Annual Letter to Members, 2015

Dear Friends of Hemlock Gorge:

2015 was again a productive year for the Friends.

  • Our meetings were well attended, the picnic was enjoyed by everyone, and our cleanups of the Gorge went well. Our pruning crew continued its work. A new kiosk has been installed at Hamilton Place
  • Thanks to your generosity, we have about $11,000 available to support our 2016 projects.
  • We supported and participated in the annual Feast at the Falls sponsored by Seana Gaherin.

2016 promises to be a challenging year.

  • Karen Osborn and Evan Westrake are leading efforts to design and fund a new fence between the Stone Building and the river. Karen Osborn plans to continue to upgrade the landscaping in front of the Stone Building and add an informational kiosk. These efforts will require hard work on design, budget, and submission of a public/private partnership application to the DCR for funding. Site Supervisor Erica Aubin and DCR’s Director of Partnerships Lisa Barstow are working with us. The initial cost estimate is $27,000. If confirmed, then under the terms of the partnership program, A Friends contribution of $9,000 would be matched 1:2 with $18,000 from DCR.
  • Bob Burke has initiated an effort to learn if we can use modern pest control methods to help save some of the hemlocks. He and other members of the Friends met with a representative of Newton’s Lupien Tree Service, Jason Lupien. The group learned that it is not only the woolly adelgid that is threatening the trees, but also two kinds of hemlock scale that are on all the trees. Jason believes that modern insecticidal injections would save most of the trees, but the injections need to be done yearly. What trees can be treated and at what cost will be a focus of discussion in 2016.
  • Work will also need to be done on trail maintenance, a close inspection of the roof of the Stone Building (now nearly 30 years old), use of land that may be added back to the Reservation after Route 128 is reconstructed during the next two years, and the impact of the closure for reconstruction of the Eliot Street Bridge next July for six months.

In order to continue our work, the Friends of Hemlock Gorge need your help, in the form of contributions,   participation in our cleanups and our picnics, and input into our plans and expenditures.

We usually meet the first Tuesday of every month September to June at 7:30 P.M. in the Emerson Community Center. Visit for news and updates.

We hope to get your return mail, and see you at our activities and meetings. Thank you for all you have done for Hemlock Gorge Reservation in 2015 and for all you will help the Friends do in 2016.                                                        

Brian Yates, President

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