Why is Jean Beebe a Blue Hills Champion? Because she loves the park all year long!
By Michael Morgan
Jean Beebe is an athlete for all seasons and praises the Blue Hills as the perfect place for year-long recreation. Jean is a proud Blue Hills Champion, so she can not only enjoy the Blue Hills all year long, her monthly donations also help care for it.
Jean first saw the Blue Hills some 40 years ago when she moved to Boston after college. She remembers spotting the Blue Hills on map.
“I always loved paper maps,” she recalls, and she had one with “a big green spot… it looked like a cool place to visit.”
Since that time, Jean has been hooked on the Hills, noting, “the Blue Hills are an amazing resource…They are so accessible… You see people picnicking there, you can experience the forest.” She has “spent a lot of time in the woods,” on walks and as a teacher and Girl Scout leader, and “I have trained there” for mini-triathalons.
Jean notices a lot of first-time visitors, especially near Houghton’s Pond since the trail around the pond does not have steep terrain. She has taken many first-timers on beginner hikes, noting “people want to get out of the house,” especially after enduring the pandemic. She recalls some newcomers “wanting to meet people but being a little nervous, reserved, even crossing their arms,” but soon after their initial hike, she sees them “with wide smiles. That’s what the woods do for you.”
Jean feels ‘a sense of stewardship’ for the Blue Hills and wants to help make sure it is well cared for. She not only is a Blue Hills Champion, but she also helps to care for the park as a trail volunteer.
“We need places like the Blue Hills,” Jean says. “There is so much development, and the Blue Hills are smack dab in the middle of it, so we need these places.” She finds the outdoors healing. “There’s a sense of mindfulness here.” She believes people should advocate for more open spaces and sees the Blue Hills as “a locale that is worth supporting. You can be there by yourself, or with 20 kids. They’re a gift.” Jean also points out that the Blue Hills are a great place to visit all year long, so it follows that the Blue Hills are a great place to support all year long as a Blue Hills Champion. “You gravitate there. The Reservation is truly a place for all seasons.”