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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes of Meetings in 2017


January February March
April May June
July: No Meeting August: Picnic Meeting September
October November December

The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for January 3, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday February x, 2017 at 7:30

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

John Mordes, Interim Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for February 7, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday March 7, 2017 at 7:30.

Present were Brian Yates, John Mordes, and Bob Burke

Brian will try to get Bill Tedoldi to get Needham support for rulings
Newton wants smaller Echo Bridge request with no advanced submission date. Brian wants to advocate for this Upper Falls key project
It is uncelar if the changes to the 128 southbound exit ramp to route 8 will add additional land to hemlock gorge
The Newton Conservators have asked for a walk before railings. This will be scheduled.

Has been progress on dead wood removal? Not clear.

Respectfully Submitted,

John Mordes, Interim Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for March 7, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 7:30

To be looked for.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for April 4, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday May 2, 2017 at 7:30

Present were Brian Yates, Jason Lupien, Robert Ellertson Robin Dexter Jay Werb, Ellen Katz, Evan Westrate, Vaunita Schnell and John Mordes. It was our largest turnout in a long time, and we welcomed our newcomers.

Jason Lupien gave an update on the hemlock scale infestation; it is expected to be bad this year due to the drought. Brian informed us that the DCR is still planning to do further insect control work with the trees, but they did injections. Jason worries that Transect, which is sprayed on the bark, was not used, because, while both do well with the adelgids, the Transect is more effective against scale. Jason suggested planting Canadian hemlocks to replace lost trees, but it is not clear how much they differ from the Eastern Hemlocks in the Reservation. Brian asked if we could in some way support the growth of any saplings in the Reservation. Jason suggested hand application of oil spray. There was hopeful speculation on various other planting and preservation strategies. JM will contact Erica and Karen to resurrect the issue of new plantings.

The Friends of Hemlock Gorge’s Annual Spring Cleanup will be held on Saturday April 29. October 15 starting at 9:00 a.m. Due to the ongoing construction in the meadow, we will meet in the Mills Falls parking lot on the Newton side of the river, at the intersection of Ellis and Chestnut Streets. As usual, spruce-up materials will be supplied by the DCR and refreshments will be provided for all volunteers courtesy of Seana Gaherin of Dunn-Gaherin's Restaurant!  Please dress appropriately for the work and weather (rain or shine; no rain date).

Several people volunteered to share notifications about the cleanup on the FHG Facebook page that was set up by Jerry Riley. JPM suggested that we need to make better use of Facebook in addition to the website.  

At our December meeting, Evan Westrate then announced that the DCR has approved our public-private partnership proposal to replace the fencing by the Stone Building. The Friends will contribute $7,000 and the state $14,000 to the project. At the April meeting Brian announced receipt of the official letter of commitment from the DCR. We all congratulated Evan on his tenacious work on behalf of all of us in bringing the project to a successful conclusion.

Robert Ellertson expressed concerned about the newly redesigned Route 9/128 interchange. It appears that the land is being graded to become a lawn and it seems that the land reclaimed from roadway will not be added to the park.

It was announced that there will be an invasive plant species pull along Quinobequin Road extending into Hemlock Gorge on June 17. Details are at www.newtonconservators.org

People were encouraged to attend the meeting at City Hall to discuss lowering the Quinobequin Road speed limit on Wednesday, April 5.

Finally, Brian announced that the Echo Bridge Railing proposal was not included in the Needham CPA agenda for funding this year.

The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

 Respectfully Submitted,

John Mordes, Permanent Temporary Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for May 2, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday June 6, 2017 at 7:39

No one took minutes.

Respectfully Submitted,

Res Tillerson, Secretary pro tempore


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for June, July and August, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday September 12, 2017 at 7:30

No one took minutes at the June meeting. No business or important announcements were made during the summer or at the picnic.

Respectfully Submitted,

Res Tillerson, Secretary pro tempore


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for September 12, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday October 3, 2017 at 7:30

This meeting was canceled at the request of Brian Yates

Respectfully Submitted,

Res Tillerson, Secretary pro tempore


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for October 2, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday November 14, 2017 at 7:30

Present were Robin Dexter, Evan Westrate, and John Mordes

Evan announced that the new fencing for the Stone Building project has been fabricated and received by the DCR. He is hopeful that construction will begin soon and be completed this fall. We all congratulated Evan on his extraordinarily successful work.

Everyone agreed that the hemlocks appear to be holding their own, perhaps as a result of the arborists' work injecting the trees last week.

The proposed date of the fall cleanup, Saturday, November 11, was neither approved nor disapproved. There has been no input from the DCR.

There was no news on the Echo Bridge Railings project or the deteriorating roof of the Stone Building.

The meeting adjourned at 8:01 p.m. after unsuccessful attempts to reach Brian by phone.

Respectfully Submitted,

John Mordes, Secretary pro tempore


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for November 12, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday December 5, 2017 at 7:30

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for December 5, 2017

Next Meeting: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 7:30

To be continued.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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