View Clearing Project Update
We are waiting for feedback from a program within the Commonwealth's Office of Mass Wildlife. In addition to our local Conservation Commission, The Natural Heritage and Endangered Species program also reviews our NOI and comments on our plans. Once Natural Heritage provides their direction, we will be VERY CLOSE.
Bocce A Go-Go
I've heard the Parks and Rec. Dept. has a bocce set residents can sign out, but I've not confirmed that. Any bocce players out there? Much thanks to the Sheriff's Dept., Holyoke DPW and the Parks and Rec. for making this happen! I didn't get any shots of the Sheriff Dept. in action, but at least 8 folks contributed their time to the project.
Conservation Commission Hearing, May 14 @ 7 pm
Friends of Pulaski Park, the Holyoke Parks Department and New England Environmental (www.neeinc.com) will have a meeting with the Holyoke Conservation Commission next week. They are reviewing our request for permission to remove invasive species and complete Vista Pruning on PanAm railroad property adjacent to Pulaski Park. The railroad has agreed in general to the concept of the work, and now we need the Conservation Commission to take a look at our plan. Hopefully they'll think it's a great project and give us their blessing.
The public hearing on the Notice of Intent is scheduled for: Thursday May 14, at 7:00 p.m. The Con Com (this is what the 'cool kids' call the' Conservation Commission'. Do I sound cool too?) has also scheduled a site visit, a few days prior to the hearing. The site visit will be Tuesday May 12, at 4:00 p.m. Keep your fingers crossed for us that all goes well. And please DONATE to the cause!
Clearing the View Project Moves Forward! You Can Help!
I am delighted to write that PanAm Railways has completed all due diligence and is committed to working with FOPP to facilitate the invasive species removal and vista pruning on their property that will clear the view of the Connecticut River from Pulaski Park in downtown Holyoke. PanAm Vice President, Roger Bergeron, is very enthusiastic about the project.
The process now enters the time-consuming 'Permitting' phase. Despite still having a large amount of work in front of us, this step forward is very worth celebrating because I was told a year ago that coming this far was not possible.
Railroads have to file what's called a Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) with the Massachusetts environmental regulators. PanAm will file a request to amend its VMP to include invasive species removal and vista pruning on property adjacent to Pulaski Park.
At the same time, FOPP, here locally, will begin our own permitting process because we (working collaboratively with the Conservation Commission and Parks and Recreation Dept.) are funding and managing the removal and pruning work.
FOPP and its consultant, New England Environmental, will file a Request for a Determination of Applicability, or a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Holyoke Conservation Commission and the DEP to authorize the work. This is not difficult to do, but it is very time consuming. I'm told that the permitting, review, hearings, etc can take many months to complete. We're starting this process concurrently with PanAm's VMP process.
You can HELP!!!!! Community support is vital to this project! The cost of invasive species removal, vista pruning and planting of low growing native species to control erosion will approach $30,000. If you support our efforts to clear the river view, please send us a tax deductible donation:
Friends of Pulaski Park
4 Open Square Way
Holyoke, MA 01040
Friends of Pulaski Park Joins Passport Holyoke!
Friends of Pulaski park is now a member of PassportHolyoke.org! Passport Holyoke is a consortium of organizations dedicated to promoting the cultural, recreational, and educational happenings in our fair city. Visit us online for more detailed information about the PLETHERA of Holyoke happenings: