DraDracut Seeks Input on Beaver Brook Farm
DRACUT -- Resdebts who want a say in the future of Beaver Brook Farm will have their firt chance on Thursday night.
The Beaver Brook Farm Committee will hold its first meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at Harvey J. Gagnon Harmony Hall, 1660 Lakeview Ave. Another meeting is scheduled for the same time on May 30.
The committee has been working with students from the Northampton-based Conway School on a master plan for the 24-acre parcel at 761 Mammoth Road, with several buildings and a homestead.
“The goal is to solicit public input from the residents to see what they would like to see,” said Dave Paquin, a member of the Beaver Brook Farm Committee. “We’re seven people on the committee and we think we know, but we really want to test the pulse of the public to see what people are interested in.”
Paquin said a walking trail has been developed on the farm side.
“The Open Space Committee has done a lot of work cutting brush and blazing a trail so that people could walk through there and it’s already posted as a public way,” Paquin added.
The BBFC was formed in 2015 in anticipation of the Town Meeting vote at the 2015 annual Spring Town Meeting to acquire the farm with $2.8 million in Community Preservation Act funds and preserve it as open space.
The town paid the Conway School of Landscape Design about $7,700 to work on this project. Town Manager Jim Duggan said an RFP was not needed due to the total cost being less than $10,000.
The town last year was accepting preliminary proposals on suggested uses for any and or all portions of the Beaver Brook Farm. Duggan this week said there were conversations with individuals but nothing was submitted. “They are going to provide recommendations on reuse options for the farm,” Duggan said of the Conway School graduate students involved in the project.
Eric Giordano and Lisa Krause are the graduate students. They will be at Thursday’s meeting to hear from town residents and said they plan on sharing a draft of the plan and initial recommendations at the second meeting at the end of this month.
“We’re looking to speak with different stakeholders in the community and really identify what the community’s vision for this space will be,” Krause said.
Residents with questions or ideas are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Warren Shaw, a local farmer who is also a member of the committee, said he is hopeful that people will come to the meetings and share what they’d like to see happen with the farm. He described Beaver Brook Farm as a gorgeous farm that requires patience.
“We want this to be a real gem for the community, but at the same time not have it be an ongoing money pit. That’s a likely possibility if the wrong decisions are made,” Shaw said. “We’re also looking for ways to generate income with it.”
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.