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Ordway Park Updates

April 2004

As the photo shows, work has begun on the repaving of Grant Avenue and the upgrading of the corner of Everett and Grant to make the sidewalk handicapped-accessible. Two city trees have been removed, a partly decayed oak to the left in the picture and a failing Norway Maple at the right. Curbing will be installed, probably by the end of May.

For the renewal of Ordway Park, this change marks a real beginning. The curbing will allow planting of appropriate ground cover in the space between the curb and the sidewalk and, while the repaving is in process, a water line may come into the park for the first time. The process of applying for a water connection, on which care of new plantings depends, has begun. An anonymous donor has offered to pay for hiring a civil engineer to develop a plan and specifications.

Landscape designers Beth Schroeder and Jim Broderick and landscape architect Susan Sangiolo will present to the Board of Directors in late April preliminary plans for the layout of Ordway Park and a sequence of replantings. In late May or early June, full plans will be presented to neighbors for their comments. Final versions will be brought to the Board of Directors for approval in early summer.

Contributions to the Ordway Park Fund have grown. Generous neighbors and Conservators have contributed over $6,000 toward the first matching goal of $10,000. Anyone who has not yet made a donation or who wants to increase their gift can still see their contribution doubled if they send a check to:

Newton Conservators Ordway Park Fund
PO Box 590011
Newton , MA 02459

Jim Broderick


March 2004

The late December-early January thaw allowed another exercise in cutting back Norway maple saplings that have been crowding the park. Come spring, the flowering of rhododendrons and azaleas should be more clearly visible on the Grant Avenue side. This summer Grant Avenue will be repaved and needed curbing provided, and a request has been made for an estimate from the city of the costs of bringing water service into the park at the time of the repaving.

Photo by Jim Broderick

Beth Schroeder, a landscape designer, and Susan Sangiolo, a landscape architect, have joined Jim Broderick, a registered landscape designer, for several meetings and visits to the park. The trio intend to have a layout plan and a planting plan ready in late May to present to neighbors and Conservators for their comments. The planting plan in particular will provide for installation in stages.

Since the last Newsletter , the contributions to the Ordway Park Fund have been coming in steadily. With a recent generous contribution from the Charles River Neighborhood Foundation, we have raised more than $5,000 from some 60 contributors, and checks for an additional $5,000 from the matching fund have been deposited. In addition, the Newton Centre Garden Club has offered to pay for a bench if the final plans for the park provide for one.

In telephone calls and in letters, current and former neighbors of Ordway Park have reminded us of the "little, unremembered" ways an unobtrusive, natural half-acre can have a role in individual lives. One donor now in California asked that her contribution be accepted in honor of her mother, an Ordway neighbor, who remembers the watercolor classes Priscilla Ordway held in her woodland garden, and still keeps near her phone a portrait of her son by Miss Ordway. A letter from Vermont said in part, "Pls. accept what must be only a token donation to Ordway. But-I did want to be part of the effort. I grew up a child at 35 Grey Cliff Rd. " The writer goes on to recall the paving of Grant Avenue , talks about trees in the park, and then adds, "Forgive my ramblings! Ordway was in the orbit of my childhood ramblings-which led eventually to a life-long career in forestry and land conservation."

March 2004

Jim Broderick



Because of a neighbor's generous matching grant of $10,000 to an endowment fund for the maint-enance and renewal of Ordway Park , your donation to the Ordway Park Fund will be doubled. This is a once in a generation opportunity to build the Newton Conservators' resources.

If every member makes a gift, we will reach our goal of $50,000. (Institutions that have been approached are very interested in the percentage of membership already contributing.) So please join the 60 other Conservators and neighbors who have already contributed and make out your check to:

Newton Conservators Ordway Park Fund
PO Box 590011
Newton Centre , MA 02459

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