The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Annual End-of-Year Letter to Members, 2019

December 3, 2019

Dear Friends of Hemlock Gorge:

2019 was a year of transition and renewal and accomplishment for the Friends.

 On March 15 our founder and president, Brian Yates, passed away. Since then much has been written about him and his contributions to his constituents, community and Hemlock Gorge. He is very much missed, but his vision and determination live on.

 At our April meeting, a new leadership team was elected to continue Brian’s Work. John Mordes was elected President. Evan Weststrate now serves as Vice-President, Robin Dexter as Treasurer (succeeding Jim Purdy who retired), and Sheila Purdy as Secretary.

 Our first order of business was the granite bench that we had fabricated and installed with the help of the DCR under the leadership of Site Supervisor Erica Aubin. The memorial was dedicated on August 6 before our annual summer picnic. Nearly 60 people attended, including some of his closest friends and colleagues. Remembrances were given by Rep. Ruth Balser, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, Amy Mah Sangiolo, Bob Burke, Rena Getz, Vaunita Schnell, Rob MacArthur and one of Brian's cousins. The Picnic was held at the Stone Building with music provided courtesy of Karen Osborn, who also landscaped the Stone Building for the event. 

 At the dedication, Rep. Balser made an announcement that will have a major impact on Hemlock Gorge and Brian’s legacy:

The Friends’ new leadership team undertook some long-deferred actions:

We also want to recognize another special accomplishment in 2019. Under the leadership of Lee Fisher, working with Erica and the DCR, new signage was created and installed at both the northern and southern entrances to the park. It is far more informative and inviting to visitors than the old signs that were replaced.

In 2020, the Friends of Hemlock Gorge will continue our past activities, maintain our partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and others and develop new ones to preserve and enhance Hemlock Gorge. Major goals that need your support include:

To do all of this and more, we need your help to build on our success.  

We hope that you will send in your membership form and financial support in the accompanying stamped envelope.

Next year, to reduce expenses and paper use, we would like to offer the options of receiving this Annual Report by email and of paying dues at our website. If this option works for you, please tell us by checking the box at the top of the accompanying membership/contribution form.

Thank you for all you have done for Hemlock Gorge Reservation in 2019 and for all you will help the Friends do in 2020. We look forward to seeing you at our meetings and events.


John Mordes, MD                                          Evan Weststrate

President                                                         Vice-President


This page last modified December 11, 2019

Back to the Index of Annual Reports

Back to the Friends' Home Page