Dear Friends of Maudslay,
The snowfall this winter has gifted us hours of fun in the park. After each storm, the parking lot has filled with snowshoers, cross country skiers, walkers and even bikers, all eager to be the first to blaze a trail through the freshly fallen snow. But alas, the past few weeks have been more than disappointing as the snow melts, the trails get worn down to mud or packed into icy patches and the terrain is difficult to negotiate.
But if one can look up from the trails, there is the promise of spring everywhere you look. The buds on the trees and the bulbs in the ground are beginning to swell, promising the beauty of daffodils, snowdrops and a multitude of other bulbs in April, dogwoods and azaleas in May and rhododendrons and Mountain Laurels in June. Birds are returning to the park to lay claim to areas for nesting. Other wildlife are in their mating season, and we are promised glimpses of fawns, kits and pups in the summer months. In this month of March, after the most difficult year many of us have ever faced, we can feel in our bones that a few short weeks will bring us spring, and all the renewal that it symbolizes.
The Friends of Maudslay Board has been busy during these winter months revising the By-laws, creating a new membership envelope, and fine tuning our new logo. The Department of Conservation and Recreation is also moving forward with projects that have been in the works for several years. You will first see your donation dollars at work in the reconstruction of the brick wall in the Italian Gardens. The project will likely start in the month of April and the estimated date for completion will be June 30. During that time, the garden will be closed to the public. When it reopens, the Garden Committee will be hard at work weeding and planting so that there is the usual display of beautiful flowers for the remainder of the summer. We are currently raising money for a 2:1 partnership match with DCR hoping to fund the remaining wall repair in 2022. In this phase, we anticipate the repair of the exterior walls of the garden as well as a more historical reconstruction, hoping to replace the urns that were part of the original design and possibly even the beautiful iron gates.
Next will come the reconstruction of the dam, which will also be largely funded by Friends of Maudslay membership donations. The starting date for the dam work is still to be determined. Any construction that affects the local wildlife and the Merrimack River is closely monitored and we are awaiting approval from several agencies before work can commence, likely sometime between July and the fall of 2021. Access to the dam section of the pond area will be closed to the public for approximately three months from the start of construction.
Each year at this time we ask you to renew your support for the Friends of Maudslay through your membership donations of any amount - truly any dollar donation is appreciated. Neither the brick wall reconstruction nor the dam project would be possible without your membership dollars and donations, and you will be able to see the true value of your donations when these jobs are completed in 2021 and 2022.
The Annual Meeting of the Membership will be held on March 25 via Zoom at 6:30 pm. If, as a member, you are interested in attending the meeting, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be sent a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before. At the meeting, members will be voting on the composition of the Board for May 2021 through March 2022. Nominations will be presented at the meeting.
Thank you again for your support of the Friends of Maudslay. In the coming year, even more than in most, you will see your donations dollars hard at work, preserving our beautiful park for many generations to come!
President, Friends of Maudslay