Annual Letter to Members, 2013

Dear Friends of Hemlock Gorge:

2013 has been a year of excellent progress for the Friends, and with your help, 2014 will be even better.

  • The Friends spring and fall cleanups and summer concert were successful, well attended, and well covered in local papers. The Tzu Chi Buddhist Center participated in the spring cleanup.
  • We have now on several occasions enjoyed the windows and protective screening installed at the Stone Building. Thanks again to John and Amy Mah Sangiolo, whose gift helped make it possible.
  • Fewer hemlocks remain because of the relentless activity of the adelgids. Those that remain are in poor condition and some have fallen. We learned that the Arnold Arboretum has reversed course and is applying insecticides to their hemlocks. There is an effective injectable agent, and we are exploring with local arborists if such applications are feasible and affordable at Hemlock Gorge. Unfortunately, trees may be too far gone at this point. There has been no evidence of the adelgid-eating ladybugs for years. On the bright side, the Asian longhorned beetle has not appeared.
  • We again recognize our indebtedness to Seana Gaherin (of Dunn Gaherin’s Restaurant) and Karen Osborne-Shanley who generously pay the cost of many of our activities including the clean-up luncheons, our 2012 holiday party, and the summer picnic entertainment.
  • This fall Karen oversaw the first element of her landscaping plan to improve the appearance of the Stone Building. Loom has been brought in, and several varieties of perennials planted.

In 2014, we can build on this record.

  • We hope to continue our efforts to turn the grounds of the Stone Building into a gateway to the reservation with elegant new fencing and additional landscaping.
  • We also plant to place seedlings in the spring to mask the Needham side, screening the edges of the park so you see trees and not houses when you look across the Gorge.
  • We will continue our spring and fall cleanups and summer concert. Visit
  • We’ll participate in making Seana Gaherin’s second Tuscan Feast in Hemlock Gorge as successful as was the first one last June.

To accomplish this and more, we need your continued help in three ways:

  1. Renew your membership by filling in the accompanying form and support us with your dues.
  2. Indicate which projects on the accompanying page that you believe deserve priority for allocating the Friends’ advocacy efforts and your dues. Our former chief administrator Bonnie Pearson has moved away, and we desperately need someone to help with the running of the Friends.
  3. Attend one of our monthly meetings in the Emerson Community Center on Pettee Street, Newton Upper Falls at 7:30 p.m., usually on the first Tuesday of the month. Please be part of our work.

With best wishes,                                                         

Brian Yates, President

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