Becky and Bjorn became Blue Hills Champions by signing up for monthly giving.  Why?  Because they love the Blue Hills!

By Michael Morgan

Becky Simonds and Bjorn Olsen are Milton residents and long-time supporters of the Friends of the Blue Hills. They have a special fondness for all things Blue Hills. Becky is a Master Gardener with the Milton Garden Club and was a major player in establishing the Trailside Native Plant Garden just feet across from the Trailside Museum early in the previous decade. She worked with Garden Club members and other volunteers to turn an area rife with brush and overgrowth into the habitat for native plants, birds and animals that exists today. Bjorn, an amateur carpenter (when he is not busy being a professor at Harvard Medical and Dental School) created the “Bee Condo” within the garden, a wooden structure where solitary honeybees can stow away the eggs they have laid.  Please help care for the park and join Becky and Bjorn by becoming Blue Hills Champions today!

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in the Blue Hills?

Becky: There are so many trails here. We’ve gone out on nature walks, photography rambles, sunset hikes…There is so much here.
Bjorn: I like the hiking. The Blue Hills remind me of home in Norway (where he grew up).

Q. When you think of your time in the Blue Hills, which memory stands out the most?
Becky: We first took our son, Christopher (now 23), here when he was very young.  I remember how special it was to just be together. We’d go to Ponkapoag and Houghton’s Pond. We brought him here with his cousins, picnicking on the ski hills. And when he was a little older, he liked to run around here with his friends and go up in the stone lookout tower.

Q. Why do you support the Friends of the Blue Hills? What made you decide to give monthly and become Champions?
Becky: A friend said funding was always being cut from places like the Blue Hills and the Trailside Museum. I think it’s crazy that the Blue Hills has no regular funding stream.

Being a Champion is so convenient for donors. It’s easy to remember to do it every month. It is so important to give to non-profits that champion the outdoors. We need places like this, now more than ever.

Q. How did you first hear about the Friends of the Blue Hills?
Becky: Just from coming here. It is so great to breathe the air outdoors and get out among nature.

Q. How long have you been a member? What activities have you been involved with?
Becky: We have been members for quite a few years. We’ve done the hikes, worked on spring cleanup projects. We like to hike here all year round.
Bjorn: We’ve gone cross country skiing here too. I started skiing when I was five years old back in Norway, in the Telemark Region. My mother, brother and I could walk to area close to our house and just go.

Q. If the Blue Hills were not protected and preserved, how might your life be different?
Bjorn: I’d encourage people to be active (in preserving and protecting them). They’re so close to our house.
Becky: I’d be looking for someplace else like them. The Blue Hills are an all-season playground. This land has been so well traveled and traversed and I love being out in nature.

Q. Any other stories, thoughts or feelings you want to convey about how and why the Blue Hills are important to you?
Becky: There’s a fascinating history here. The Blue Hills were once a volcano. And Native Americans were here. I want to hike the Skyline Trail, the whole 10 miles in the course of a day. There you can go by an area where the Native Americans once sharpened their tools.

Q. If someone goes to the Blue Hills for the first time ever, what is the first thing they might think of, and why?
Becky: There is so much to do here. You can come here alone, you can come with friends. And there is a national movement to make areas like this appeal to a more diverse population

Thanks to Michael Morgan for this interview!