Soon, color will replace the black and white world we have been stranded in for three months.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Memorial Day Schedule

The Sturbridge Veterans Council cordially invites all residents, youth groups and a special invitation to our Veterans to participate in the annual Memorial Day Parade.  The Parade this year will be held on Monday, May 25, 2015.  The parade will follow the same route as in the past; the parade will end at the Town Hall. The Honorary Parade marshal for 2015 is Sturbridge Resident Roland “Rollie” Hewitt a WWII veteran and survivor of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

 09:30 A.M.      Parade formation at the Old Fire Station at RT 20 & RT 148

 09:45              Parade Step-Off

 09:50              Parade Stops for ceremony at the American Legion Monument

10:00               Parade Stops in St. Anne’s Cemetery for service, reading of “In Flanders Field”

10:20               Parade Marches out of St. Anne’s to board buses

 10:45              Parade Reforms in front of Public Safety Complex

 10:50              Ceremony at Firefighters Monument

 10:55              Parade Step Off, 2nd part, proceeds to North Cemetery

 11:10              At North Cemetery, memorial service, reading of the Gettysburg Address

 11:25              Parade returns to Town Common for final ceremony

 11:30              Memorial Service for Old Cemetery, Decoration of Monuments, Replacement of                           the POW Flag, National Anthem and Flag raising

 12:00 noon     Open House at the American Legion, All parade participants and residents invited.
Bus transportation will be provided BEFORE the Parade, starting at the Town Hall at 09:00 A.M., Safety complex at 09:10 A.M., Senior Center at 9:20 A.M. Legion Hall at 9:25 A.M. at Old Fire Station for 9:30.  Bus transportation will be provided during the parade from the Senior Center to the Public Safety Complex, and after the parade from the Town Hall back to the Old Fire Station with stops at the Safety Complex, Senior Center and Legion Hall.  Any veteran, elderly or disabled person needing a ride for the parade is asked to call the American Legion Post 109 at 347-3248 by Friday May 22nd. 

For more information call Phil Courville @ 413-237-7879.

         STURBRIDGE Pre- Memorial Day ACTIVITIES

All Veterans are encouraged to attend any or all of the events listed.

Friday, May 24,
1: Annual Memorial Day breakfast and ceremony, 8:00 AM Tantasqua Regional Junior High School, All veterans invited, please call the Junior HS to confirm your attendance, 508-347-7381.

2: Annual Burgess Elementary School Memorial Day assembly, 1:30 P.M.
            3:  Veterans who want to help decorate graves are asked to meet the American Legion                       Hall at 6:30 P.M.

Sunday, May 26:

All veterans are invited the annual Memorial Day Sunday Service of the Sturbridge Federated Church.  Veterans are asked to meet outside of the Church at 10:15 A.M.

Monday May 27:

Annual Memorial Day Parade and Services.  Parade Forms at 9:30 A.M. at the old fire station, Corner of Rt. 20 and Rt. 148, proceeds to St. Anne’s Cemetery, for services at 10:00 A.M. then reforms at the Public Safety Complex at 10:45. Parade concludes at 11:30 on the Town Common.
Open House will follow at the American Legion Hall. 
Bus transportation is available before, during and after the parade.
Veteran’s needing rides are asked to call Post 109 at 347-3248. Before Friday May 24.

For further information call Phil Courville @ 413-237-7879.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Spring Bird Walk At Heins Farm

Upcoming Bird Walk

Come join FrOST for an evening bird walk with Bill Cormier from The Bird Store and more. Bring your binoculars and birding field guides. We will  be looking for spring migrants and breeding birds. 

Saturday May 9th

6:30pm – 8:30pm

197 Leadmine Road

Heins Farm

Take Stallion Hill Rd past OSV to Leadmine Road.
The parking lot is on the left, just past the top of the hill.

Thank you
Gary Staab

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Join FrOST for Earth Day on the Trails

Submitted by FrOST

Upcoming Event
Trek Sturbridge - Trails Day

Celebrate Earth Day: volunteer for our "3rd Saturday of the Month" Trail Day 
Your help improves our trails!
Bring gloves and work shoes; tools supplied.
We have a variety of tasks for all skills.
Saturday April 18th

8:00am – 12:00am
NOTE: If pouring rain, the event will be postponed until Sunday, April 19th, 1 PM to 4:30 PM.
197 Leadmine Road 

Heins Farm
Take Stallion Hill Rd past OSV to Leadmine Road.
The parking lot is on the left, just past the top of the hill.
If you can’t join us this month, we meet every month. Our next Trail Days will be 5/16/2015 and 6/20/2015. Check for details. 

