TONIGHT: vote to whittle new school options. Scenes and recap of new building plans presentation June 17

If you go-

Tonight’s meeting about East Gloucester/Veterans’ Memorial proposed elementary school building(s), will be held at the Gloucester Public Schools District Office Conference Room, 2 Blackburn Drive, Thursday June 20, 2019 5PM Find the agenda here 

Below are a few scenes from Gloucester’s school committee presentation by MSBA assigned designers, Dore & Whittier, and audience statements. The meeting was held at City Hall on June 17 and hosted by Ward 1 City Councilor Scott Memhard.The current status of proposed elementary school plans were reviewed. They discussed 14 options on 3 sites.

Audience members (approximately 125) were overwhelmingly opposed to the plans. People were vocal about green space, Mattos Field and memorial, women and sports, traffic, parking, transparency, consolidation, limited site options, narrow scope (what about the other schools), impact on each neighborhood, evaluation of West Parish, slow timeline, and future plans for any surplus property. Few in favor of consolidation were inclined with those proposed. One woman encouraged checking back in with the MSBA about completing multiple schools at once in lieu of consolidation and costs based on the firm’s belief that most of these options were ill suited.

Here is one statement read aloud reflecting concerns about green space and Mattos Field:

“Mattos field, East Gloucester school area, and Green Street all have the same thing in common: They are all open space and should be protected and preserved for future generations. 

Our Community Plan 2000 remind us over and over again the importance of our open spaces and the places we hold dear. The plan was “citizen-driven” and reached out to residents from all corners of our city. 

Since that plan, we are again reminded of our need and love for open space with our Open Space and Recreation Plan, a plan I was fortunate to be able to be a part of. This plan listed and inventoried all of our open spaces– from our beautiful beaches to our ball fields and parks, to our cemeteries and even our boat landings. Birds. Plants. All find a place in this plan. We talk about how we can protect these places and how we can improve them, but never did we talk about taking them away. 

Preserve, Maintain and Protect. These are the three words we should be using when it comes to our open spaces.  Because once it’s gone we can’t get it back. Thank you!”- Patti Amaral

Here is another statement pushing to reject all or nothing in favor of both/and:

“I’ve been to my share of School Committee meetings over the past several years and I’m learning more and more about what the future holds for the children of our city. There are three sites that the Building Committee has in mind for the “East Gloucester Elementary School” project. Two of those sites will take East Gloucester Elementary School out of East Gloucester.  One of those sites would eliminate the current Mattos Field and another would put the school up on Green Street, 500 yards from the old Fuller School.

The fate of East Gloucester Elementary needs your support.

I stood in front of our School Committee many years ago and asked, “Our schools are beginning to deteriorate. What are we going to do to maintain them? School Committee member, Ab Khambaty (president of the School Committee at the time) said, “Mary Ann, we do not need glorious buildings to educate children. We can teach them in a tent. What children need are teachers who have a strong desire to bring the best out in our children. We need parents who are involved with their PTO’s and staff who care.” I left that meeting very upset, because I was a young mother who wanted it all for my daughter and her fellow students, but as the years have passed I understand his message loud and clear. Our schools do not need brand new facades, grand entrances or hallways that have no educational purpose.

They do, however, need safe, clean and well maintained environments for both students and teachers (staff) alike to thrive in. It’s not the GRAND building that makes a school. It’s the PEOPLE within that structure that make a school GRAND. Can’t we provide safe, learning environments that meet the needs of today’s students, staff and neighborhoods (yes, neighborhoods) without disrupting our green spaces, without disrupting neighborhoods? Can’t we renovate our two schools for less than the cost of a new, consolidated school?

