Generous Gardeners made it to O’Maley Saturday morning to install grasses in the front school beds, after the great reconstruction job completed by the DPW. I’m sharing the whole process with you to see how it evolved. Today I was working with Susan Kelly and Jamie Friend who were patient with the layout process and then we planted. We put in feather reed, zebra, muly, and Japanese forest grasses which have different heights and colors for interest against the building. It should be beautiful. We did all this in three hours!
May 2020, Gloucester, Mass.
Original concept designs for Stacy Boulevard in 1908 were by Thomas Warren Sears, major 20th century landscape designer and Olmsted student. Recent garden expansions were designed by Ann Gilardi Johnson with DPW for the City of Gloucester and with Generous Gardeners. The Betty Smith Garden has sprung, too!
Gloucester’s Fisherman at the Wheel Memorial (Man at the Wheel) by Leonard Craske
March 2019 (below) vs May 2020 (above)
Excerpt from my post March 2019 about the garden revamp-
The Elizabeth Gordon Smith (Betty Smith) park & gardens were cleared and the small Picture garden past Stacy Boulevard’s Avis R. Murray tennis courts was unearthed. Because Gloucester garden groups pre-date 1900, it’s especially moving to see the work in progess shoring up inspiring legacy connections. Incredible volunteers past and present serve the city’s Department of Public Works (DPW). Stacy Boulevard & Stage Fort Park advocates like Betty Smith, Louise Loud & the Gloucester Civic & Garden Council tended and protected Gloucester’s natural beauty — the very same grounds that are so lovingly served now by dynamos like Ann Gilardi Johnson and Susan Kelly & the Generous Gardeners. Plaques for Lucy Brown Davis, tribute by her sister Catalina Davis, and for Lucy P. Rogers, “president of the Gloucester’s Woman’s Club 1927-29″, are nearby.
Walker Hancock TRITON TRIBUTE PLAQUE / PAINTED SIGN TRANSCRIPTION:
THE SCULPTURE- Triton was the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. He was thought to be able to control the sea’s wild movement by blowing his conch shell.
THE SCULPTOR- Walker Hancock a sculptor of international reputation and a long time resident of Gloucester
THE PARK- The Gloucester Civic & Garden Council created this park to honor Betty Smith its founder, a woman who has dedicated more than thirty years of her life to preserving the natural beauty of Gloucester.
We hope this small island of beauty will inspire visitors to cherish and create their own beauty wherever they go.
Mayor Romeo Theken was instrumental in securing funding, including a MassWorks grant, for another generational neighborhood infrastructure overhaul in Gloucester, Massachusetts. This soup to nuts improvement project– water, sewer, drainage, pavement, & utilities–impacts several streets including: Cedar, Millet, Sargent, Shepherd, Trask, and Warner. Some original sewer pipes were a century old.
Gloucester DPW works in concert and alternates with various partners as the work is completed. While National Grid is up at bat currently with the utitlity upgrades, DPW is demobilized. The gas complany is replacing aged gas lines and mains, and improving services. It may have a wider scope than the city utility work.
photo caption: street work view down Millet Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts. City Hall and St. Ann’s in distance:
photo caption: Millet and Warner Street , Gloucester, MA (Jan. 14, 2020)
THANKS SO MUCH TO MIKE HALE AND GLOUCESTER’S SUPER HARDWORKING DPW FOR THE OUTSTANDING JOB CLEANING UP AFTER THE BOMB CYCLONE NOR’EASTER.
With tremendous speed and efficiency, they have done a stellar job cleaning up the streets of downed trees and branches.
Our own beautiful plum tree did not survive this last storm. It had been severely damaged several years ago when struck by lightening. The flowering plum (Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’) was planted in the sidewalk in front of our home, providing us with years of joy and beauty. Baltimore Orioles, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Chickadees, Gold Finches and House Finches were just some of the birds that called ‘Thundercloud’ home.
The DPW came within one day of calling to report the damage. My husband was home at the time and he said that within fifteen minutes after arriving, the crew had cut down the tree, chipped all the wood, and painted the stump.
RIP sweet plum tree, we are surely going to miss you. Even more so, will all the wildlife sustained by your nectar-rich flowers, fruits, and sheltering branches.
Sam Novello asks GMG, “Joe, what happened to the cannons at Stage Fort Park—— two are gone?”
