Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
The Heartbeat of Haverhill got a later start than hoped for the Haverhill City-wide Clean Up Day 2016, but we were very impressed by what we saw. At virtually every site that we visited the volunteers had finished with their projects well before the 1pm cut-off and that means one or more of a few things happened, all of which are worthy of congratulations.
1) More volunteers showed up (you guys are awesome) or maybe
2) The parks were in better shape this year (wouldn’t that be nice, keep it up)
3) It really doesn’t take all that long when we work together to make a better city, so we should do it more often!
THOH’s first stop was the Mount Washington Neighborhood where Urban Kindness head Keith Boucher threw down the gauntlet or rather the work glove. His group intends to make their neighborhood THE most sought after area in Haverhill. And I’d say now that might be possible based on the size and passion of his team. Today they made the area in front of the new Fantini’s Bakery look gorgeous and removed trash from a vacant lot across from Rehoboth Church which is generously available for POSE and Urban Kindness meetings. A community garden will be in the works on May 7. Today’s activities included helpers from Team Haverhill, POSE (Dennis Everett, Jr.) Emmaus Inc (Gretchen Arntz) Community Action’s John Cuneo and lots and lots of neighbors. Follow Urban Kindness
After Mount Washington we headed downtown to check out the work the Haverhill Garden Club was doing around City Hall. Unfortunately we missed the club but you can follow them here Haverhill Garden Club and please note that they will be out again next week (April 30, 2016). They focus their cleaning up and beautification on City Hall, Citizens Center and Hannah Dustin monument garden areas. Join them next week in their efforts and maybe learn a few great gardening tips.Bring gloves and tools.
From City Hall we headed to the Historic Highlands Neighborhood who joined together with Haverhill’s Brightside to work on two parks…Windsor Park and White’s Park across from the entrance to Plug Pond. They finished early, too, except of course for Brightside’s Cat Cargill. Once the team finished up we heard they headed to Peddlar’s Daughter for a celebratory lunch. Sounds like a fun group! Haverhill’s Historic Highlands Neighborhood or consider joining Haverhill’s Brightside.
At Winnekenni Castle we missed over 30 volunteers planting pansies and cleaning up the area around the Basin. But still toiling with the soil we chatted with City Councilor Tom Sullivan, volunteer and landscape architect Fred Clark from Sudbury Design Group, and the Castle’s caretaker. There were lots of good stories here – the fact that they moved a commemorative dogwood tree that had been improperly planted, that new plans are ahead for shoring up and improving the castle, and that on May 19 there will be a dedication of Dorothy’s Park, the little area around the elk statue atop the hill. We also learned that Haverhill’s Steve Flynn, owner of Nunan Florists, donated all the pansies we see decorating the park. Find out more about Winnekenni Castle and become part of the team that makes this Haverhill landmark a go to destination.
While photographing at Winnekenni, The Heartbeat of Haverhill learned a very valuable lesson. One person or group doesn’t have to do it all. In fact every little bit helps. The Haverhill Kiwanis Club that is dedicated to serving the children of the world adopted the playground area within the basin. This is a very popular area with kids of all ages flying high on the swings. Click on this link to learn more about Haverhill Kiwanis Club
THOH was bemoaning the fact that we didn’t get a chance to see our community in action in Bradford….and just at that moment we passed a duo from Brightside installing a new bench just outside Bradford Common. This was an interesting story, too. As the benches get replaced at Riverside Park, Brightside takes the best, cleans them up and re-installs them elsewhere on city-owned property. How great is that! This bench took about 45 minutes to install and gave us a chance to visit with our friend Cat Cargill, who’d been working at the Historic Highlands Park earlier in the day. She was with Brightside’s David LaBrode. This was fortunately their last project of the day. And just as soon as the bench was in place, the lovely Jayden who will be performing in ‘Legally Blonde’ at Sacred Heart School on the same day she is the lead attorney in the mock trial at City Hall (May 6). With a crazy schedule like that it’s no wonder she needed a chance to sit down.
Obviously a little rain didn’t deter any of our hard working teams who share the vision of the most beautiful Haverhill possible.There were lots of other teams out there that THOH didn’t get to see, please note you are no less appreciated than those reported on here. In fact , if you have a group photo, please send it along through THOH FB page and it will find a place of honor on this blog post. The Heartbeat of Haverhill Facebook Page
Nice Work Everybody