Green Street Playground and field remain green, East Gloucester Elementary remains, as well as it’s green space, Veterans’ and Mattos Field are saved and remain green. ALL dedicated green spaces that are used daily throughout the entire year, not just for school purposes, but for the purpose of enjoying the beauty of what they are and the benefits they each create. The benefits of being outside, socializing with friends, meeting new neighbors, enjoying wildlife. Are we willing to lose teachers and staff that invest in our city’s youth? If we lose a school we will lose more than just a building. We lose the most important parts of what children truly need, the people and their open fields. Take a look throughout our city and others and you will see magnificent renovations to so many of the brick structures, structures that have survived for hundreds of years, structures that have been renovated with the latest technology. We teach our children every day to recycle, repurpose and to save our earth. Let’s show them that it can be done. Can’t we provide clean, safe, learning environments while maintaining and protecting our city assets that residents of all neighborhoods and all ages love? Mary Ann Boucher,  advocate for kids, schools, green spaces and neighborhoods

The conditions pursued by the school committee are variable so it’s difficult to build or defend any consensus. In 2016, the Pines in East Gloucester was a front runner or placeholder. Opinions about consolidating multiple schools at Beeman or O’Maley were voiced but not fleshed out. In February of 2017, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), a state agency, moved the Gloucester school consolidation proposal further along in its funding process. In January 2019 at the school committee-city council-board of health joint meeting,  Chairman Pope mentioned exploratory conversations with Rockport about merging districts. Could the elementary and middle schools be situated on Rockport’s campus and O’Maley and GHS accomodate the middle and high school populations?   If so why would large school consolodiation buildings be underway? At the June 17th presentation, questions about other potential sites whether O’Maley, or any of the city’s school properties,  or land elsewhere, or merging with Rockport, went unanswered. Representatives from Dore & Whittier said this phase kicked off in December 2018 and was full spead ahead as of January; in truth, the process began years ago with Dore &Whittier. And new schools were a topic when my kids, now in high school, were in preschool (fantastic!) at the High School. Indeed, a generation of students has grown up and teachers retired since an “urgent” need was expressed. Conditions are urgent. Why is this process so costly and cumbersome? Why is constuction so expensive we can’t remedy in real time?

The school committee and new building sub-group welcome feedback and concerns

although they warn that in order for this process to stay on track for a new school ETA occupancy September 2023/24 they need to move forward with these options. Changes will increase cost.

See prior post with more slides of the presentation, mostly unchanged from the week before.

JASON BURROUGHS Goetemann Residency May 2019 intro talk May 6

 

Jason Burroughs Goetemann Artist Residency 2019 – Gloucester Invitational Artist month of May opening talk May 6th

Read more about Jason Burroughs here

Whether as sculptor, painter, muralist, mixed media or assemblage fine artist, Gloucester-born Jason Burroughs works across media with a signature touch. Can’t wait to see what happens from this residency. Follow him on Instagram- he’s been doing a weekly sketch on his instagram page @jazzyjburroughs

What would Jason do here?

Ever since I saw his inventive stepped paintings pre 2017,  I wonder what would Jason do here-

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JASON BURROUGHS

2017 – inventive sculpture paintings stepped away from flat and vertical surfaces

 

or just about anywhere! I’ve written about the monumental walls at O’Maley ideal for professionally trained artists that are former Gloucester O’Maley grads–like Jason– at the start of their careers. Murals are common public art attractions. To date I have not seen one mural initiative with that focus. Clandenstine street art and graffiti art can break through. (Some practitioners are diametrically opposed to that commercial conceit.) Elite global street artists and muralists command hundreds of thousands of dollars through private and corporate sponsorships. Commissions this scale for young artists with degrees begin at $16,000. That’s a great our town endeavor/grant investment.

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Monumental walls at O’Maley ideal canvas for murals by former alums now emerging artists / art school grads – O’Maley Innovation Middle School Gloucester Mass- Feb 3 2016

Read about the Parsons Street murals (wall) here.

ABOUT GOETEMANN GLOUCESTER INVITATIONAL ARTIST RESIDENCY –

Established in 2015, this one month residency is offered by committee invitation to an inspiring and highly deserving Gloucester artist. It is understood that artistic inspiration can be difficult to attain when work and family take precedence. The artist is provided with a live-work studio for one month. Read more here about Goetemann juried and invitational artist residencies 

The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck is open Thursday-Sunday. Seasonal Hours are: June through August 12-6pm, September through May 12-4pm.

