“There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country” - Teddy Roosevelt


Work Continues at Churchill Park

walkover_constructionBy Jon Wilhelmsen
A beautiful fall morning was the perfect time to build a pair of “walkovers” to help future PARK visitors to deal with a seasonal stream. PARKS supporters helped design and build the walkovers as the sun climbed higher into the sky. Additional volunteers cleared a bench area at the intersection of the new loop trail and the trail that will lead over the boardwalk to Cato’s Ridge Conservation area. They also took advantage of an old hunters trail and created a 200 foot alternate route for the eastern part of the loop trail during the wet seasons. By midday, the 10 or so volunteers of all ages had completed both the building and clearing projects taking Churchill Park one step closer to completion and it’s opening to the public.

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PlymptonPARKS Update

Plympton Parks is announcing several changes to the Parks’ schedule:

Saturday, Oct. 18, 2pm – Public Trail Walk through Cato’s Ridge.
Park outside the gates at Dennett School. Please note this will be the last public walk until the new boardwalk between Churchill Park and Cato’s Ridge is opened.

Sunday, Oct. 19 - Closing of Access to Cato’s Ridge from Ring Road
The access through 23 Ring Road is being closed effective Sunday, Oct. 19th. The Friends of PlymptonPARKS, The Plympton Open Space Committee, the Plympton Conservation Commission and PARKS supporters extends our warmest thanks and appreciation to David and Linda McMorrow, who have so kindly permitted the public to use their property during the creation of Churchill Park.

Monday, Oct. 20 - Deer Hunting Season Starts
This is a reminder that hunting season for deer and some other animals starts this Monday, Oct 20 and goes until Dec 31. Hunting is allowed in Cato’s Ridge, in accordance with the vote of the 2012 Town Meeting. Hunting is not allowed in Churchill Park. Jones River Brook marks the boundary between these two parks. No hunting is allowed on Sundays. Remember to wear orange whenever you are in any woods during this season.

Saturday, Oct. 25, 8:30 am - Volunteer Workday at Churchill Park
Our next volunteer workday will continue preparing the park for opening, including trails and parking lot work . Please wear shoes that can get wet, bring gloves and non-power tools. Park on Main Street. Please note that Churchill Park is not yet open for public use.

Boardwalk Fundraiser a Success; Effort to Continue

By Alan Wheelock
Imagine the expansive floor of a  big, beautifully built barn decorated for a party. A talented bluegrass music band delivering a great sound using a flat bed trailer as their stage.  A baked goods sale. Free refreshments. An attractive  display of silent auction baskets filled with everything from box seat Patriots tickets to works by local artists to gift certificates for yoga lessons. Pumpkins, corn stalks and bales of hay creating a festive atmosphere. T-shirts with the brand new Plympton Parks logo for sale. People lined up to buy a plank in a new boardwalk that will be under construction this winter at Plympton's newest conservation area. All this and more was taking place at the fund raising event held this past Saturday, October 4th at Reunion Farm on Plympton Green. The event was well attended and Friends of Plympton Parks has reported that a lot of money was raised for the new boardwalk. If passersby take a look at the special sign that has been erected in front of the Plympton Library, they will see that the Reunion Farm open house has helped to push the boardwalk fund about halfway to it's goal of $36,000.

Rick Burnett and his wife Geraldine graciously opened their farm for the event.  Entertainment was provided by "The Wildcat Bog Stompers." Members of the band  include founder and guitarist Orie Fontaine, of Duxbury, banjo player Greg Clark of Whitman,  guitarist Marc Larrey of Marshfield, vocalist and mandolin player Jonathan Fallow of Plymouth, fiddle player Jimmy Flanagan of Duxbury, and  bassist John Haggerty of Duxbury. Contributors to the silent auction were both individuals and businesses, and included Dunkin Donuts of Carver, USA Fitness, The Art Shoppe, Outback Arms, Yankee Candle, Citizens Bank, Fang Chih-Lee, Cynthia Sykes, Susan Cameron, Sherri Bailey, Sally Harding, Liz Lane, Tom Nordquist, Janet Kenney, Christa Prescott, and Speedwell Tavern. 

Friends of Plympton plans to continue with the fund raising effort, and the ultimate goal is to raise a total of $36,000 for the construction of the Churchill Park boardwalk by December 31st. Additional information and on-line contribution forms can be viewed at plymptonparks.org.

Fundraiser Sat., October 4th, 4-7pm

By Alan Wheelock
An open house and fundraiser in support of the construction of a boardwalk in Plympton's newest protected land – Churchill Park - will be held on Saturday, October 4th, from 4 PM to 7 PM at Reunion Farm, 271 Main Street, Plympton. Named "Build a Bridge to the Ridge" by the Friends of Plympton Parks (who are organizing the event), this campaign has a goal of raising $36,000 for the construction of the boardwalk, which will carry visitors across the wetlands areas of Churchill Park and out into the interior of the Cato's Ridge Conservation area. 