Join FrOST
The Friends of Sturbridge Trails is a not-for-profit group that helps support and maintain the trails in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. FrOST depends on memberships to support our wonderful Trail system.

The Friends of Sturbridge Trails and the Sturbridge Trail Committee announces “Earth Day” trail day event:
Trail Day & Earth Day: Celebrate Earth Day by volunteering for our first 3rd Saturday of the month" Trail day Saturday April 18th, 8:30 am to noon. Projects include everything from spring clean up/brush trimming of 5 miles of trails, trash and litter pick up at our trail head parking lots, sustainable trail tread improvements to tree planting for wildlife habitat and discontinued trail restoration.
Bring work gloves and water bottle, wear good shoes and clothes for the weather.  Pizza lunch at noon. 
NOTE: If pouring rain in the AM event will be post-poned until Sunday, April 19th, 1 PM to 4:30 PM. Meet at the Heins Farm Trail Head, 197 Leadmine Rd.

FrOST Thanks you!  
Contact if you plan on participating.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sturbridge Tree Warden Notice: National Grid Emerald Ash Borer remediation program

Submitted by Tom Chamberland, Town of Sturbridge Tree Warden

The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis), commonly referred to as EAB, is a non-native, invasive beetle that infests and quickly kills Ash trees.  EAB is now in Massachusetts and is expected to spread rapidly across the entire state in the next few years.  Ash trees that are killed by EAB dry out and fall apart quickly, becoming hazards to private homes and community infrastructure, including utility lines. 

National Grid has adopted a proactive approach to management of Ash trees near utility infrastructure that will facilitate greater coordination with local authorities and private landowners in the effort to locate and remove infested, possibly infested and otherwise declining Ash trees that pose a hazard to utility infrastructure.  Coordination of operations with landowners, communities, state and federal agencies and non-profit forestry and conservation groups will be critical to a successful EAB response from National Grid. 

National Grid's Forestry staff is currently working with the Town of Sturbridge Tree Warden to identify and remove declining and potentially hazardous Ash trees adjacent to critical utility infrastructure.  Remediation work is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks on the following streets: Vinton Rd, Shepard Rd, Wallace Rd, Fiske Hill Rd, and Podunk Rd.  National Grid's Forestry staff will be contacting homeowners where private property tree removals have been identified.  
Questions on this remediation program can be addressed to the Sturbridge Tree Warden, Tom Chamberland at:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Time For A Different Focus

I love the woods.  I grew up hiking, and wandering the woods in my hometown, and when I came to Sturbridge, I soon found myself amongst the pines again.

As I  said, I love the woods.

Sturbridge has done a wonderful job preserving the forest in which it resides.  Some may feel that we have spent too much on land purchases with little return other than preservation, and recreation.

Well, that was the whole point, and putting that preserved land to use for the community is an offshoot of preservation, and if done correctly

We have done well.  So many volunteers have preserved hundreds, and hundreds of acres in town, built and marked trails, and cared for them over the years.

The cost of our accumulating the now preserved land has been in the millions, and each time I pay my taxes I am reminded of the that financial sacrifice we agreed to make in order to insure that there will be forest, streams, marshes, and wildlife for our children's children.  I am thankful for that so much land has been saved, and I will suck it up about the cost thus far,  but, I'm done.

If there are groups that want to purchase large tracts of land here in town, then I am all for it, but no longer at my expense; there are other state run agencies, and private foundations that can be tapped to assist with the purchase.

Yep.  We've bought enough.  We have all we need, and now we need to concentrate finishing the work on the land we have already purchased.

So, where should we be headed if not in the direction of further land conservation?  How about attracting investment in our unique geography?  Business investments in our town that shares two interstate highways, several state roads, and a US highway that runs coast to coast is a no-brainer.

But how, and who would have the skill, knowledge, and passion to lead us in that direction?

Haven't a clue, but after the upcoming election, maybe those that are elected can work with those already seated in finding that person.  Sturbridge's location is a gold mine.  The taxes that would be generated, and the income produced for area businesses would be humongous.

Yes.  Humongous.

Thirty minutes to our south, on I-84, in South Windsor, CT are the Promenade Shops.  Dozens of high end stores set up in a town like setting that attracts thousands of shoppers from all over southern New England.  That is the type of shopping venue that this part of Central Mass needs, and we are just the location for it.

Shopping is not the only way to attract people to our area.  A music venue, or dance venue like Tanglewood, or Jacobs Pillow would be an excellent destination that would spawn a lot of other businesses as well.

Think about it.  I've said this all before, and this morning I'm just replanting the seed of inspiration again.

It's spring, time for sowing, and if done right, the harvest will be phenomenal.