Gallery 53 at Rocky Neck, 53 Rocky Neck Avenue is open seasonally May – October, seven days a week, 11am-6pm, Thurs-Sat until 8pm.

Visit www.rockyneckartcolony.org for more information. 

Lights! Flyover! Docksiders! Mattos! Let’s play ball! You don’t want to miss Mattos Field rededication celebration Oct. 5

Countdown to Mattos Field rededication day celebration

There’s just six more days till the big event, Friday October 5th, 2018, at 4:30PM, Joseph S. Mattos Jr Memorial Field, Gloucester, Massachusetts. And we’re talking years of community preparation to make it special!

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Celebrate Joseph S. Mattos Jr 

“We have a big day ahead for Joseph S. Mattos Jr. as it is his 100th. anniversary of his death and we are going to dedicate his flag to him on October 5th. 2018. We are dedicating his flag and we are also having a flyover as we raise the flag. A pilot named Rich Little is going to do it with his friends. He runs a charity Flights4CF as his daughter has this disease. The ceremony starts at 4:30 and the program is beautiful. The day will be completed with a softball game with the Softball Buddies special needs team and then food at the Gloucester Fraternity Club up the street as they have donated the hall to us for free. We are very thankful to the city, the  Light Up Mattos Committee, our C.P.A., Lucia Amero and Cape Ann Veterans Services, and everyone who has worked so hard on this field! It’s a big big list! (Here’s a more detailed on published Nov 2017 in the GDT)” -Patti Amaral

Mattos Field before the big day_20180914_©catherine Ryan

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Blooms and buildings- finding sunflowers at every turn downtown Gloucester, Mass.

Enjoying all these sunny sunflowers swaying downtown. Can you spot them all? Hint- Main Street and Pleasant Street (Patti Amaral’s garden stretch); on the West End of Main Street at legendary storefront Bananas; Washington and Granite Streets nearby Mother of Grace; and Centennial nearly bookended at both Washington and Western Avenue.

 

Sunflowers at every turn _ Main Street and Pleasant _ downtown Gloucester Mass©c ryan 2018 Aug 30. GIFSunflowers at every turn _ Main Street and Pleasant _ this one thanks Patti Amaral_ downtown Gloucester Mass©c ryan 2018 Aug 30 (2)

 

 

 

NEW SIGNS AT GOOD HARBOR BEACH

Four years in the making and planning stages, both Good Harbor Beach and Wingaersheek Beach have been outfitted with lovely new signs housed in the glass kiosks. We can thank Cape Ann Coffees, Neptune’s Harvest, Patti and Howie Amaral, Laurinda Butcher and the Cape Ann Photographers Club, and the Friends of Good Harbor Beach for the good work.

Patty and Laurinda installing the signs tonight.

Laurinda Butcher of Cape Ann Creative designed the bulletin boards and she, along with fellow members of the Cape Ann Photographers Club, donated the images. Photos are courtesy of the following contributors: Betty Grizz, Dave Fernandes, Skip Montello, Doug Burgess, Roger Porter, Karen Burgess, Gary Lander, Cate Partridge, Sue Ann Pearson, Glenn Bowie, James Eason, Jr., Donna Ardizonni, Kimberlee Bertolino, and Laurinda Butcher.

Survey says…feedback and ongoing outreach by Gloucester’s Open Space & Recreation Committee

Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken and Gloucester’s Open Space & Recreation Committee held a forum within the community center of the Maplewood Apartments complex on Thursday November 16th. The committee is working on the next Open Space plan for the city. (The prior one covering 2011-2017 has expired.) There was a brief presentation, results to the summer survey, and continued requests for suggestions and ideas. Gathering input will help prioritize possible Open Space & Recreation goals. Along with the important and detailed feedback already gathered from outreach, additional suggestions or wishes were given ‘open space’ 🙂 and welcomed at this little meeting.  A woman who works with Backyard Growers mentioned a garden of a different scale, with fruit trees and strawberry patches to walk through, engendering audible oos and ahhs and one request to add it “Right there!” Others dreamed of lights/safety at Burnham’s, Kayak storage and assistance, and drainage mitigation at Magnolia Fields.  Councilor Gilman took notes on the comments, and related one idea about a dedicated camping site.

You can check out the results to the survey (litter, dogs, and topics you care about are likely all in there) on the City’s website: (link coming) The presentation will tour. Look for upcoming dates and give thanks to this hardworking committee of volunteers, staff, and partners that advocate for open space and recreation. Committee members Patti Amaral, Heidi Wakeman, and Chair John McElhenny were there along with City staff  from community development and housing.

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photos: arriving to the community center, well before the meeting commenced, setting up in progress

Patti Amaral Clean City Initiative thanks Jason Burroughs & others for refurbishing #PublicArt Carry In Carry Out murals @Gloucester beaches

Nice letter from Patti Amaral in today’s Gloucester Daily Times writing on behalf of the city’s Clean City Initiative. She thanked the city, donors and supporters while providing some background about the Carry In Carry Out art. In case you missed it: Nov 9 2017  Letter to the Editor

Patti Amaral thanks Jason Burroughs for Public Art and other community partners for help with beach and gardens

The murals were refurbished by Jason Burroughs in October 2017. They were designed and painted by Bob Viau from StudioVo 15 years ago. Here are a few photos documenting the refurbishing. The Wingaersheek wall needed more attention.

Carry In Carry Out mural at Good Harbor Beach BEFORE 

CONDITION BEFORE Good Harbor Beach Carry In Carry Out mural had faded. original by studiovo 2002 redone 2017 Jason Burroughs

Carry In Carry Out mural at Good Harbor Beach AFTER

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Carry In Carry Out mural at Wingaersheek BEFORE

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Carry In Carry Out mural at Wingaersheek AFTER

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BEFORE

AFTER

 

Anyone interested in sponsoring a possible update to these beach displays, please let her know!

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good work at Good Harbor Beach

On the beach side, Precision Roofing is working on the concession topper

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While on the parking lot side, Jason Burroughs continues some touch up on the original studiovo Carry In Carry Out mural. More before – after photographs coming.

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Are we there yet Earth Day? Art Love & Harmony

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Happy Earth Day! If you missed Patti Amaral’s every day is Earth Day letter to the editor  it’s a great way to begin your morning. Her letter made me think about this street art in Gloucester. Does anyone know who painted it and how it came about? Is it unique?

The mural is located out of sight behind Dunkin’ Donuts. I am a Dunkin regular. Admittedly a drive-thru is not a promising Earth Day post.  There’s a reward with this one: a sun dappled park scene where everyone and their dog are enjoying the open air, lunch, the sun, the moment–and they pick up after themselves!

Patti, Donna, Amy– in this world Everyone is pitching in, all lyrical limbs. There’s even a bit of  perspective.Ten years ago, the mural wrapped so you might not catch the whole story with just one queue. You’d need to drive through again and it wouldn’t bother you a bit. Over time, low and lush hydrangea beneath the mural were broken up and dispersed among planters. Small billboards with local advertising sprouted; it’s hard to find fault with that business effort. We hoped it was only a trial. It wasn’t. My young sons felt badly for the painting when ads were pasted right up to the mural’s edge and (eek!) atop. The day came when they said no way to that drive through. (We may have wrote the owners please move the signs a little more to the left and can you fix it?)

It’s been years and I forgot about the painting. The billboard clutter was drastically reduced. Unfortunately there’s no harmony in 104.9 smack dab in the middle of the painting. And is it churlish on Earth Day to wish that the 2 evergreen somethings that have grown too tall for that site could be cropped, instead of the image? If that sign (sorry 104.9) was scooched over and off…cue the Earth Day music.

 

Fifth Dimension’s 1969 chart topping Age of Aquarius – Let the Sunshine In. The clip includes scenes from Hair. My dear friend blasts this song first thing Earth Day morning. What’s on your Earth Day playlist?