The cannon(s) are undergoing restoration (cleaning, chemical treatment and re-painting). In 2018, the CPA Committee awarded $22,705 of an estimated $46,000 to the Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee to refurbish the Parrot Rifle Cannon for work scheduled to commence spring 2020. The project is led by the Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee. The grant application project summary indicates the scope of work as follows:
- The fabrication of an aluminum “historic-rendering of a carriage for the Parrot Rifle Cannon as part of a multi-year project to restore the Fort area of Stage Fort Park.
- Cleaning, treatment and repainting of the Parrot Rifle Cannon.
- Machining or “sleeving” of the Parrot Rifle Cannon to create a narrow lined bore capable of firing a small charge report.
“Our final goal is to restore the Fort area as a historic feature of the Park and its importance to our local military history.* Repairs and restoration of this site are long overdue. The ramparts are overgrown with vegetation**. The cannon barrels are suffering due to neglect. The barrels are subject to trash, dirt and debris. We hope to preserve this site for future generations. The cleaning, capping and painting of the cannon will protect the barrel against future damage. We have proposed an annual stipend in the city budget of $2000 for maintenance of the Fort as well as a security plan for the Fort which would include lighting and security cameras. *Our ultimate goals include a visitor education center with historic references to the Fort and its history. It is expected that the entire Stage Fort Park will be used as a centerpiece of the city’s 400th anniversary celebrations.”
– Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee CPA application excerpt, photo from packet and phasing goals
Read the full application here: 2019 CPA Application SFP Parrot Rifle Cannon Carriage
*There is no finalized plan for this area overall. (See photographs then/now below.)There IS a history of Fort use and restoration for historic battles –as well as city celebrations– honoring this legacy and the kind souls who volunteered to do so.
For example: I’m not sure if the 187th Infantry Brigade was paid for the work they did in 1973, which I’m assuming was the last big overhaul. The CPA grant is just about the work on the cannons. The Historical Commission wrote a letter of support stressing replica accuracy using period materials (wood and metal)
**The area is overgrown at the moment because of various DPW work on the boulevard and future plans. (When I photographed the area annually it’s cleared.)
Stage Fort is the oldest fort in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
As part of the city’s 350th celebration prep, the cannon site area (earthworks, entrance area, powder magazine, and gun embrasures) was restored by an engineer brigade from Wollaston. The design intent turned the clock back to how the fort would have been built out in the 1700s. Julian Hatch, the chairman of the 350th, had been director of public works for the city. The project was decades in the wishing and sensitively designed at long last.
In 1930, the Fort was spruced up from its formal design post Civil and Spanish war. Fisherman’s Field Stage Fort information plaques were commissioned and unveiled.
Bronze tribute plaques embedded in Tablet Rock at Stage Fort Park detail the site’s history and were commissioned and unveiled at different times. The monumental and stunning Founders plaque from 1907 on Tablet Rock itself is in fantastic condition. Two DAR plaques were inlaid on the glacial outcroppings past half moon beach on the way to the cannons. The Fisherman’s Field (ca.1930) is so worn it’s nearly indecipherable, though that’s part of its charm. The plaque compels close inspection, lingering and discovery. It’s a fun family activity for anyone who likes a challenge. For those who want help reading the content, I transcribed it back in 2010. ”
Printable PDF of the plaque translation here
Read more about historic battles and Gloucester Stage Fort Park in this trivia quiz designed by Shaun Goulart, GHS history teacher, in this prior GMG post.
copy of Frank L. Cox fine art photograph (pre dates 1921) he used to illustrate his pocket Gloucester guide “The Gloucester Book”, and sell prints
Enza Taormina, clerk from the Office of the Mayor, relayed that the tower lights are “purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month” October 2019.
City Hall Clock Tower Illumination
The tower lights are illuminated to recognize special causes, organizations, events and holidays. They were instituted by Mayor Romeo Theken and her administration. The City Electrician with Gloucester DPW installed an LED system which is outfitted with changeable color lenses. Requests for commemoration come to DPW through the Office of the Mayor. Check the Mayor’s Facebook page or local media to see announcements for new lights and/or news related to a cause.
