An Excellent Opportunity!

We forget that the Greater Newburyport Area and in particular points west and east of the city really put the ‘England’ into New England.     Aside from the funny pronunciations of our city and towns; the area is a tribute to the English countryside.      One of the cool things about the United Kingdom are the presence of vast walking trails that trace throughout Great Britain.     You’ll see hikers who aren’t just out for a day but are packed for a week’s adventure easily tracing the land without even getting close to busy traffic.

So true are the surprises present in the Newburys’ – historic sites, trails that weave between farms and wild areas – so true that they refresh the spirit to take them all in.

One opportunity is to see the lands just beyond Curzon Mill on the other side of the little bridge.     This quiet and beautiful area is maintained by The Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal monastic group – on top of that, this Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00, there will be an open house at the Emery House, an historic building that is well worth seeing.      If you’re going to the literary festival, be sure to drive due west on Storey Avenue (Route 113) until you cross into West Newbury.     The first right is the access road to the building.      DON’T MISS IT!      Learn about this interesting and historic monastery by accessing their website.

Another opportunity is to enjoy the many trails that weave around Newbury and West Newbury.     I suggest a bicycle to take in the depth of the network.      In fact, one of the most striking is the Atherton Trail that opens up near the Poore Castle. (Yes, there is a castle out there in the country!)    It weaves through meadows and ponds and forests with nary a human about.      One awkward part requires cutting through a farmer’s pasture.     If you want to help Essex County Greenbelt secure that odd stretch, please encourage West Newbury’s CPC to approve the purchase of this little section.    Today’s editorial in the Daily News will fill you in on how important this parcel truly is.

Our area is all about sustaining and enjoying a high Quality of Life!

-P. Preservationist


Posted in Agriculture & Farms, Art & Culture, Eco-tourism, Environment, Health and wellness, Heritage Tourism, Landscapes, Open Space, Organizations, Quality of Life, Recreation, Tours, trails, Travel, Wildlife | 2 Comments

We need more volunteers!

So many may join an organization but hesitate to participate because they feel they just ‘don’t contribute’.         Or worse, they feel inadequate, don’t have any idea of what is going on, and frankly feel afraid of making mistakes.        In the realm of conservation and historic preservation; of eco-activism and community protection; it is often the need for more eyes and ears, than anything else.

I have listed on on the front page, three meetings scheduled to be held AT THE SAME TIME!    Yet, I know, there are just a few individuals who have dedicate themselves to the task of attending these meetings.       We are all indebted to those who sacrifice their lives to sit in and monitor them.

What do they do?       They listen, they learn, they watch and they take notes, mentally and literally on paper.       Just occasionally, they may speak.

So why is their attendance so important?

Because showing up says much.      A big label is stuck on their forehead that shouts out vociferously, “I care!”.       When volunteer committees come together and there is no one in the audience, it is so deflating and so demoralizing – they often think to themselves, does anyone care what we do or say here!?!          It is that lack of community support that leaves the opening for a dark sider or a gainsayer to show up and say with a sly crocodile smile, “I care.   In fact I care so much…This is what you should do…”

And if there is no one there to counter them, great harm occurs.

But if few are available, they can’t be everywhere – that is why we need more volunteers.

“But I’m a nobody,” you may say.

Great.       In fact, that is your power.      When a meeting convenes, the first instinct of many is to see who is actually there?    Those who observe may say, “Yeah, that guy will speak for historic preservation.    Yeah, that guy over there is for uncontrolled development.      We know what “blah, blah” they will say” and that person becomes automatically stuck in a cubbyhole and discounted.      But then YOU show up and they say, “Who is that?      What do they know?   Who do they know?   What influence may they bring?” and “What new threat do they bring to the table?”        Those on the committee and those in the audience do not know how to prepare, how to deal with this new situation and then; they feel, for those who would work ill – they better watch what they do or say.

For you see, dark siders and those with evil purposes in mind, do not lack in one department – intelligence.       They know they can’t function out in the public forum; they must hide their deeds to be successful.

You, as a citizen and a caring volunteer will weld great influence by your presence.

Where there is no light, darkness thrives.

-P. Preservationist

John 3:19 (KJV)

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Posted in Developers, Education, Health and wellness, News and politics, Preservation | Leave a comment

Battle Won, War Continues

I ran between meetings last night – first to Newbury to hear the presentation as to why putting 99 greenhouses on the Common Pasture was a REALLY bad idea.     One abutter had a whole series of pictures showing the Pikul property through many seasons: wet, wet, full of aquatic birds, ice, snow and then back to wet.     Very impressive.

The Conservation Commission ruled in favor of stiff requirements if this project is pursued.

The property owner is probably not going to quit – so this skirmish was won but there will be more.      But the evidence is mounting against them and more and more citizens are waking up to the cruel facts if this would actually go through.

Just an added note:  I am extremely in favor of solar – but I totally reject the ludicrous concept of, “Let’s destroy the environment to ‘save the planet’”     I think wind turbines are great but when applicants came to the city and wanted to destroy the Common Pasture with 22; I fought strenuously against such absurdity.      The destruction of habitat and the negative impact only to make some ‘feel good’ is just crazy.     Wind charts show the area has not the sufficient winds to justify their existence.   These belong in an area such as near the ocean or in the ocean to take advantage of continuous winds.

Well, until the next battle, let’s celebrate!