GloucesterCast With Lowell Peabody, Kim Smith and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/22/14

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GloucesterCast With Lowell Peabody, Kim Smith and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/22/14

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Topics Include: Gloucester MA, 01930, Happy Earth Day, Lowell Peabody, Kim Smith, 2014 UU Church Citizenship Award Winners- Donna Ardizzoni, Jim Flint, Martin Krugman, John McElhenny, Barry McKay, Joe Novello, Linn Parisi, Maggie Rosa, Terry Sands, Ann Straccia and her rescue beagle Ellie, Gloucester Strong Day At The Hive, Patti Amaral, Rose LoPiccolo, Dog Off Leash Article In GDT, James Niedzinski, Pot Farm In Essex, Arianna MacNeill, Over/Under Time Before Pot Farm Gets Approved, Over/Under Time Before Pot Dispensary Gets Opened, Phantom Illness, iPad vs iPad mini, Monoprice IPS Monitor A Tremendous Value, Petit Robert, The Franklin Lamb Chops, Grilled Brussel Sprouts, La casa de Luis, Montreal Spicy Steak Seasoning, Kim Smith PSwallowtail Movie In Lowell Eco Movie Festival, Palazolas Sporting Goods Baseball Cap Collection, Kim’s Daughter Liv Fair Weather Bostonian, Kim Does Not Know What Year Her Daughter Graduated, Liv’s New Blog,

Subscribe to The GloucesterCast Podcast by Email Free

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GloucesterCast With Toby Pett and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/19/14

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GloucesterCast With Toby Pett and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/19/14

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Subscribe to The GloucesterCast Podcast by Email

Topics Include: Gloucester MA, 01930, What up Homie?,  Jim Casey, Lighten Up Francis, Toby Pett, Chamber License Plate, Bringing GMG Back Old School, Passports Wine Dinner, Killer Cheeses, Sidewalk Sweeping Day, Carry In/ Carry Out, Patti Amaral, 40 Barrels?, Masspirg, Effort To Get 5 Cent Deposit On Water and Juice Bottles, Big Mike’s Bikes, Getting Around Gloucester Via Bike and Water Taxi, Toby’s List of the Best Bartenders In Gloucester, Stoli O Tonic, Lime Shortage, Gene Silviera, Erika Baert, Ellen Tasker, Molly Marks, Halibut Point, Jack Muniz, Jamie Verga, Lobsta Land
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GloucesterCast With Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/13/14

gloucestercastsquare11 (1)GloucesterCast With Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/13/14

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Topics Include: Gloucester, Massachusetts, Kim Smith Designs, Pleasant Street Tea and Coffee Co, Gloucester HarborWalk Cleanup, Catherine Ryan, Beth Chiancola, Susan Kelly, Jessie Carini, Earth Day April 22, Gloucester Strong With Art Haven and The Hive, The Hive Screen Printing, Killer Gloucester Strong Logo, Cape Ann Trail Stewards, Send In Your Earth Day Community Activity Information So We Can Post Them, Patti Amaral, Kim Smith’s Photos Featured In Sunday Boston Globe, Samson GoMic vs The Mutumbo Mic, Portable Podcasting Equipment, Cape Ann Media Group, Carry In Carry Out vs Trash Cans On The Beach, Proper Way To Send A Press Release, Tina Ketchopolos, GMG PR Person Of The Year, Addison Gilbert Hospital, Alison The Owner Of Pleasant Street Tea and Coffee Co Is Going With Dreadlocks, The Origin Of FOB, “American Blogger Documentary” A Spoof or Not?,  Frances Bouchie Asks Does Anyone Do Gloucester Geneology, Cape Ann Museum, Ann Kennedy, Call In Question, Google Hangouts Just Too Wonky, Planning The Podcasts, Washington St Sidewalks Looking Good, Email Subscription Service Is Broken, Webmasters Need To Understand Just How Many People Do Not Know How To Use A Search Engine To Find A Website Even If They Know The Name Of The Web Page, People Not Understanding How To Find And Bookmark The Blog, Please Explain To People That Aren’t Getting Their Email Subscription To The Blog That They Can Go Directly at www.goodmorninggloucester.com , Katrina’s, The Rudder, The Studio Opening Date!, Madfish,Gloucester MA, 01930

The GloucesterCast Has Been Been Invited To Be A Station On Stitcher Radio On Demand!