A GMG reader asks Joey about the colorful night lights on city hall and compliments Good Morning Gloucester:
“Thanks for all the work you do on the blog and podcast, and welcome center. I love the blog so much because of how funny and enthusiastic it is, and I always look forward to learning more about Gloucester. My friend and I were wondering, is there a story about the colored light on city hall at night? Sometimes there’s a pattern of colors, sometimes just one color. Do the colors have a meaning or is it just for decoration? We figured you’d be the person to ask, if anyone knows! Thanks a lot, hope you’re having a good day.” – Oliver
City Hall Clock Tower Illumination
Thanks for the great question, Oliver. The pretty City Hall clock tower lights are illuminated to recognize special causes, organizations, events and holidays. They were instituted by Mayor Romeo Theken and her administration. The City Electrician with Gloucester DPW installed an LED system which is outfitted with changeable color lenses. Requests for commemoration come to DPW through the Office of the Mayor.
The Mayor’s Facebook page may announce new lights and/or news articles related to a cause. The lights are fun to decipher: green for St. Patrick’s Day, rainbow cylce for Gay Pride, Fiesta trio, and so on.Who remembers the first color lights occasion?
update: Enza Taormina clerk from the Office of the Mayor relayed that this month, October 2019, the tower lights are ” purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”
Sunny sunflowers and Backyard Growers beds ready for the first day of school at Veterans’ Memorial Elementary School
More back to school beauty…
Leveraging complete streets and Chapter 90 funding, Gloucester’s DPW is completing a big project on Cherry Street at O’Maley. Sidewalk and street improvements follow along Cherry towards Reynard, stretching straight through to Washington Street. The work will be completed in a week or so.
John from DPW described some Gloucester High School curb appeal betterments we happened upon today and kindly shared this photo for Good Morning Gloucester.
John, Nick, Fred (electrician), Tommy, Brian, and Billy from Gloucester DPW have been finishing some corrective cement walkway work and assorted grounds keeping at Gloucester High School. Over in the parking lot, the trees are looking sporty-spruced, and they’re easy to walk under now they’ve been lifted. Overgrown brush has been cleared and hauled off with more to come. Loam is being delivered for the ground around the new entrance sign (class gift) readying for the wonderful gardeners touch still to come.
Gloucester DPW projects along Rogers by Cape Ann Savings Bank and Minglewood include necessary sidewalk and ADA crosswalk construction as well as remedying the pooling puddles at Minglewood and by St. Peter’s. They should be completed this week!
Between Good Habor Beach and Long Beach Dairy Maid, DPW manages a long standing issue of poor drainage. They’re testing clearing and rough grading at this stage.
Helping people move safely and easily throughout the city is a contant Gloucester Department of Public Works directive. One recent construction project with CDBG ADA funds that’s fast finishing will be a welcome addition in the neighborhood along School Street between Prospect & Proctor, before the Gloucester Fire Department and back of the library. The new sidewalks extend roughly .10 mile each side. Expect some road closure to cars and no parking through May 10th. I’ll post Before/After pictures when the work’s complete.
In the meantime, here is a completed Before/After sequence- the evolution of the Duncan Street sidewalk and road repairs September-October 2018.
I checked on the PiPls early this morning, or more accurately should write, one Piping Plover. We haven’t seen the second PiPl since Monday afternoon. The beach was quiet, with only two dogs, and they were both on leash. Officer Teagan was also present, walking the length of the beach and keeping an eye out on our singular PiPl.
Mid-morning I returned and the beach was bustling with activity. Dave Rimmer and his crew, Dave McKinnon (the above photo is for Dave’s Mom!), and Mike were installing the symbolic fencing. Gloucester’s Conservation Agent was present as well as volunteer monitor Mary. The group was soon joined by Joe Lucido. Joe was there to check on the signs, which are a work in progress, and a DPW crew was present cleaning up all the winter trash that accumulates and blows into the marsh. Joe has been posting about the PiPls on the Gloucester Beaches facebook page and he mentioned the Plover posts get tons of likes!
Shout out and thank you to Mayor Sefatia and her administration, all our City Councilors, Joe Lucido and the entire DPW, Heather Hall, Mary, and all our volunteers, Greenbelt’s Dave Rimmer, Dave McKinnon, and Mike, Gloucester’s Conservation Agent, and everyone who is helping our Good Harbor Beach Piping Plovers get off to a great start!
Great foraging in the tide flats for our PiPl. Notice in the super copped photo, a tiny little shrimp!
Beautiful build by Gloucester DPW to Good Harbor Beach is seeing steady use. The new pedestrian bridge spanning the marsh little river makes it easy to linger over a sweeping November vista to Good Harbor Beach and back.
Prior posts on Good Morning Gloucester about the marsh walkway under construction.
October 6, 2018 snazzy new guardrails
September 12, 2018 construction begins