A forever gift: Southampton honors Ted Hendrick and his daughter, Paula, for donation of conservation land

View Photo Gallery
  • Ted Hendrick addresses about 25 people gathered near Cold Spring Road in Southampton last Thursday to thank him and his daughter, Paula Hendrick, for the land they donated to the town for a conservation area. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Paula Hendrick, left, and her father, Ted Hendrick, are applauded by about 25 people gathered for a ribbon cutting to celebrate their donation of land for Southampton's newest conservation area on Thursday, May 26. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Paula Hendrick, left, accompanies her father, Ted Hendrick, as he cuts a celebratory ribbon to mark their donation of 8.3 acres of land to the town of Southampton for a conservation area. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Ted Hendrick, left, accompanied by Friends of Southampton Open Space treasurer Doric Dods, addresses about 25 people gathered near Cold Spring Road in Southampton on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to celebrate a donation of land by Hendrick and his daughter, Paula Hendrick, to the town for its newest conservation area. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Paul Westover, with Conservation Works, thanks Ted Hendrick, left, and his daughter, Paula Hendrick, for their donation of 8.3 acres of land for Southampton's newest conservation area during a celebration to honor the two on Thursday, May 26, 2022. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Ted Hendrick leads a group on a short walk to view the cellar hole of the 18th century Clark Homestead in Southampton on land that he and his daughter, Paula Hendrick, have given to the town for its newest conservation area. The hike took place following a celebration last Thursday to honor the pair for the gift. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Ted Hendrick talks with visitors to the 18th century Clark Homestead in Southampton on land that he and his daughter, Paula Hendrick, have given to the town for its newest conservation area. Photographed on Thursday, May 26. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Ted Hendrick, standing left, accompanied by Friends of Southampton Open Space treasurer Doric Dods, addresses about 25 people gathered near Cold Spring Road in Southampton on Thursday, May 26, to celebrate a donation of land by Hendrick and his daughter, Paula Hendrick, for the town's newest conservation area. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Ted Hendrick talks with visitors to the 18th century Clark Homestead in Southampton on land that he and his daughter, Paula Hendrick, have given to the town for its newest conservation area. Photographed on Thursday, May 26. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A site map provided by Conservation Works outlines, in yellow, the 8.3 acres of land in Southampton donated to the town by Ted Hendrick and his daughter, Paula Hendrick, for a conservation area. The parcel is west of the corner of Rattle Hill and Cold Spring roads. Photographed on Thursday, May 26. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 5/29/2022 10:00:20 PM
Modified: 5/29/2022 9:58:18 PM

SOUTHAMPTON — When Ted Hendrick wanders around the woods along Cold Spring Road, he’s reminded of a “Big Rock Candy Mountain.”

The song, released by singer Burl Ives in the 1940s, speaks of the “buzzin’ of the bees in the cigarette trees,” which evokes much of the reverence that the 98-year-old Hendrick holds for the natural setting.

Hendrick shared those warm sentiments last week at a ceremony to honor him and his daughter, Paula Hendrick, who had donated 8.3 acres of land at the corner of Rattle Hill and Cold Spring roads to the town for the public to enjoy its meadows, forests and stream.

“The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees, and the big rock candy mountain. They’re all going to be able to enjoy this land long after our civilization has finally destroyed itself,” he said.

Open Space Committee Chairperson Cindy Palmer presented Hendrick with a plaque recognizing the family’s gift to the town.

Members of the Conservation Commission, the Open Space Committee, the Friends of Southampton Open Space and the Select Board as well as Kestrel Land Trust and North Hatfield-based conservation consulting firm Conservation Works attended the event, which also celebrated the opening of the town’s newest conservation area, at 57 Cold Spring Road.

One by one, representatives from each attending organization offered up thanks to the Hendrick family.

“We’re lucky that Ted has come to appreciate the landscape. We’re lucky he’s been able to pass along that appreciation because after all, he and his daughter together … did the conveyance to make this piece of land over to public use. So it’s preserved and it’s not being turned into condos or something like that,” said Doric Dods, treasurer of the Friends of Southampton Open Space. “Thank you for making this available to us. We’ll take good care of it.”

In the future, the Friends of Southampton Open Space hope to create a parking area for guests to better utilize the property.

Hendrick chose to gift the land to the town to keep expensive homes out. “I’ve seen the town go from bad to worse the more of those big houses go up. My taxes on my little house of ours go up,” he said.

Diana Federman, associate member of the Conservation Commission, commended the Hendricks for choosing to preserve the property rather than sell it to a developer.

“I think we’re all aware that there’s a lot of pressure for development in Southampton,” Federman said. “And I understand we could have had multiple building lots here ... and that’s a lot of money as we all know. Mr. Hendrick forewent that and donated it to us. … There are so many people nearby that can access this. It’s a great thing.”

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Ted Hendrick led attendees on a jaunt to one of the site’s historic landmarks — evidence of a cellar hold from Elisha Clark’s homestead from 1735. He was one of the six Clarks who were early settlers of the town.

Hendrick recalled a time when he was between 8 and 10 years old hiking and spending time in the area alongside his brothers and other children his age.

“They were roasting frankfurters and someone gave me a chocolate bar. This was during Depression times and a kid with a nickel-chocolate bar was in his glory,” he said.

Along the way, he pointed out red oaks and spoke of the property’s large specimen of tulip poplars.

This is not the first time the Hendrick family has donated land for conservation efforts. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the 21-acre Lyman Family Conservation Area on College Highway, according to Palmer. Hendrick and his late wife, Maxine, donated the land.

Chris Fowles, chairperson of the Select Board, offered gratitude for the Hendrick family’s donation, noting how useful it will be for future generations.

“This love of conservation and all things nature, I think, has been tremendous,” Fowles said. “We have gifts here that we don’t even know about, many townspeople haven’t even discovered even half of what we have here in town. We’re hoping that occasions like this can broaden the knowledge of townspeople and allow them to enjoy this for the future.”

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ethurlow@gazettenet.com.

Jobs



Support Local Journalism


Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy