Autumn in the North Cemetery.

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

Friday, April 18, 2008

Curb Appeal

I'm all about curb appeal. For houses it is the little things in the yard and around the house that set it off from the crowd. The same holds true for a town. Small things that a passerby sees that leaves a good impression, and shows that the people that live here care about how they look.

There are several areas like this in town. The past couple of years has seen the adoption of small scenic areas along the side of the road by local companies. These companies, Pioneer Oil and Sturbridge Pottery, have planted flowers and shrubs around the intersection of routes 131 and 20. A lot of planning, and labor went into each one of these projects, and they make the area a lot more attractive. They show that people care.

There are other things that can be done to increase the curb appeal of our town. One thing I know would be great is to remove all the trees blocking the view of Cedar Lake from route 20. They are a an unattractive lot of trees, and they do little more than block a wonderful view of the lake as it comes up against route 20.

Another place that would be wonderful to thin out and create a long lost view would be the small woods beside route 20 on the left before Holland Road. This area, across from the Blackington Building and a bit further west, is high above the Old Mill Pond. The Quinebaug River flows into this pond and there is a dam at the edge of the pond. The view of the area from the road at this time of year when the leaves have yet to block the view is one of the nicest in town. The land is privately owned, but maybe with some discussion the owner and the town could work out a plan. It would be a shame to continue to block out that view.

There are many areas in town that deserve the same attention. Small turn outs off the road for people to pull over and admire the view. Places where the overgrowth has long taken over the view and needs cutting back.

I know we have a lot on our plates at this time. Money is tight, but many things can be done with volunteers, too. Just some thoughts. After all, there is no escaping Spring Cleaning.

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