasis on personal connection to the river and parks fostered by the CRC’s programs not only makes the organization unique, but also successful.

-Laura Jasinski, CEO & Executive Director


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Laura Jasinski
CEO Term Start June 2018
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Laura Jasinski is an urban planner with ten years in development and activation of urban open space. She served as Associate Director of the Boston Waterfront Initiative for The Trustees of Reservations, an effort to build world-class, resilient open space. She previously served as Director of Programs and Planning for the Greenway Conservancy, managing capital improvements and installations. Laura holds a BA in Architectural Studies and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. As a long-time athlete, Laura has run the 2016 Boston marathon, and the 2018 1-mile swim in the Charles River. She looks forward to the day when she can practice at the Swim Park.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Renata von Tscharner Jan 2000 June 2018

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
City of Boston Official Resolution - Renata von Tscharner's Retirement 2018
City of Cambridge Official Resolution - Renata von Tscharner's Retirement 2018
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor's Citation - Renata von Tscharner's Retirement 2018
Sasaki Foundation Design Grant: Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation 2018
Garden Club of America Honor for 25 Years of Service to Cambridge Plant & Garden Club 2017
Commandant Award Friends of Charlestown Navy Yard 2016
Lifetime Helmsman Award Community Boating 2016
Outstanding Civic Accomplishment The Landscape Design Council of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts 2016
Julius Adams Stratton Prize for Intercultural Achievement Friends of Switzerland, Inc. 2015
Olmsted Award American Society of Landscape Architects 2013
Zone Conservation Award Garden Club of America 2011
Centennial Luminary Esplanade Association 2010
"Upstander" Award Facing History and Oursleves 2008
Organization of the Year Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) 2008
"Out of the Blue" Award Boston Foundation 2007
Medal of Merit Garden Club of America 2005
Boston Authors Award for books about Boston Boston Authors Club 2004
Best of Show Bookbuilders of Boston New England Book Show 2003
Communications Honor Award American Society of Landscape Architects 2003
Distinguished Friend Award Boston by Foot 2003
Excellence Award Boston Society of Landscape Architects 2003
Trade Illustrated category of AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Competition Association of American University Presses 2003


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Collaborations and partnerships are key to all our projects and programs. All the land we work on is owned by the State's Department of Conservation and Recreation while the Charles River bridges are owned by the State’s Department of Transportation. All of our landscape projects require a permit from the relevant municipal Conservation Commission. Adjacent municipalities - Boston, Cambridge, Newton & Watertown - are also important partners.

The Conservancy’s Public Partners include:

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Federal Environmental Protection Agency, Massachusetts Department of Public Health & adjacent municipalities – Boston, Cambridge, Newton & Watertown

While the Conservancy works on a 10 mile stretch of the river, there are several other organizations that are active in specific areas. They include the following:

The Esplanade Association, Magazine Beach Partners, Friends of Riverbend Park, Friends of Herter Park, Watertown Friends of the Riverfront, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Allston Brighton Civic Association, New Basin Citizens Advisory Committee & Allston Task Force

Organization with related missions that we often partner with include:

The Charles River Watershed Association, Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Conservation Law Foundation, Sierra Club

As part of our advocacy work on the I-90 Allston Interchange Improvement Project we also work closely with:

WalkBoston, Livable Streets Alliance, A Better City, MassBike, Institute for Human Centered Design, Metropolitan Area Planning Commission

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The CRC has a productive 20-year partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the managing agency and landowner of the Charles River parks. The CRC works with the DCR to make sure our work complements and benefits their stewardship and management of the Charles River Reservation. In recent years, budget cuts have limited the resources and expertise that the Massachusetts Department of Recreation and Conservation can provide, making the CRC’s active stewardship, advocacy and activation essential to the vitality of the parks.

