Annual Letter to Members, 2017

Dear Friends of Hemlock Gorge:

2017 was a rewarding year for the Friends 2018 promises to be even better.

  • Foremost among our accomplishments, spearheaded by Evan Westrate and Karen Osborn, was the fabrication and installation of new fencing in front of the Stone Building, by the Circular Dam. This was the result of a public-private partnership agreement between the Friends and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).  Under the terms of this agreement the Friends contributed one-third of the cost of the project, a little over $9,000, and the DCR covered the remaining $18,000. The result is an absolutely lovely railing that replace the old bent steel pipes and matches very nicely the railings that were installed as  part of the spillway repair project in 2015. Thanks to Evan for his outstanding efforts to bring this project to its successful conclusion
  • Moving forward, we are now studying ways to address the deteriorated cedar roof of the Stone Barn and possible partnerships for repair. One is with the Army Corps of Engineers who fixed it 20 years ago and second with the U.S. Geological Survey, which has used the building for decades to record the depth of the River. This will be a high priority in 2018.
  • A DCR crew cut down dead trees and opened up the floor of the Reservation to much more sunlight and made the handful of small hemlocks in the Gorge more visible and accessible
  • Lee Fisher has continued the Friends effort to work in partnership with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority to replace the rusted and shattered railings on top of Echo Bridge with new steel railings that will keep their appearance far better than the current railings that show the deterioration of 100+ years exposed to the elements
  • The Friends spring cleanup and summer concert were successful and well attended.
  • 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.

We need your help to build on our success.

  • Our spring and fall cleanups need your continued participation.
  • Our fundraising projects need your vocal and visible support as we ask Newton and Needham for Community Preservation Act funds and private donors to fund new railings for Echo Bridge.
  •  Please visit our web site at and visit us on Facebook.
  •  Finally, please attend our monthly meetings, usually on the first Tuesday of the month, at the Emerson Community Center on Pettee Street in Newton Upper Falls.

We hope to receive your commitment and financial by your return mail,
Thank you for all you have done for Hemlock Gorge Reservation in 2017 and for all you will help the Friends do in 2018.

With best wishes,                                                         

Brian Yates, President

John P. Mordes, MD., Membership Coordinator and Webmaster