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DSC02766About Our Guest:

Kim Smith Is A Regular Contributor On Good Morning Gloucester Here is Her Profile:

Currently creating documentary films about the Monarch Butterfly, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, and Gloucester’s Feast of St. Joseph. Landscape designer for the Gloucester Harbor Walk Gardens. Designer, lecturer, author, illustrator, photographer. Visit my blog for more information about my landscape and interior design firm- kimsmithdesigns.wordpress.com. Good Morning Gloucester daily contributor.
Author/illustrator “Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden”

Patti Amaral doing her work

Most people know Patti and all her hard volunteering to keep this city beautiful and clean of litter. She would like to thank Gloucester garden and Civic Club.  Patti will be on Cape Ann TV at 7:30 Wednesday.  Here she is working hard maintaining a garden on Main Street.  She does an amazing job.  Thank you Patti.

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Earth Day Activities a Stage Fort Park From Patti Amaral

Hello Joey, Here are some photos that highlight the Earth Day activities a Stage Fort Park yesterday. By the end of the day, the volunteers had picked up a small truck-load of discarded items. The volunteers did not come empty handed, they brought lots of fruits and veggies to donate to the Food Pantry. One of the best moments was when the we were introduced to the recycling dog! Thank you for helping us get the word out. It was a great day! Patti Amaral

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Sidewalk Sweeping Day Report From Patti Amaral and Gloucester Earth Day Info!

Good Morning Joey, Here is a recent picture from Saturday’ s Sidewalk Sweeping Day, Donna and I were sweeping lower Main St when Kathleen showed up with her cutesy dog recovering from surgery. There was a lot less sand this year do to a lack of snow this winter. What we found horrifying is the majority of what we swept up was cigi-butts. I would like to thank the One Hour at a Time Gang for helping out, they are the BOM!

Patti Amaral

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Don’t forget The Gloucester Clean Up For Earth Day-

Do you know of an area in Gloucester that, if you had the time and the help, you would like to clean up?  Well, here is your opportunity!  The City, in conjunction with the Clean City Initiative, is asking folks to turn out for a citywide clean up on Saturday, April 21st (rain date Sunday, April 22nd). 

The Clean City Initiative will be focusing its efforts on Stage Fort Park from 9 to noon, but the clean up is citywide and participants are encouraged to choose a public area in Gloucester they would like to see cleaned up.  We are also asking different groups to reach out to their members and pick a problem area to clean that day.  Listed below are some hot spots if folks need ideas.

    Green Street Playground                Cherry Street
    Pavilion Beach                    Maplewood Avenue
    Magnolia Avenue                    Centennial Ave to High School
    Poles Hill                        Fitz Henry Lane
    Thatcher Road                    Railroad Avenue
            Fort Square                        Gloucester Avenue

Details
If you are organizing a group and an area to clean, contact Rose LoPiccolo at Gloucester DPW before the event to let her know where you will be working and estimated number of yellow trash bags and clear recycling bags you will need.  Rose can be reached at 978 281 9785.  Rose will be maintaining a list of all the clean up spots to insure we are maximizing our efforts! Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own tools and re-useable gloves, although gloves will be available.

Not Attached to a Group??
On the day of the clean up, volunteers (all ages welcome!) should plan to meet at Stage Fort Park Visitors Center starting at 9 am until noon to sign in and pick up trash/recycling bags and gloves, if needed.

For questions about the event, contact: 
        Rose LoPiccolo, City of Gloucester Recycling Coordinator
        rlopiccolo@gloucester-ma.gov / 978.281.9785