Jun 082016

YouTube-Screen-Shot2During the Conservancy’s 2016 Annual Meeting at Abbot Library, naturalist and forager, Russ Cohen, delivered a presentation called “The Naturalist’s Kitchen Garden: Adding Native Edible Plants to Your Landscape”. This video, generously provided by Marblehead TV, includes both the presentation and the question and answer session that followed it. It is available on the Marblehead Conservancy’s newly launched YouTube channel and can be found here: Video courtesy of MHTV, Marblehead, MA,

Learn how edible native plants can enhance your diet while providing an important food source for local birds and wildlife. Russ provides guidelines for identifying, harvesting, and preparing native edibles for Essex County in this fascinating video.

Russ Cohen was formerly the Rivers Advocate for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, and now works with local and state agencies to promote the planting of native edibles in suitable locations. He recently lead Marblehead Conservancy volunteers in the planting of Beach Plums on Crowninshield Island.

Nov 142012

This issue of our newsletter touches on several aspects of open space. With Marblehead’s Open Space and Recreation plan now updated and sent to the State for approval, we plan to bring out news of progress as it develops. This is Marblehead’s plan. Residents of Marblehead told the updating committee what should be in the plan, so they should be hearing of results. We agree. With the town’s ad hoc updating committee disbanded on submission of the plan, the Conservancy will assume a role in publicizing progress. We hope you will find this interesting and, as always, we welcome your comments.

– Bob French, President

 Posted by at 4:59 pm
Nov 142012

Marblehead’s vote in June accepting a budget override of $1,500,000 to help acquire the Lead Mills property was a huge step toward securing this piece of land at an entrance to the town as public open space. BUT, we still need $100,000 to close on the negotiated agreement.

Marblehead and Salem joined forces in preparing and submitting to the State a proposal for a PARC (Park and Recreational Facility Construction) grant for partial reimbursement of the purchase price. However, as a reimbursement, the grant can only happen after a purchase is made which must take place by March 31, 2013.

The Marblehead Conservancy, Inc. and the Essex County Greenbelt Association are partnering in the effort to close the gap. Soon we will be mailing out requests to residents of Salem and Marblehead to make this happen. We hope, most earnestly, that our readers will join with our Trustees in finishing the job.

– Trustees of the Conservancy

Nov 142012

Open space for passive recreation at the Stonybrook Road cul de sac.

Remediation of the town landfill continues, though most of the ongoing action is out of sight but to only a few. This year, however, the area around the end of Stonybrook Road has been cleaned of hazardous materials or stabilized so that the open space created may now be used for passive recreation.

Far less visible are the many hours put into planning and permitting to complete the job. The results of these activities will soon be noticeable. The plan for dealing with remediation in the adjacent Steer Swamp conservation land will come before the town Conservation Commission for approval this October. This will show the areas that still need to be cleaned and how they will be restored.

There is still much to be done to prepare the current landfill site for the future and to build a new transfer station, expanded recycling areas, and improved access to both. Movement of contaminated soil out of the Steer Swamp area is expected to begin in September of 2013 and continue through 2014.

– With Andrew Petty, Director of Public Health

Nov 032012

At the end of June, the Ad Hoc Committee to Update Marblehead’s Open Space and Recreation Plan formally submitted the plan to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. That office has requested a few additions, and these are being worked on.

In the meantime, Tom Devine, Conservation Agent for the City of Salem, completed a joint Salem-Marblehead proposal for a PARC (PARC stands for Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities) grant and submitted it to the same state office. This proposal seeks reimbursement for some of the acquisition cost of the Lead Mills property after a purchase is completed. By submitting a joint proposal, the maximum amount of funds for which a proposal might be eligible goes up by a factor of eight over what Marblehead could do alone.

Marblehead voters took the big step of agreeing to buy the Marblehead portion of the property through an override decision in June. However, the total cost purchasing the full property, dividing it into separate municipal components, and re-assigning ownership has not been reached. By agreement with the seller, purchase must be completed by March 31, 2013. Fundraising is underway to meet that deadline.