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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes of Meetings in 2018


January February March
April May June
July: No Meeting August: Picnic Meeting September
October November December

The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for January 2, 2018

Next Meeting: Tuesday February 6, 2018 at 7:30

Present were Brian Yates, Evan Westrate, Vaunita Schnell, Robin Dexter, Paul Roberts, Jay Werb, and Bob Burke.

Discussions initially cented on the upcoming development of the large vacant property on Needham Street.

April 28 will be the date of the Charles River Cleanup, and Brian set this as the date for the spring cleanup of Hemlock Gorge.

Brial told us that he spoke to Rob MacArthur, the first site supervisor of Hemlock Gorge in the 1980s. Rob is now Director of Conservation and Open Spaces for the city of Framingham. Rob recalled helping with the restoration of the Stone Building some 30 years ago. He said that the building's stone work was repaired by MDC masons. After that the roof was repaired either by the Army Corps of Engineers or the National Guard, no one recalls for certain. Rob would like to work with Brian to re-establish contact with the appropriate parties.

Brian announced that the response to our December mailing and appeal for dues was fair, but he did not have a number. Paul suggested we approach the Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses for support. It was pointed out that we are not an official 501c3 entity, and contributions would most likely have to be given to the public partner as part of cost-sharing project, as was the new railing work that was recently completed at the Stone building.

We agreed that the Stone Building roof repair and re-shingling would be our priority one project for 2018. We will try to contact Marty Rudi of the DCR who told us a year ago that there might be shingles already available.

Finally, Dr. John turned over several bpoinds of old Friends of Hemlock Gorge documents that he had accumulated over the last 25 years. Brian will add this material to the Friends' archives.

This meeting adjourned at 8:29 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

John Mordes, Interim Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for February 6, 2018

Next Meeting: Tuesday March 6, 2018 at 7:30.

No one took minutes.

Respectfully Submitted,

John Mordes, Interim Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for March 6, 2018

Next Meeting: Tuesday April 3, 2018 at 7:30

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for April 3, 2018

Next Meeting: Tuesday May 1, 2018 at 7:30

No one took minutes.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for May 1, 2018

Next Meeting: Tuesday June 5, 2018 at 7:39

No one took minutes.

Respectfully Submitted,

Betsy DeVoss, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for June 6, 2018

Next Meeting: Tuesday September 11, 2018 at 7:30

Present were Brian Yates, Robin Dexter, Lee and Jean Fisher, Catherine Howard, Sheila Purdy, Vaunita Schnell, and JPM

JPM announced that the FHG Website has been renewed for another five years and paid for by the Friends. The renewal of the hosting package and the site name was $700.

Catherine Howard from the Newton Conservators came. She updated us on their activities. She expressed particular concern about invasives inthe reservation. She showed us a sample of black swallow-wort, which is not only invasive but fatal to monarch butterfly larva. Much of Upper Falls in infested. Members suggested trying to recruit children to help with this work. She announced invasive pull events at Hemlock Gorge scheduled for Sunday 6/10 and 6/17 from 9:30 to noon. Volunteers will meet at the Ellis St. parking lot. A notice will be sent to everyone on our mailing list.

The summer picnic was scheduled for the first Tuesday of August, the 7th.

Lee suggested we appleal to Site Supervisor Erica to lobby for better restoration of the Hamilton Place meadow and removal of hay bales.

Lee also proposed adding Echo Bridge to Hemlock Gorge signs at park entrances. He also proposes moving the sign by the meadow on Ellis Street to remove the obstructions blocking view of the electrical substation and lamp post. The can they be made resistant to graffiti. The proposal wil be posted here later. JPM will send it to Erica.

We voted to express our appreciation to Erica and the DCR for cleaning up the property at the intersection of Ellis street and the Route 9 exit.

Brian and Catherine propose to add invasive plant removal to clean up activities in the future.

Stone Building roof: there has been no progress.

Echo Bridge: JPM noted that the page link fencing is gone and replaced by a more solid fence to the inside of the original BWW fence. Lee explained that "Option 4b" was set in motion to replace the page link fence. This was due in part to inability of the Echo Bridge Railings Project to obtain funding for an historically correct railing. The funding proposal for $500,000 was defected 4-3 in Newton, and the $250,000 part of the proposal was defeated 7-2 in Needham. In general it appeared that there was a generic objection to spending city funds on state properties Other issues included heavy expenditures for other historical preservation projects that have already been approved. Therefore, the MDC went forward with the option. The original BWW railing is not being removed. Lee's strategy foing forward is to try to get federal money (from the ave Americas Treasures Program), then go back to for Community Preservation Act funs, $250-500K per project. The Bridge needs to be recognized as of historical significance. There are 3 categories of significance: local, state, and federal. Echo Bridge is state level. It will require a major effort to get national status for the Treasures program application.

Sheila thinks we should try to make Echo Bridge a legend, e.g. by making the echo platform a place to go for lovers to affirm their affection.

JPM gave a report on the renewal of our website through 2023 and repeated his appeal for additional help to modernize and maintain it.

This meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jeff Session, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for September x, 2018

Next Meeting: Tuesday October 2, 2018 at 7:30

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for October 2, 2018

Next Meeting: Tuesday November 13, 2018 at 7:30

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

John Mordes, Secretary pro tempore


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for November 13, 2018

Next Meeting: Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 7:30

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for December 4, 2018

Next Meeting: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7:30

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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