The following is the Public Service Announcement from Mary Harbaugh representing the Newburyport Open Space Committee. The Common Pasture is huge and practically takes up fully one-third of Newburyport’s area. Most are unfamiliar with its important purposes because one, no one wants to hang out in an area infested with ticks and two, no one wants to hang out in an area where you potentially could sink up to your knee-caps in mud or inadvertently step on cow manure, be torn apart by rose bushes, invasive or native – take your pick! Of course, the Massachusetts Home Builders Association and their friends drool over such "wasted" space and would love to cover this historic area with buildings spreadng their "lies" that such activitiy will create more tax revenue. (It takes four times the revenue of a new residential building to pay for all the extra infrastructure and services needed.) I suspect they love the whole 40B scenario as they hold whole communities hostage.
As the Daily News editorial mentioned recently, the Common Pasture is a great ‘sponge’ that has spared us from the ravages of flooding. I recently travelled into the higher lands west of Boston and was shocked at the extensive damages to some of the communities. You can thank the Common Pasture and the Great Marsh for sparing Newburyport. The CP is also a great watershed resource, a wildlife resource and an environmental resource. It also, as local farms surge again in popularity, provide an economic boost as the produce and products service the local community and have open space to pursue the farm’s enterprises.
Be sure to come out Sunday….but bring bug spray along with your binoculars! (Not mentioned in the press release.)
Here it is from Mary:
NEWBURYPORT and NEWBURY — Anyone curious about the Common Pasture is invited to a free guided walking tour from 1 to 3 pm Sunday April 25. The walk will be led by Dave Rimmer of Essex County Greenbelt Association and Mary Harbaugh of the Newburyport Open Space Committee.
This opportunity to explore the scenic, historic landscape will include a look at both habitat and pastoral activities in the Wet Meadows section of the 1,500-acre area. Walkers will also hear a bit of history of the Common Pasture and get an update on current efforts to protect the entire heritage landscape.
Walkers should wear long pants and mud-ready footwear and meet at Greenbelt’s viewing platform at Wet Meadows on Scotland Road in Newbury. The leisurely tour will include time at the wildlife-viewing platform to scan for spring migrants, including waterfowl and shorebirds. The walk is not appropriate for dogs.