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Massachusetts residents and tourists enjoying the beautiful city parks never have to think about the work involved in creating and caring for them. There’s a lot of creativity, planning and hard work that goes into the design and maintenance of a public space like the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and co-op has provided an opportunity for Jiaqi Wang, a graduate student in the Design for Sustainable Urban Environments program, to put her classroom skills and knowledge to practice. Wang is on co-op at The Greenway, the Conservancy of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a public park in the heart of Boston. Wang works as a Park Operation intern where she works on horticulture and park maintenance projects.

Wang explains, The Greenway is a non-profit organization that was created after the “Big Dig” in Boston to manage and maintain the park. “The goal is to bring nature to the urban environment, making Boston a better place to live.”

Her duties include helping to maintain the park, designing a new parcel, helping to remove damaged plants, translating signs and documents, and doing tree inventory in whole parcels.

Wang said her co-op experience has helped her prepare for her career in urban design. “My co-op experience has given me more opportunities to learn the things I didn’t know before and communicate with a lot of experienced engineers and designers. I also learned how to choose and care for suitable plants for different situations.”  At The Conservancy, Wang has learned how to put her classwork and her ideas to practice to be “a real designer.”