Hilltown Voices: Conway School students help with Chesterfield cemetery review

Last modified: Sunday, January 26, 2014

Two students from the Conway School of Landscape Design recently provided the Cemetery Commission with a comprehensive report on two town cemeteries that may help guide town officials in planning for the properties.

William C. Jolly, Chesterfield’s superintendent of cemeteries, said students Trevor Buckley and Michelle Carlson produced in-depth designs for the Ireland Street and Mount cemeteries.

“Both cemeteries are historic cemeteries and each one has undeveloped land,” Jolly said. “These students put together a very extensive and impressive report that shows us designs that could be implemented over time.”

The Conway School of Landscape Design specializes in creating designs that are ecologically and socially sustainable. Students are required to work with cities and towns on real world projects.

Jolly said that he called the school last year and was put in contact with Buckley and Carlson this past fall.

“They put in a phenomenal amount of work on these projects,” he said.

The pair did extensive analysis on environmentally based issues like topography, soil composition and drainage, as well as researching the historical significance of each location, he noted.

They also looked at fencing, vegetation, benches, contemplative areas and the possibility of “green burials” in which the interment of bodies is done in a biodegradable casket without a cement vault and without the use of embalming fluid.

“They really provided us with several alternatives to the status quo of just linear lines in an open space,” Jolly said.

The town spent $900 on the project, which, in Jolly’s view, was a bargain.

“We now have very professional designs that show us how we could implement improvements in both cemeteries in the future,” Jolly said. “The reality is that right now, we do not have the money to adopt any changes wholesale, but when we do, this will let us approach the situation more broadly.”


Williamsburg’s library survey

Trustees of the Williamsburg Libraries are seeking comment from the community in developing a five-year plan for the Meekins and Haydenville libraries.

With the help of several focus groups, the board has developed a 25-question survey, designed to hone in on the services, programs and activities that are of interest to the public.

“This survey is going to be very important to the strategic planning process and how we move forward into the future,” Library Trustee Rob Stinson said.

Some of the topics the survey seeks information on include: technology, accessibility, adult programs and services, children and young adult programs, extending library hours, connectivity with the community and the collaboration between the library and the Anne T. Dunphy School.

“The library serves several other surrounding communities, so the survey is for current users or any other potential users of the library,” Stinson said.

People who take the survey can enter a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to a Williamsburg business of their choice.

Stinson said the survey should only take about 15 minutes to complete. Paper copies can be picked up at Meekins Library, or it can also be taken on line by going to www.meekins-library.org.


Concert Sunday

Guitarist and singer Jim Kaminski and friends Rudi Weeks on bass, and Dave Nelson on drums will perform a free concert Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Goshen Town Hall.

Kaminski’s career started with the band Fat in 1968. By 1970, they had an album on RCA Records. Kaminski started his own band in 1975 and has enjoyed local success.

This is the second concert in a five-part series called the Treasury of Hilltown Musicians. The concerts are co-sponsored by the Chesterfield and Goshen Councils on Aging.

Refreshments will be provided by the two councils.

The building is handicap accessible, and there is parking across the street.


Berkshire Regional public hearing

Residents of the Central Berkshire Regional School District including the towns of Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington and Windsor are invited to attend a public hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 school budget. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Nessacus Regional Middle School in Dalton.

A copy of the proposed budget will be available for review at the superintendent’s office at 254 Hinsdale Road in Dalton, or online at www.cbrsd.org after Feb. 13.

Items for this weekly column about Hilltown life can be sent to: fryan.gazette@gmail.com


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