-P. Preservationist



Posted in Agriculture & Farms, Conservation, Developers, Eco-tourism, Ecology, Education, Environment, Flooding, Health and wellness, News and politics, Planning, Preservation, Quality of Life, Solar Panels, Watershed, Wildlife, Wind turbines | Leave a comment


It was an anti-climax; but it’s done!

Because this was an historic event for the City of Newburyport, the Preservation Trust had the foresight to have a picture taken of this city council.       For history, and for a tribute to the fact they worked so well together.

Now, the work begins!       The public needs to know the mechanics of preservation and then the ground is going to be moving under the city – Newburyport Development is on the move, the Waterfront enters a new dichotomy; and a new Master Plan and Zoning ordinance structure will be on the horizon.

Reactive is not good enough; we’ve got to be as proactive as this plan to take a photo of the council.       It takes planning and it takes making the time!

Let’s get going!

-P. Preservationist



Posted in Conservation, History, News and politics, Planning, Preservation, Waterfront, Zoning | Leave a comment

This just in!!!

A letter has been submitted from the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions.

Read this!!!

-P. Preservationist


Posted in Open Space | 1 Comment

A Picture is worth….

Sometimes when the arguments and statements come flying in on an issue of great importance; it is easy for a perspective to get lost.      

This is especially true in politics.       

Since most everyone passes through Scotland Road at one time or another (Boston Destinations, Colby Farms, etc.); I thought I would show some basic pictures.     To say the Pikul property means nothing to you may be your opinion, but as you can see; we’re talking about THAT property – whether consciously or subconsciously – you will recognize this area immediately:

One of the most beautiful panorama’s in the Common Pasture:

The Actual Pikul Property VI

One of the wettest areas in the Common Pasture:

The Actual Pikul Property VII

And a favorite hangout for avian friends:

The Actual Pikul Property IX

Gaze on it well.       We could lose it!

If you care deeply in protecting the quality of life and our wellbeing, please show up at the town hall at 7:00 on Tuesday!

-P. Preservationist

Posted in Eco-tourism, Ecology, Environment, Flooding, Health and wellness, News and politics, Preservation, Quality of Life, Watershed, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Tuesday: A Promise & A Threat

Preserving the way of life we have in Newbury & Newburyport mirrors so much of America’s history.        Just when we think we have a good thing in our country, we have been faced with tyrants and destructive movements that have threatened the quality of life that we enjoy in a free country.        Whether extremism, or fanaticism; Communism, or Nazi Aggression; our citizens have had to sacrifice to keep us protected.        So too in Newburyport!      We’ve got a good thing going in our city and in the greater area.      Visitors come from the rest of New England and from all over and they recognize with great pleasure mixed with envy – what a treasure we possess.         And just like our country, we have destructive forces that want for many reasons to put an end to it.        The question is: do we have the stomach to stand up and protect what we have so cherished and enjoyed!

Tuesday at City Council; we have the second vote needed to protect our historic city.        These two ordinances are vital to keep us going.       We need citizens to sacrifice time from their busy lives to speak and write to our city councilors to support these measures.      I know the aggressors and profiteers will.       Whether it’s lust-filled developers and their hired guns in the form of consultants and demo lawyers; or it’s uncaring property owners who see a quick profit in flipping houses and then, when the damage is done, moving on to the next community to pillage and loot; they aren’t waiting.    The pressures on and our elected leaders need support that when they vote this in; it will be embraced by a community that prefers to continue its affluence and future.        The other side has money, lots of it; and all we have is our love for Newburyport.      Who will win out?

We need a force to come out on Tuesday night and visually show their support.

At the same time, we have another event occurring on the same evening and this one is a direct, in-your-face, threat to our quality of life.       Previously, the Pikuls presented a plan to put solar panels in the most beautiful part of our common pasture.        The same area that large amounts of money from the community has devoted to to protect this historic area.      Though approached by Essex County Greenbelt to preserve this precious open space; they in turn have rebuffed them and chosen to rather put in an industrial development on their property (solar panels) to help support their lifestyle with a steady income. (They do not live here.)        They hired consultants, backed by a large solar installer; who threatened the citizens of the Town of Newbury; stating that the citizens MUST approve this project and that they had no choice but to accept it.      Well, the brave townspeople took that arrogant threat seriously and rebuffed them!         

Now the Pikuls have come up with a dastardly plan.      With the same argument as when farmers used DDT; they want to use the agricultural exemption to install greenhouses with solar panels on top(99 of them –mind you!) with power installations and transformers and the ground torn up for agriculture.   Due to the light level, the only good thing to be grown is mushrooms – but more than likely most will remain empty with the pretense of agriculture.        As the Planning Board has seen the plans; John O’Connell, one of the planners has stated, “It’s going to be hideous, that’s all there is to it..”

We need citizens of Newbury and Newburyport to show up at this meeting also; first to stop this idea that agriculture trumps the environment and second, to speak against the destruction of our quality of life.        The Common Pasture is that one area that hardened commuters note coming in from the over-crowded, high-pressured urban areas.       When they see the cows, the stress rolls off their backs and they know they are arriving “home”.          This stretch is a favorite grazing ground for waterfowl and is a heavily-wet surface that abuts against the Little River.

We need a host to come out on Tuesday and visually show they are against this atrocity.

-P. Preservationist

Posted in Art & Culture, Conservation, Eco-tourism, Ecology, Health and wellness, Landscapes, News and politics, Preservation, Quality of Life | Leave a comment