The Friends of Hemlock Gorge
Annual Letter to Members, 1996
December 3, 1996
Dear Friends of Hemlock
At this time of Thanksgiving and Holiday Cheer, we write to you
again to mark the end of another eventful year for the Friends
and to appeal to you to renew your membership and your commitment
to our activities in 1997.
Above all else, we invite you to participate in our monthly meeting
held, unless otherwise noted, at 7:15 p.m. on the first Tuesday
of every month at the Emerson Community Center on Pettee Street
in Newton Upper Falls. (Mark these upcoming 1997 dates: Jan 7,
Feb. 4, Mar. 4, Apr. 1, May 6, June 3, Sept. 9, Oct 7, Nov. 11,
and Dec. 2!) Please do come to our next meeting; we need ideas
and look forward to the pleasure of your company!
The following were among the activities sponsored, supported,
and lobbied for by the Friends in 1996:
- Our outstanding achievement in 1996 was the beautification
and dedication of the long awaited parking lot at the corner of
Ellis Street and the Route 9 off ramp. This small but much needed
lot had been built as a direct result of advocacy by the Friends.
We hope that all of you will share our delight in this civic improvement.
The Friends contributed $400 towards the cost of planting flowers
and a tree around the lot. The Upper Falls CDC matched this amount.
The landscaping plan was designed by Kenn Eisenbraun of the Newton
Planning Department. Kevin R. Hollenbeck of the MDC purchased
the flowers, tree, and other supplies to implement the plan. The
Friends joined the MDC staff in the actual planting in the spring.
- Cleanups of the Reservation were well attended. We're pleased
to report that the Gorge remains well cared for and tidy.
- Legislation to improve the Stone Building sponsored by Representatives
Kay Khan and Lida Harkins and Senator Lois Pines was approved
by the State Legislature.
- We have seen to continuing removal of graffiti on the bridge
and on the Ellis Street underpass as soon as it appears.
- MDC Site Supervisor Kevin R. Hollenbeck has attended most
of our meetings. He has been active in our clean-ups and as noted
above purchased flowers and a tree for the Reservation's new parking
lot. We look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship
- State Representative Kay Khan continues to take an active
interest in the Friends and their activities. She remains committed
to providing for care and maintenance not only of the Gorge but
also of the riverbank along Quinobequin Road.
- Finally, we are delighted to announce that a Friends of Hemlock
Gorge World Wide Web Home Page has been established. The URL is
http://www.channel1.com/users/hemlock. This page
will eventually list our scheduled activities, offer some graphical
images of the Reservation, and provide an archive of our activities.
The City of Newton now has an official home page, and we hope
to be linked with it and with other conservation organizations
in the first half of 1997
- Activities planned for the immediate future that require
volunteers are numerous.
- We will work with the Mass. Water Resources Authority to restore
the ironwork on Echo Bridge and to reconstruct the Echo Platform.
- We will continue to work on the restoration of the Ellis Stone
Building off Route 9. The Stone Building subcommittee needs new
members interested in this historically important restoration
- The Friends still hope to construct a Bridge that we shall
name the Friends' Bridge. It will span the small raceway behind
the Devil's Den where a rustic bridge was once located.
- Finally, we will redouble our efforts in the legislature to
generate the funding and the mandates needed to maintain and preserve
Hemlock Gorge, Echo Bridge, and the associated MDC properties
None of these activities can or will take place, however, without
your support. The financial needs of the Friends are few but important.
Your dues pay for stationery, postage, the Web site, and the buttons
and T shirts that we sell as fund raisers. Dues also pay for our
post office box that now gets your correspondence to us quickly
and reliably! Please take this opportunity to read the enclosed
brochure, fill it out, and renew your membership for 1997 in whatever
amount you can.
Whether you're an active member, a member who may not have paid
dues for 1996, someone who would like to join formally for the
first time, or just a Friend, we welcome your response and participation.
Because we want to inform as many members of the community as
possible about our efforts, it's not necessary to be a member
in order to receive mailings, but we would like to know who is
interested and who isn't. Enclosed is an envelope complete with
stamp and our complete address to make your response easy. Please
fill out the enclosed membership card and return it with your
preferences indicated. If you wish to join or renew, dues categories
are listed on the card. Dues for 1997 can be paid now or at any
Thank you for your interest in the preservation of the Hemlock
Gorge/Echo Bridge Reservation. We hope to see you on January 7,
With best wishes,
Brian Yates, President
John P. Mordes, M.D., Membership Cooordinator
This page last modified January 12, 1997
Back to the Index of Annual Reports
Back to the Friends' Home Page