Showing posts with label community garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label community garden. Show all posts

Friday, March 24, 2023

Empower with Gardening 2023 - order your raised bed now

Hello community! It's that time of year again for VFJ Renovations: #empowerwithgardening 2023!

For the 4th year, we will be making cedar raised garden beds and the profits will be donated to a non-profit organization that supports mental health wellness and education. Order deadline is Friday, April 28, and we hope to have the garden beds delivered by Mother's Day. We plan to make only 30 beds, so get your orders in early!!

Pictures and pricing can be found on our website and order form.

Thanks for your interest and supporting our initiative!

Order form ->

Empower with Gardening 2023 - order your raised bed now
Empower with Gardening 2023 - order your raised bed now

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Dec 6, 2022 - Community Preservation Committee meeting video available via YouTube

The Community Preservation Committee met Tuesday Dec 6, 2022 with 7 members participating (6 in Council Chambers, 1 remote).

The Franklin.TV recording is available for replay via YouTube

Quick Recap:

  • Committee: Chair C Feeley, M Doyle, J Livingstone, P Malcolm,W Simarian, R Power (remote), L Oxford - [D McNeill, M Giardino absent]
  • Town Administration: J Hellen, A Alleyne,  

The committee approved the minutes of the prior meeting via roll call vote (7-0-2; 7 for, 0 against, 2 absent). 

Motion to accept the proposed meeting scheduled for 2023, seconded, passes via voice vote (7 for, 0 against, 2 absent)

Town Administrator Jamie Hellen provides project updates on work underway

  • Red Brick School exterior renovation - doors and windows backordered

  • Nason St Tot lot site prep work being done now in advance of renovation in the spring

  • King St Memorial Field estimate and draft depiction of the field layout and work proposed. Timeline and funding remains TBD. Would be adding pickleball courts, would be including a paved path all around the park, would also be adding parking; questioned on if handicap access for the community garden is considered? I added that when the garden opened in 2010, it did have a stonedust entrance and among the first four beds on each side of the main gate. It was covered with mulch a few years ago. The base likely could be restored.

Jamie also provided a financial update, it had a minor error and would be further enhanced to better reflect what was approved vs allocated vs. spent, etc.

Committee entered executive session via roll call vote not to return to open meeting  (7 for, 0 against, 2 absent)

depiction of proposed King St Memorial park improvements
depiction of proposed King St Memorial park improvements

Franklin, MA: Community Gardens - Opening Day
Community Garden opening day, 2011 shows the stone dust (grey) around
 the first 8 garden beds at the entrance

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Community Preservation Committee recommends purchase of Schmidt Farm with CPA funds (video)

The Community Preservation Committee meeting was held on Tuesday, Oct 4, 2022. The meeting recording is now available for replay and review from Franklin TV.  Video link ->

The full agenda and docs released for this meeting can be found:

My notes captured during the meeting via Twitter can be found in one PDF

Note: The Schmidt's Farm presentation document will be posted to the Town pages in advance of the Town Council meeting on Wednesday at 7 PM.  Photos of almost all of the slides shared were captured and can be found in one album.  ->

Community Preservation Committee recommends purchase of Schmidt Farm with CPA funds (video)
Community Preservation Committee recommends purchase of Schmidt Farm with CPA funds (video)

Monday, August 22, 2022

Annual Report Of The Recreation Department - FY 2021

Note: FY 2021 is last year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The report was prepared to cover the business for the FY 2021 period. This year’s report FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) is in preparation now and is normally available for distribution at the polls for the November election.

The Recreation Department is located at 275 Beaver Street, Franklin MA 02038. The Recreation Department offers Franklin residents a variety of programs and activities for youth and adults, as well as coordination of youth sports organizations field use. The department operates and schedules activities for Beaver Pond (beach and turf field), Fletcher Field, Dennis Pisani Softball Field, Henry “Ski” Faenza Tot Lot (Nason Street Tot Lot), King Street Memorial Field (including the pickleball and basketball courts), Dacey Community Field (including disk golf course), and the Meadowlark Lane fields. The department is also responsible for scheduling the use of all school athletic fields with coordination from the Franklin High School Athletics Department. Our department works closely with the various town youth sports organizations and Athletic Director, Tom Angelo and his assistant Susan Jacobson to schedule all youth sports activities around the high school team practices and games.

Chilson Beach
Chilson Beach was open from June 19-August 20, 2021 with a swim at your own risk policy. No lifeguards were on duty. However, we staffed the beach with gate guards to check for residency as the beach remains Franklin residents only. The pond was home to canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and hiking. 

For information on Chilson Beach and our water testing results, please visit: 

At the above website, residents can check the water quality and E-coli levels as we run a water quality check every week throughout the summer to make sure it is safe for swimming.