Through this partnership, the CRC works across ten miles of land on both sides of the river, spanning into Boston, Cambridge, Allston/Brighton, and Watertown. This allows us to conduct a wide range of projects and collaborate with partner organizations to influence change in many communities. We are able to engage many types of people living in these diverse neighborhoods so that people of all ages and backgrounds can experience the benefits of engaging with their public green spaces. We are actively working to make sure that the diverse communities we work in are reflected by our board and advisory board.
-Laura Jasinski, CEO & Executive Director

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 5
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 2,000
Number of Contract Staff 4
Staff Retention Rate % 60%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 5
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Automobile Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Directors and Officers Policy
Employment Practices Liability
Fiduciary Liability

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Debra Iles
Board Chair Company Affiliation Harvard Kennedy School
Board Chair Term Jan 2019 - Jan 2020
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Virginia Foote Conservation Law Foundation Voting
Ms. Jennifer Gilbert VIVA Consulting and Kuehn Foundation Voting
Ms. Debra Iles Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government Voting
Ms. Laura Jasinski The Charles River Conservancy Voting
Ms. Pam Kocher Public Policy & Government Relations Voting
Ms. Lonsdale Koester Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Steve Kropper Parallel Wireless Voting
Mr. Edward LeFlore CSL Consulting, LLC Voting
Mr. Harry Mattison Boost Your BIM LLC Voting
Ms. Joan Pickett Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Voting
Ms. Robyn Reed Klopfer Martin Design Group Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Ronald Axelrod Retired Architect and Construction Manager NonVoting
Mr. Jay Baldwin Wind River Capital Partners NonVoting
Mr. Jarrett Barrios American Red Cross NonVoting
Mr. Jeffrey Bilezikian Mill Lane Management NonVoting
Mr. Dan Calano Architect/Real Estate NonVoting
Mr. Dennis Carlone Carlone & Associates/Cambridge City Council NonVoting
Mr. Philip W. Crutchfield Harvard Business School NonVoting
Mr. John DeVillars BlueWave Capital LLC NonVoting
Ms. Catherine Donaher Catherine Donaher & Associates NonVoting
Hon. Michael Dukakis Northeastern University NonVoting
Mr. Michael Epstein Retired Doctor and Hospital Administrator NonVoting
Mr. Paul Fremont-Smith Retired Businessman and Philanthropist NonVoting
Mr. John Issacson Issacson & Miller NonVoting
Mr. Mark Kraczkiewicz Retired USAID officer NonVoting
Ms. Frans Lawaetz IT start-up NonVoting
Mr. Henry Lee Retired President of Friends of the Public Garden NonVoting
Ms. Linda Lerner Executive Consultant NonVoting
Mr. Paul Moyer Gill Engineering NonVoting
Mr. Robert O'Brien Former Executive Director, Downtown North Association NonVoting
Ms. Geri Pangaro Retired Insurance Executive with Hancock NonVoting
Randy Peeler Berkshire Partners NonVoting
Mr. Matt Petrie Chan Krieger NBBJ NonVoting
Ms. Patricia Pratt Landscape Designer NonVoting
Ms. Candace Roosevelt Red Cross MA NonVoting
Mr. Richard Saltzberg former print executive NonVoting
Ms. Nancy Schön Sculptor NonVoting
Mr. Bruce Schwoegler MySky Communications NonVoting
Ms. Amy Segal lawyer with WilmerHale NonVoting
Mr. John R. Shields Shields Design NonVoting
Ms. Lisa Stone Winsor School rowing coach and artist NonVoting
Ms. Renata von Tscharner Retired NonVoting
Mr. Paul Walker Global Green USA NonVoting
Mr. William Ward P.E. NonVoting
Ms. Judy Warren Retired COO and HR specialist NonVoting
Ms. Ania Wieckowski Harvard Business Review Press NonVoting
Mr. John T. Williams Stern Shapiro Weissberg & Garin LLP NonVoting
Ms. Michelle Wu Boston City Council NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 12
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 0
Male: 0
Not Specified 12

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 73%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Nominating

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The CRC’s Founder, Renata von Tscharner, retired in June 2018. Building on the momentum of this leadership transition, we are developing a new strategic plan to create an actionable path forward that will increase the organization’s visibility while deepening our impact on the unmet needs of our public green spaces. A subcommittee of the board is shepherding this process with the leadership of the new Executive Director, Laura Jasinski.