Attendees will be able buy a plank in the new boardwalk and have it inscribed with their family, pet, or business name, wedding anniversary, birthday, remembrance of a loved one, etc. Donation for each plank is $50. Friends  of Plympton Parks members will be on hand at Reunion Farm to take orders for planks or to provide visitors with order forms.  The open house will feature live music, light refreshments, a bake sale, and detailed information about the project. More information about the "Build a Bridge to the Ridge" campaign can be found at plymptonparks.org.

Volunteers help blaze trails on conservation land


By Alan Wheelock
Despite the heat and humidity, volunteers once again showed up on Saturday morning, September 6th, to continue the process of developing trails in Plympton's newest parks – Churchill Park and Cato's Ridge Conservation Area. Several members of the Boy Scouts were on hand to assist, and the workers made excellent progress - cutting and hauling brush and smoothing out the trails. Thanks to the efforts of local residents on several recent volunteer days, these trails are really taking shape. It will eventually be possible to walk comfortably from the Park's entrance on Main Street all the way to the beautiful uplands and cart paths of Cato's Ridge. The trails wind through a forest of white pine, oak, beech, and holly and will provide local residents with a relaxing, restorative  walk through some of Plympton's loveliest natural landscapes.  

A key feature of the trail system will be a 600 foot long boardwalk which will connect the two parks and carry visitors across the Jones River Brook and its surrounding wetlands. Raising funds to build this boardwalk is the purpose of a strong fund campaign just getting started. The goal of the campaign is to raise $36,000 to pay for the boardwalk and related park costs. The fund raising is being managed by a sub-committee of Friends of Plympton Parks. A kick off event will be held at Reunion Farm, 271 Main Street on
Plympton Green on Saturday, October 4th, from 4 PM to 7 PM to which all residents and friends are invited. 

Attendees at the October 4th open house will be able to donate to the construction of the boardwalk in a unique manner – by purchasing a plank inscribed with their choice of words. Each plank in the boardwalk will allow residents to personalize and memorialize their contributions to Plympton's first significant land conservation effort.  Plank purchasers can have their family name carved into their board, or a birthday, an anniversary, a beloved pet's name, or some other remembrance. 

The event will feature music, light refreshments, a baked goods table, and information regarding the new parks. Committee members will be on hand to take donations of $50 per plank. Guests can have their board inscriptions keyed right into laptops set up at the event, or donation forms will also be available. Wildlands Trust – a land conservation non-profit that has played an active role in the preservation of many natural areas on the South Shore – has offered to manage the financial details of the donations. The goal of the Campaign is to raise the $36,000 by December 31, enabling construction of the boardwalk to be completed by Spring, 2015.

Parks one step closer

By Alan Wheelock

The opening of Plympton's  new Churchill Park/Cato's Ridge Conservation Area moved closer to reality this past weekend when enthusiastic volunteers converged on the site to begin the process of laying out a parking area and walking trails. Approved by the most heavily attended town meeting in Plympton's history two years ago, the new parkland is the first of it's kind in the community. The protected land consists of two parcels – an 11 acre lot on Main Street across from the entrance to Maple Street that was purchased with the overwhelming support of the 2012 town meeting, and a 78 acre conservation area known as Cato's Ridge. The volunteers worked in the woods for hours using pruning saws, clippers, loppers, and a brush mower. Walking trails were carefully laid out, beginning at the new parking area and winding their way through beautiful stands of white oak, red maple, beech and hemlock towards what will eventually be a 600 foot boardwalk that provides visitors with access over wetlands to the uplands preserved at Cato's Ridge. The Plympton Open Space Committee, which initiated the parks campaign, is sponsoring the volunteer activity aimed at preparing these conservation lands to be formally opened for public use. Ongoing management and oversight of the area is the responsibility of Conservation Commission.

Despite the fact that rural landscapes are so prevalent in Plympton, the community has one of the lowest percentages of conservation land in the area, with less than 2% of the town's land area permanently protected. The statewide average in Massachusetts is 20% - with many communities preserving considerably higher percentages of their natural areas as conservation land. Linda Leddy of the Open Space Committee notes that there will be additional opportunities to volunteer to help with Plympton's  new parks. Residents are encouraged to check plymptonparks.org as well as the Town of Plympton website for future opportunities to pitch in and help preserve Plympton's natural beauty and rural heritage.

Call for Volunteers

The Open Space Committee is excited to announce that we are ready to begin clearing trails and installing the boardwalk at the new Churchill Park. We are looking for volunteers to help with clearing underbrush Sat, May 3, starting at 9:00 am. You will need to bring gloves and dress appropriately for working in dense undergrowth. Handtools, (not electric) such as loppers and pruners would be helpful. Please contact Vicki Maloney at aladagrace@comcast.net if you would like to join in. Please note how many volunteers are under 18 yrs old. All volunteers (or parents) will be asked to sign liability waivers. If we have a large enough crew, we may also clear some trails on Cato's Ridge. Other volunteer days will be planned soon for further prepping of the trails. At last Churchill the Park is becoming a reality!