Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
THIS STORY WAS FIRST POSTED IN 2013.
OPENING DAY FOR 2014 IS SCHEDULED TO BE JUNE 19 at 10AM.
The Heartbeat of Haverhill has learned that while it is exciting to go out in search of a known entity to report on, the story I go after and the one I end up writing very seldom have much in common. There are just so many wonderful stories in this city that I am always drawn to another when I allow serendipity to rule my day. Today on a quest to find Haverhill’s peaceful retreats, I was enticed to stop at Plug Pond by a bald eagle silently riding the air currents above the water, and while I never caught the gorgeous bird on camera, one gentleman who has been fishing Plug Pond for 50 years pointed out an enormous pine tree where I would likely find the eagle, next time.
However, if the eagle was enjoying the quiet solitude as much as I was, he may not be back before sunset for a while. At 10:00 a.m. on June 20, the gates open for the season, and the soothing sound of the gentle wind, lapping water and rustling leaves I heard the day before opening will be punctuated by the splashes, laughter, and excited voices of children and adults alike.
A chance encounter with Haverhill’s Parks and Recreation head Vincent Ouellette, a Haverhill native, who was overseeing the final touches to the recreation area provided a bit of background as well as the best answer yet to the question “What is the best kept secret about Haverhill?” Mr. Ouellette said “the best kept secret is the city itself. Haverhill offers the best of city, suburban and rural living all in one place. Outsiders have no idea how great this place is.”
It takes considerable effort to open and maintain our mini resort each summer and as the morning progressed, it was all hands on deck for the final makeover before the guests arrive. The clean, new sand is freshly groomed, the trees are trimmed to remove dead ends and the grass shaved to the exact right height to cool toes and encourage lounging. The areas around the benches are freshly mulched and the benches themselves painted a deep evergreen. Lifeguards, who will soon be scanning the water from perches high up in their tower to keep everyone happy and safe, today are doing inventory and cleaning. Sound like the perfect summer job?? Mr. Ouellette always keeps an eye out for new lifeguards.
Plug Pond is a lovely spot routinely stocked with 2-foot trout. I watched the bobbins cast by a couple of local anglers, looking for the tell tale dip beneath the surface. No luck during my stay, but I know the excitement that little tug-tug brings. But that is nothing compared to the thrill of the last school bell and the promise of the first summer swim.
Last one in is a rotten egg!
©2013 by Alison Colby-Campbell