Annual Letter to Members, 1995

Dear Friends of Hemlock Gorge:

At this time of Thanksgiving and Holiday Cheer, we write to you 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 1995.

Above all else, we invite you to participate in our monthly meeting, held 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 1996 dates: Jan. 2, Feb. 6, Mar. 5, Apr. 2, and May 7!) Please do come to the 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 1995:

  • Our outstanding achievement in 1995 was the approval and construction of the long awaited parking lot at the corner of Ellis Street and the Route 9 offramp. This small but much needed lot was designed and approved by the City of Newton more than twenty years ago. Under the leadership of the Friends, the plan was resurrected, introduced to the Board of Aldermen, approved (not without struggle), and finally built. We hope that all of you will share our delight in this civic improvement and will join us for the dedication ceremony next spring.
  • Spring cleanup of the Reservation was well attended. We’re pleased to report that the Gorge remains well cared for and tidy.
  • Legislation to improve the Stone Building has been introduced into the legislature.
  • We have seen to continuing removal of graffiti on the bridge and on the Ellis Street underpass as soon as it appears.
  • The Gorge has a new MDC Site Supervisor. Kevin R. Hollenbeck has replaced Rob McArthur as our ranger. Kevin has attended several of our meetings and we look forward to working with him.
  • State Representative Kay Khan has taken an active interest in the Friends and their activities. She is particularly interested in providing for care and maintenance not only of the Gorge but also of the riverfront along Quinobequin Road.
  • A very successful ice skaing party was held at New Pond.

Activities planned for the immediate future that require volunteers are numerous.

  • 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.
  • We will work with the Mass. Water Resources Authority to restore the ironwork on Echo Bridge and to reconstruct the Echo Platform.
  • The restoration of the Ellis Stone Building, has entered a new phase with the architect’s com-pletion of the interior drawings and a landscaping proposal. The Stone Building subcommittee needs new members interested in this historically important restoration project.
  • We are working to create a World Wide Web home page for the Friends of Hemlock Gorge on the Internet. This page would list our scheduled activities, offer some grapical images of the Reservation, and provide an archive of our activites. The City of Newton now has an official home page, and we hope to link to it in the first half of 1996.
  • Finally, we will redouble our efforts in the legislature to generate the funding and the mandates needed to maintina and preserve both Hemlock Gorge and its associated MDC properties downstream.

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, and the buttons and T shirts that we sell at fund raisers. It also pays for our new post office box that 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 1996 in whatever amount you can.

Whether you’re an active member, a member who may not have paid dues for 1995, 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 NEW 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 1995 can be paid now or at any meeting.

Thank you for your interest in the preservation of the Hemlock Gorge/Echo Bridge Reservation. We hope to see you in January, 1996.

With best wishes,

Brian Yates, President

John P. Mordes, M.D., Membership Coordinator