The CRC also uses subcommittees to focus on important operational and programmatic priorities of the organization including: Finance Committee, Development Committee, Nominating Committee, Advocacy Committee and Swim Committee. Through each committee, we harness the specific expertise of our board and advisory board members to enhance and monitor the work of the organization.
-Laura Jasinski, CEO & Executive Director

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Revenue $1,297,800 $803,900 $732,800
Total Expenses $860,000 $665,100 $674,400

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $1,176,200 $633,500 $555,900
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- $21,300
Investment Income, Net of Losses $4,000 $169,200 $3,800
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $117,600 $1,200 $151,800
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Program Expense $329,200 $419,700 $420,300
Administration Expense $218,500 $145,100 $130,500
Fundraising Expense $312,300 $100,300 $123,600
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.51 1.21 1.09
Program Expense/Total Expenses 38% 63% 62%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 27% 16% 22%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Assets $1,082,500 $670,200 $643,300
Current Assets $1,078,000 $618,300 $629,000
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
Current Liabilities $22,800 $48,300 $160,200
Total Net Assets $1,059,700 $621,900 $483,100

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 47.28 12.80 3.93

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The vast majority of the CRC's support is from private contributions and we rely on foundation grants and individual donations to make the Charles River parks more active, attractive and accessible to all.

In 2018, the CRC held a gala to celebrate the many contributions and retirement of the CRC’s Founder. Following this successful campaign that raised over $800,000 in unrestricted monies, the CRC board approved a fixed amount to be used as a Strategic and Innovation Fund in FY2019 to support the organization's leadership transition. This fund will be strategically invested to increase the operational efficiency and programmatic capacity of the organization. The difference between FY2019 income and expenses is made up by this Fund ($185,000), as well as money raised in a prior fiscal year for program-restricted expenses that will be incurred in FY2019 ($93,780).

-Laura Jasinski, CEO & Executive Director


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the nonprofit's audited financials.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


Ultimately, the Charles River Conservancy (CRC) wants to see the 20 miles of urban river parks improved ecologically as well as for public access and year-round recreation. This linear park from downtown Boston to the Watertown Dam sustains heavy use by residents and visitors and a thin spread of state resources has left many parts of the Basin in need of special care and treatment. The CRC works with state and local agencies as well as different user groups to provide improvements and to foster a united vision for the Charles River parks. We continue to seek access along and across the river, recreational amenities throughout the river's parks, the public’s sense of ownership of this land, and great community building events in the riverside parks.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

The Charles River Conservancy's (CRC) steadfast advocacy is backed by strategic and thoughtful communications and relationships. Our communications strategy uses both digital and traditional media platforms. We engage supporters and constituents monthly through our e-newsletter, as well as specific interest groups with digital update e-blasts, social media, public meetings, events and press releases. We maintain relationships with our local and state elected officials, executive administrations, and the agencies charged with stewarding these properties. Through our partnerships with like-minded organizations, we coordinate briefings and lead sign-on letters to advance these priorities. Through swim and volunteer events we are able to spread our message of stewardship, renewal, and enhancement of the urban parks along the Charles River. Bringing the community directly to the parks they are able to engage and partake in the natural beauty of the outdoors and aid us in fulfilling our purpose.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

As an organization, we are lean and limber, able to move swiftly if an area of advocacy needs unexpected attention due to a shifting political or community issues. Through 19 years of successful work, we have earned the trust of civic-minded donors seeking an organization to invest in. Our talented staff have a wealth of experience in horticulture, urban planning, environmental studies and organizational administration. Combining these internal assets with the well-cultivated resource of the CRC's Board members and Advisory Board members creates a string, well-rounded network.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

We define our success by the amount of debris collected from the parks, the progress of our advocacy targets, the growth of our volunteering and swimming programs, the number of volunteer events held, advocates created, and positive public response to our work. Each of our initiatives and programs has a staff member to manage and track progress, as well as thorough oversight from the CRC's Board and Advisory Board committed to excellence in CRC programs.

As avid users of the parks, we also routinely check in on our success as we use, enjoy, and commute through the parks.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

We are so proud to have accomplished so much in the past 19 years since our founding. We have published three volumes of River Stories, collaborated many RiverSing’s with Revels, held eight summers of Sunday Parkland Games, opened a state-of-the-art skatepark, and hosted over 31,000 volunteers since being founded in 2000. Yet we are still finding more ways to improve the Charles River and its parks. By supporting pathway restoration, installing bridge lights, and advocating for safer, cleaner parks, paths, and water the CRC is able to push for our goal of stewardship, renewal, and enhancement of the urban parks. We often find that our current projects can blossom into much larger initiatives leaving us with more opportunities to enhance the river. One example is the pilot floating treatment wetlands which has grown out of our water quality monitoring for the Swimming Initiative and explores a need strategy for addressing cyanobacteria blooms. None of our work would have come to be without the steadfast dedication of the CRC’s staff, volunteers, and donors. By working together, we have accomplished so much and look forward to the years ahead when we will accomplish so much more.