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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes of Meetings in 2021


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

The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for January 5, 2021

Next Meeting: Tuesday February 2, 2021  at 7:15

Present: John Mordes, Loumona Petroff, Bill Humphrey, Robin Dexter, Bob Burke, Rena Getz, Evan Weststrate, Don Ross, Sheila Purdy

 Treasurer’s Report:

According to Robin,there is now $6,419,70 in the treasury. $700.00 came from the December outreach for dues. The email went out to about 90 people. 24 dues payments came back. One special donation came from Tanya which included an additional unique donation which came with a letter expressing her special appreciation of Hemlock Gorge. She had become aware of the park recently after living in the area for many years. Dues payments were evenly split between Paypal and regular mailing. The $30.00 registration fee for 501c3  federal tax exemption has been paid. The state filing is more complicated and will follow.

 Visitor’s Center:

The lumber has been dropped off to install the second floor storage area. Erica’s approval will be needed to approve the drainage improvements to the first floor. The cost will probably fit into the budget for next year, but cost needs to be estimated for the partial drain.

 Lara Bench:

There is general support for an additional bench as suggested by Lara Prebble. Evan has looked into styles and costs of bench options. 2 style categories are: formal or rustic. Evan showed examples of these different styles. Rustic benches could theoretically made from downed trees in the park or from elsewhere from other park properties. DCR could identify trees that would be suitable. This could lower the overall cost.  Evan will follow up on the rustic bench options from local companies. There was concern over  potential graffiti or defacement of a wooden bench.

 Crosswalk to Quinobequin, Trail Proposal, and Ellis Street Stairs:

Ruth Balser is working with the MWRA on the stairs. There has been no information to update. She is also overseeing the crosswalk and guardrail improvements which seem feasible. MassTrails initiative proposal due to upgrade park trails. The steep trail steps in the Gorge could be made safer. Rena is monitoring this project along with the Waban Area Council. A proposal is due Feb 1st.

 Bob Burke’s Project:

Bob is trying to report on the changes in the park flora over the years and is seeking resources to document them. Local resources were suggested including Richard Primack who lectured at BU and Kathy Howard who is monitoring the growing problem with invasives in the area. Don wanted more information about identifying invasives. Local diaries or notes on the subject will be very welcome. Contacts on with pertinent information should be referred to Bob.

  Graffiti:

The problem with recurring graffiti is “endless”. Emily has repaired graffiti on the echo platform and a check has been sent to reimburse her for costs. Her efforts have been much appreciated.

 Hemlock Gorge Poster:

Evan brought 3 examples of posters he designed from photographs in his collection. They were very well received and members brainstormed ways to use them in the future to reward members or to raise funds. The posters reflected different seasons in the park and could be reproduced in different formats.

 Trash Dumping:

John showed pictures of numerous bags of trash that were dumped in the Needham area of the park near Hamilton Place . There were quite a few of them. DCR has been apprised of the problem. Some suggestions of technological oversight were offered to keep the problem from recurring.

Health Concerns:

John updated the group on vaccine developments and answered questions from members about precautions and procedures.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Purdy, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for February 3, 2021

Next Meeting: Tuesday March 3, 2021 at 7:15.

Present: Tanya Karpiak, Rena Getz, Maureen Riley-Meagher, John Mordes, Bob Burke, Robin Dexter, Lara Prebble, Evan Weststrate, Jean Fisher, Lee Fisher, Don Ross, Bill Humphrey, Sheila Purdy

Treasurer’s Report: Robin reported a balance of $6,408.62. The new Paypal option isworking well, and the IRS paperwork has been filed for 2020.

Trash and Fallen Tree Problems: Erica arranged for trash bags to be removed. Since they were apparently left by a landscaper and contained mostly leaves, these were scattered in the park. Lee visited the site and spoke to the neighbors in Needham who were also concerned with the dumping of trash at the site. Maureen stated that trash dumping isalso a problem for Quinobequin.

Skating Party: Kudos were offered to Evan and Lee who helped organize a skating party on the pond. Around 50-70 people attended. A neighbor filmed the event from a drone. The last time the weather permitted skating on the pond was 2018.

Web Design Upgrade: Evan has been contacted by Braun-Weiss to offer help for upgrading the Friends’  website. Over the next few months an intern can be assigned to practice web design skills by assisting the Friends. The intern will be supervised andthere will be no cost. The entire website will be archived and content can be “added easily”. Mailing list and membership names will not be made available. A new website host can also be explored. Hosting currently costs $100 per year. New hosting sites are about $300.00 per year. Our current host, Network Solutions, has been paid for 2 years. Because of the extensive information currently on the site archives, an examination of options would be helpful. The Friends need to plan for current and future needs which could include e-commerce options for selling books and posters online. Maureen said Quinobequin does not have a website.  She wants to know if it is possible to partner this function on the new site. for a custom bench from a private company.  

Hamilton Place Improvements: John showed a picture of the Hamilton place site whichhas overgrown weedy shrubs and an unsightly view of neighbors’ yards. He showedhow much the site could be improved with plantings for a green fence of GiantArbor Vitae to improve the look of the landscape. He spoke with Erica  who was verysupportive and could provide labor for planting. Friends were concerned that the look of a row of identical shrubs would not look natural to the setting and wanted to examine other options, but everyone generally agreed that a green fence planting would enhancethe appearance of the site. Young hemlocks could be planted.

Spring Cleanup: The date for the 2021 spring cleanup has been set for April 24th.

 Bob Burke’s Project: The Newton Historical Society is currently closed. Bob is searching for old diaries. The  Olmstead Library does not include information on plants, only hardscaping and engineering projects. Richard Primack was suggested as a source of help. He currently has students available to work on projects. A display of the findings from the project could eventually be displayed at the Visitors Center.

Visitors Center: Wood is on site to finish 2nd floor storage area. DCR does not want to use building for gatherings. Flooring is OK’d to be installed in first floor once 2nd floor is in place.

Crosswalk/Staircase Update: Crosswalk is “in process” of  getting upgrade. Still waitingfor MWRA to communicate findings on Ellis street staircase.

Ellis Street Parking Lot: “Looks Good” trash barrel installed and emptied regularly.

Graffitti: Emily did a lot of work to remove graffiti. Evan endorsed her efforts and OK’d reimbursement for her expenses on supplies. Thank you, Emily.  A webcam was suggested to monitor ongoing illegal activity on the platform.

Other Matters: 3 river otters were spotted!  

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Purdy, Secretary 


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for March x, 2021

Next Meeting: Tuesday April x, 2021 at 7:15

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Purdy, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for April x, 2021

Next Meeting: Tuesday May x, 2021 at 7:15

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Purdy, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for May x, 2021

Next Meeting: Tuesday June x, 2021 at 7:15

To be continued

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Purdy, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for June and August, 2021

Next Meeting: Tuesday September x, 2021 at 7:15

To be continued

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Purdy, Secretary 


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for September x, 2021

Next Meeting: Tuesday October x, 2021at 7:15

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Purdy, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for October x, 2021

Next Meeting: Tuesday November x, 2021 at 7:15

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Purdy, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for November x, 2021

Next Meeting: Tuesday December x, 2021 at 7:15

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Purdy, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for December 4, 2021

Next Meeting: Tuesday, January 8, 2022 at 7:15

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Purdy, Secretary


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