Around the Hamptons: Maddie’s playground set for dedication; Eversource trimming trees in Easthampton; forum on greenway in Southampton

Eversource will be trimming trees through the end of the year in Easthampton.

Eversource will be trimming trees through the end of the year in Easthampton. Contributed Photo

By MADDIE FABIAN

Staff Writer

Published: 11-09-2023 10:40 AM

SOUTHAMPTON – The opening and dedication of Maddie’s Magical Playground – which honors the life and “sparkle” of Madeline “Maddie” Schmidt, who died at 8 years old of brain cancer in 2022 – will take place at 1  p.m. on Sunday  at Labrie Field.

The playground will be the first ever in Southampton to be built by community volunteers and accessible to wheelchairs and ADA-compliant.

“While Maddie was battling cancer, we realized how important it is to have ADA-compliant options for children to play on,” said Nora Schmidt, Maddie’s mother. “This playground will help spread the joy that Maddie brought to our lives every day and we know that those children who play on and visit the playground will spread her sparkle in the months and years to come.” 

In attendance at the playground dedication will be Maddie’s family, friends and members of the nonprofit founded in her name, as well as town officials from the Select Board, Community Preservation Committee and Park Commission.

Maddie’s Magical Playground is located at Labrie Field– where Maddie played soccer during the fall – and is purple and teal, Maddie’s favorite colors. The playground features a ramp, slides, benches, picnic tables, a climbing wall, a surface level playing area, an accessible picnic table, and an accelerator swing that enables a child and their parents to sit on the swing together.

More information can be found at magicformaddie.com.

Eversource removing, trimming trees

EASTHAMPTON – As part of ongoing efforts to reduce tree-related power outages across the state, Eversource is trimming and removing trees along 25 miles of city roads.

“Identifying weak, diseased and hazardous trees along town roads and trimming or removing them before they cause a problem is critical,” Eversource Vegetation Management Manager Christopher Gonzalez said in a statement. “While we all love our trees, we have seen firsthand the damage they can cause to the electric system.”

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By the end of the year, Eversource will have trimmed or removed trees along 25 miles of city roads including Plain, Hendrick, Brook, Holyoke, East, Clark, Parsons, Ferry and Everett streets and side streets off those main roads.

Eversource has also been working in Amherst on similar work. Everysource typically schedules vegetation management in cycles of every four to five years. 

“Our city’s budget for tree work is quite limited,” Easthampton DPW Director Greg Nuttelman said in a statement, adding that the city’s partnership with Eversource is important for tree maintenance, helping “critical infrastructure” including drinking wells.

Eversource reminds residents that all contractors carry proper identification, will never ask to enter a private residence, and there is no cost to the property owner.

Southampton Greenway forum

SOUTHAMPTON – A public forum on the planned Southampton Greenway will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at Norris Elementary School at 7 p.m.

When built, the 3.5 miles-long greenway will extend from the intersection of Route 10 and Brickyard Road to Coleman Road, where it will meet the Manhan Rail Trail.

The intent is to enable walkers, bikers and other users to utilize a growing network of rail trails.

At the meeting, the Greenway Committee and engineers from the contracted firm Tighe and Bond will present preliminary data and maps, and discuss the design process.

Attendees at the forum will be given the opportunity to speak directly with the engineers and comments will be recorded to ensure residents’ concerns are considered during the design process.

More information about the Southampton Greenway can be found at https://southamptongreenway.org/important-southampton.../

Alzheimer’s Association presentation

EASTHAMPTON – The Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Chapter will present an educational program “Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behavior” at the Easthampton Senior Center on Monday.

A light meal will be served as the association teaches about decoding behavioral messages, identifying common triggers, and learned strategies for managing common behavioral challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.

The presentation will be held from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. RSVP to the Senior Center at kthompson@easthamptonma.gov or 413-527-6151.

Recycling in Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON – So far this year, residents have diverted more than 18,000 pounds of textiles from landfills by using donation bins rather than trash and recycling.

The town said at this rate, residents will have donated over 20,000 pounds by the end of the year.

A donation bin is located just inside the entrance gate of the Transfer Station available to permit holders during operating hours, as well as a second bin at the Southampton Police Station parking lot available to everyone at all times.

Maddie Fabian can be reached at mfabian@gazettenet.com.