On the turf field at Beaver Pond, we continue to permit soccer, field hockey, flag football, and boy’s lacrosse. The turf field was used for the Franklin Recreation Department’s NFL Flag football program under the direction of Jack Geromini (program coordinator), Franklin Youth Soccer, and Franklin youth boys lacrosse, as well as yoga for senior citizens, tai chi, boot camp, and many other recreational activities. A portable recycled plastic walkway is on site for handicap accessibility to the water edge and playground area. The Franklin High School soccer, lacrosse and field hockey programs play all of their home games on the turf field as well. The turf field was recently resurfaced in 2017 and the field is cleaned, decompacted and tested for GMAX annually.

Recreation Programs Summer Camp
An eight week summer camp was held at King Street Memorial Field from June 29-August 22, 2020. The program hours were Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm daily. Registration was limited to 50 campers due to COVID-19 restrictions. Activities included: organized games, arts and crafts, water activities, sports, and weekly field trips. The 8 weeks featured camp shirt tie dye on Tuesdays, field trips were canceled this summer, but we continued the fun having a giant slip and slide/water slide every Thursday, and Pizza day Fridays. The Franklin Summer Camp Directors this year were Jonathan Geromini and Tim Shannon. The Franklin Summer Camp staff included: Sasha Arias, Danny Angermeier, Alana Portesi, Danny Brecht, Jared Cain, Jason D’Valentine, Joe Clark, Julia DiGiacomo, Julia Hogan, Tony Calderone, Will Conley, Halle Atkinson and Kelsey MacCallum.

Pre-Season Flag Football Camp ran again under the supervision of Jack Geromini. Jack lea a 3 day camp from 9:00am-12:00 noon for all interested Flag Football Athletes to help them prepare, practice and get excited about the upcoming Fall Flag Football Season.

Youth Basketball Program
The Youth Basketball program was not able to run for the first time in over 30 years due to COVID-19. School gymnasiums were not available to the Rec. Department
Pee Wee Baseball
The Pee Wee Baseball program is an introductory baseball program for children ages 4-6 years old. It was created in 1999 by Director, Ryan Jette. The program was reduced to 150 kids in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.

Track and Field
The Recreation Department’s track and field program numbers have increased drastically. On top of offering our annual Winter Track and field program to over 75 athletes ranging from Kindergarten to Eight grade, we are now offering Spring, Summer and now Fall track programs. These running programs are coached by Stacey Federico and she also receives help from High School track athletes.

NFL Flag Football
The Recreation Department teamed up with the NFL to bring this non-contact flag football league to kids aged 6-14 years old. Program numbers saw a dip in 2020 down to 240 kids. The program was run each Tuesday & Thursday evening at the Beaver Pond Turf Field. Reversible NFL game jerseys, playbooks, belt/flag setup and access to the NFL Kids website gives kids the opportunity to follow their favorite player or team. Players learned the fundamentals of throwing, catching, running and teamwork. This program continues to be one of the best programs the Recreation Department runs and its because of our program coordinator, Jack Geromini who has been supervising this program for 19 years.
Girls Lacrosse
The girls lacrosse program has grown from 28 girls to over 150 girls. In 2020, our teams did not participate due to COVID-19. However, we typically participate in the Founders League. This league provided better competition for our growing players. There were 2 teams at the 1st-2nd grade division. There were 3 teams at the 3rd & 4th Grade division. There were 3 teams at the 5th & 6th Grade level. And there were 2 teams at the 7th & 8th Grade level. All levels play in 8 regular season games. Franklin Girls Lacrosse is one of the largest girls’ lacrosse programs in the area.
NHL Street Hockey
This summer, our street hockey program was very popular with over 110 kids and 8 NHL teams represented. We hold a skills clinic for the first four sessions to evaluate the player skills. Then, we break them up into equal teams so that games will be fair and fun for all. Teams play twice a week, Monday and Wednesday’s. Jack Geromini is the league coordinator with the help of FHS hockey team players. Our Street Hockey program participated at the new Fletcher Field rink.

Girls Field Hockey
Franklin Recreation offers girls youth field hockey in many formats throughout the year. The fall (August- October) are usually the months that the field hockey leagues We work closely with the FHS Assistant Coach, Kim Carney to coordinate clinics, field usage, games. The K-2 division, an in house program features practice sessions and some in house small sided games. The 3rd & 4th grade team will play some scrimmages/games against area teams (probably 4-6 games). The 5th & 6th and the 7th & 8th grade teams will play in the Commonwealth League with 8 games vs. surrounding towns. 100+ girls comprise eight teams for the fall Field Hockey League.

Golf Lessons
The Recreation Department expanded the golf lessons offered into the summer months, by offering a full or half day camp in the summer. The Recreation Department, in conjunction Maple Gate Country Club, offered Adult and Junior Golf instruction. The lessons covered all aspects of the game of golf (putting, chipping, bunkers, irons, and woods). Registrants met one day a week for 6 weeks to practice their skills. Lessons were offered during the summer and fall season for over 50 residents attending. Express 2 day lessons were offered over April Vacation. Participants enjoyed playing the course following the six-week lesson to see what they learned.

