Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ENHC Nomination Process, Haverhill News, Green News, Connor's Farm


Essex Heritage Nominating Committee Completes its Task

The Essex Heritage Commission Nominating Committee under the direction of new Trustee Sumner Jones from Eastern Bank had completed its task and has identified a dozen and a half potential new Commissioners. Invitation letters have been sent to the nominees and over the next couple of weeks prior to and just after the annual meeting exploratory conversations will be held with interested parties to learn if they will accept a position as a Commissioner. At the Essex Heritage Annual Meeting scheduled for October 20, 2009 at the Community House in Hamilton a final list of Commissioner nominees will be presented for election and the region will have a new group of advocates to help spread the good word about the work of Essex Heritage. As we finalize a list we will provide profiles in this space later this month.

News from Haverhill’s Mayor

Earlier this month we received a newsletter from the Mayor Jim Fiorentini of Haverhill. The Mayor while very guarded about the direction of State revenues and how those trends will affect Haverhill remained upbeat about several positive activities in his community. The City received a recent visit from Governor Patrick who participated in a celebration of the opening of Hamel Mills Lofts in Haverhill and to announce that the City will receive funding to build a new parking garage in the downtown. This is a project that is much needed and that the City has desired for some time, and the announcement was greeted with much enthusiasm. The Mayor’s newsletter also noted that the City had also received an Open Space grant to purchase an old rail trail in Bradford. That purchase has been accomplished without the expenditure of any municipal funds and the community is very pleased to now own the open space from the Basilier Bridge to the Comeau Bridge. The City is making plans to apply for State grant funding to convert that old rail line into a walking and bicycle trail. This is certainly part of a longer term plan but the Mayor remained confidant that there will be a rail trail in the future along the river in Bradford. Essex Heritage is certainly a strong advocate of rail trail expansion in this region, and looks forward to hearing more of this project in the not too distant future. The Mayor also announced that the City continues to Go Green. Solar panels are being installed at the Senior Center to help manage costs, and a posting that National Grid is about to begin construction on one of the largest solar farms in New England at the old gas company site was announced. The Mayor lauded this announcement as a great way to enhance the already positive image of the City of Haverhill.

Sticking with the Green Trend

I saw a recent news release that I thought was most positive as it contained information about two communities that were teaming up to qualify as Green Communities. If going green were not positive enough, any time two communities take positive steps to accomplish anything collectively it is a big plus for the region and the citizens of the two communities. . I have long advocated the need to accomplish more tasks collectively as there is so much more that can be accomplished together rather than alone. The communities of Salem and Swampscott that have a common border were recently selected by the State Department of Energy Resources to receive a technical assistance grant under the Green Communities program. The assistance is designed to help municipalities meet the criteria needed to qualify as green communities which will then make them eligible for additional grants. This certainly qualifies as a wonderful example of how two neighboring communities can work together to help accomplish a common and commendable goal. Anything that local communities can do to set an example of working together and saving energy is most admirable. We applaud the municipal leaders of Salem and Swampscott for seeing the need to work together and to cooperate as a small part of a larger region.

Connor’s Farm in Danvers

This is such a wonderful time to visit local farms. The fall season is a great time to experience all of the wonderful open space resources we have in this region, and the area farms are a perfect example and use of the preservation of open space. The Connor’s Farm at 30 Valley Road (Route 35) in Danvers just before one gets to Topsfield has always been a great example of combining the opportunity to purchase locally grown produce and having a little fun at the same time. The farm that was founded in 1904 and began life as a truck farm, now has had for many years, a wonderful farm stand on the 140 acre working farm, where all kinds of produce can be purchased. This year, Bob Connors, who I am happy to say played Little League baseball for me years ago in Danvers, mowed has annual corn maize to a new level. The seven acre maize is shaped as Family Guy characters “Stewie and Brian”. I can’t say, I can even begin to explain to you who these characters are, but I understand they are from a popular Fox TV show that appears here in the Boston region. Arial shots of the maize have appeared in local newspapers and a shot of the maize can be viewed on the farm web site at, In any event the maize is quite popular and is open through the end of the month. I am certain that Bob Connors would welcome you to a visit to his “Family Guy” maize and his farm stand through the end of this month. October is such a great time to get out into this region and enjoy all of the farms that dot this historic landscape.

As always, your comments, observation and questions about the work of Essex Heritage are welcome. Please contact me click here at or call 978 720 0444. Thanks. Tom Leonard

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