Monday, November 1, 2010

Letter from Theresa D'Amato

How did the nature trail at the Parmenter School come to be?
This letter from Theresa D'Amato, a teacher at Parmenter (now retired), tells the story.

Dear Parmenter Parents/Guardians,
Franklin, like many other communities, has lost much of its forested areas to development thus limiting the opportunities for children to experience the natural environment and to have outdoor educational experiences. It was for this reason that grant proposals were written to fund a project designed to meet this critical need for the students at Parmenter School.
In 1999, a Franklin Education Foundation grant provided the funds to create a habitat to attract birds and butterflies at Parmenter. At that time, Parmenter students designed and planted the garden. In addition, Franklin High School football players moved rocks to border it. Today, Parmenter students maintain the garden, fill the bird feeders, and create nature-friendly crafts for the birds.
In 2001, The Massachusetts Audubon Society, in partnership with Parmenter School, received an Eisenhower grant to create a nature trail on the school property and to provide all teachers with the information needed to integrate environmental sciences into their curricula. To complement and improve this resource, a grant from Lowe’s was obtained in 2006. Using these funds in conjunction with the service of former Parmenter students, guideposts, a wetland boardwalk, trailhead sign, and erosion timbers were installed on the G. M. Parmenter Nature Trail. Future projects are planned to continue to enhance the trail.
At this time I would like to thank all of the parents—too numerous to mention—who since 1999 have helped with the habitat and the trail; I-Jen Chen who created the GPS map, and Anthony D’Amato who created the trail guide. My heartfelt gratitude goes to Robert Young, Colin Young, and Jeremy Harmon who chose to conduct their Eagle Scout projects at their former elementary school.
The completion of the trail required several years of work and was funded by grants and maintained by hundreds of hours of volunteer labor. Importantly, the trail is a resource to be enjoyed by the entire Parmenter School Community and I invite you to utilize this nature trail and to inform your extended family and friends of its existence. Moreover, it is my hope that the G.M. Parmenter School Nature Trail will provide a resource for environmental education experiences that create a sense of stewardship for the Earth’s natural resources. Please use the enclosed trail guide to enrich your walk as you enjoy the beauty of nature that exists right out our backyard.
Theresa F. D’Amato

I managed to catch Theresa when I stopped by Saturday to check out the Story Walk. The Story Walk is placed along the nature trail.

The Story Walk was born in Vermont. I'll have pictures of the walk later this week.

Franklin, MA


  1. How wonderful! Thank you for sharing this. I will have to visit the trail. :)

  2. Michelle, you are most welcome. I'll have some photos from my visit Sunday morning to post on Wednesday.