Residents: Town Hall Gardens Deteriorating

The gardens have been slowly declining over time but may be at a tipping point, according to neighboring residents.

Maple Street resident Catherine Hirani sent a letter to the Arlington Board of Selectmen (see below) on the deterioration of the gardens around Town Hall, Robbins Library and the Whittemore-Robbins House.

Hirani and two Academy Street residents spoke at the board’s meeting Monday and made similar points – the gardens have been slowly declining over time but may be at a tipping point, they said.

Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.

Hirani’s letter to the Board of Selectmen:

Dear Board of Selectmen,

I am writing this because I feel it is important to the town. I regret feeling the need to do so.

We have lived at 19 Maple St. in Arlington for over 20 years, and yes, we were drawn to the house, but we were also drawn to the beauty and maintenance of the town gardens, quite literally our back yard! Within the first year of our living here, the “Maple Street Gate” was restored and a tea was held in celebration. In the meantime, we have seen significant deterioration: returned the door knob of the gate to the Whittemore Robbins and reported some failure with some of the soldering (should be repaired before critical pieces go missing) and nothing …

I am disappointed with the condition and maintenance of the grounds and gardens surrounding the Town Hall, Library, and Whittemore Robbins. It is a disgrace. A year ago, the grass was green, the early flowering trees were coming into bloom. The flowering trees have not let us down this spring, but there is an awful lot of detritus, dirt pile and rocks, crap, leaves, and damage/cuttings, invasives that need attending. This is beyond volunteers!

The town rents out both the Whittemore Robbins and the Town Hall for events; it seems some if not all of that revenue should be spent on some extra maintenance for these locations.

Although originally designed by Stergis, followed by the Olmsted brothers, the gardens designs should be a strong reference for the continued maintenance and plantings for this property.

Much of this property was a gift to the town. It deserves more respect and attention! It is a shame to see it in such bad shape.

Catherine Hirani
19 Maple Street
Bob Tosi Jr. May 14, 2014 at 11:30 PM
Town Meeting updated its "junk cars" bylaws yet a "junk bike" remains chained and rusting on one of the railings in the park. This is not just an aesthetic issue but safety issue as it hinders use of the railing on the stairs.
Jacob May 16, 2014 at 07:33 AM
Have you seen the "grounds" at the new, multi-million dollar Thompson School? The grass....or weeds....are about knee height -- really a beautiful project!
Wind Dummy 25 May 16, 2014 at 04:38 PM
Never use to be that way. The DPW crews are few now and the private guys contracts with the town are cheap and unreliabke at best. Just like the plow situation every winter you get what you pay for. End up paying double.
Mark Kaepplein May 16, 2014 at 05:06 PM
I hope the grass/weeds are native species, organically grown, not some invasive plant chemically fed or treated!
Nana8 May 16, 2014 at 05:16 PM
Wind Dummy, I couldn't agree with you more.


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