ArtVenture Afterschool Studios
Art instructor; Kerry LeBlanc has flourished our arts department. With over 100+ children ranging from Pre-k to Middle School have signed up to take one of the many diverse art programs. ArtVenture Afterschool Studio, Artventure Preschool Studios, Art Summer Camp. All art programs are held at the Recreation Department.

Preschool Programs
Our Preschool classes are held in the mornings from 9:00am to 11:30am. The Recreation Department has two certified preschool instructors on staff; Nicole Nesbit and Emily Dandurand. Nicole and Emily teach our First Friends programs; Exploration Station, First Friends, First Friends Lunch Bunch and More Fun with Friends. They hold class’s Monday through Thursday and yearly roughly 440 children sign up to take their programs.
Preschool Science Programs taught by Christina Tocci and Christina Burkeholder. These programs explore the environment in which we live in, the human body and much more.

Children’s Programs
Our children’s programs vary from Rocketry and Engineering classes to Girls on the Move, Home Alone Safety and Social Netiquette classes. We have a core niche of students who enjoy working with their hands during our Robotics, Robotics II, Robotic Arm and Rocketry programs. We also offer a female only running program where goal setting is the primary focus along with nutrition and running. Home alone safety and social netiquette classes teach children the ways to stay safe home alone and when they are using the internet.
Rec Gym Programs
With the addition of our new Recreation Gymnasium, we were able to implement an extremely popular sport, played by many around the United States; Pickleball. We offer this program three out of the four season inside at our new gymnasium where we have 2 full pickleball courts. During the summer months we offer pickleball outside our new courts at King Street Memorial Field. We also acquired 2 indoor batting cages for baseball training for youth baseball teams to utilize. Some other popular programs for middle school athletes that utilize the new gymnasium are volleyball, speed & strength, street hockey, tennis, indoor field hockey, to name a few.

Parks and Playgrounds
Other Recreation Department initiatives included the coordination of Eagle scout projects for trail maintenance and kiosk construction. The department coordinated the Community Gardens at King Street Park. Vendetti Motors donated a brand new playground at Beaver Pond in memory of Joe and Mary Vendetti.

King Street Memorial Park
We also worked on a capital project to renovate the King Street Memorial Park by building pickleball courts, basketball court, baseball field, scoreboard and batting cages, as well as install new components at the playground.
Disc Golf
Our Disc Golf course located at Dacey Field off of Lincoln street has become a popular destination for many out of town and even out of state players. In 2010,  Director  of  Recreation,  Ryan  Jette  and Assistant Town Engineer, Jay Mello were the energy behind the building and engineering of the Disc Golf Course. This 18 hole course is over 100 acres behind a multi-use town park. Many events take place at Dacey Field Disc Golf course to instruct and teach new players the popular growing sport.

For more information, visit: 

The full Annual Report for 2021 can be found

The collection of Annual Reports can be found online

Annual Town Report Of The Town Clerk’s Office - FY 2021
Annual Report Of The Town of Franklin - FY 2021

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Franklin Food Pantry Awarded Community Investment Grant from The Greater Boston Food Bank

Franklin-based Non-Profit to Use Community Investment Funds to Advance Local Hunger-Relief Efforts

The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, awarded $13,831 to Franklin Food Pantry of Franklin, MA to support its ability to combat hunger in the area, bolstering GBFB's network of food agencies and advancing hunger-relief efforts across Eastern Massachusetts in response to an increased need for food in the state.

The annual grant program, originally founded in 2013, pivoted this year to strategically identify and invest in communities facing a heightened need for food. This investment aims to strengthen Franklin Food Pantry's ability to provide nutritious food to the Franklin community.

The grant will be used to fund technology upgrades and supplies for the Franklin Food Pantry's community garden which grows fresh vegetables for the Pantry to distribute to its neighbors.

A GBFB partner, the Franklin Food Pantry provides choice-based shopping to over 1,100 people in the Franklin community. The Pantry offers a unique hybrid model offering its neighbors appointment-based indoor shopping or a curbside distribution. Neighbors can shop weekly. Other programs include weekend backpacks for Franklin school students, home-delivery, mobile pantries, three holiday distributions and a robust community garden.

"We are so grateful to The Greater Boston Food Bank for awarding us the Community Investment grant. Franklin Food Pantry is focused on providing our neighbors with the highest quality of fruits and vegetables is committed to programming that improves our neighbor's quality of life," said Tina Powderly, Executive Director of the Franklin Food Pantry. "Ninety percent of our donations go directly to supporting our neighbors.  The GBFB grant enables us to invest in much needed technology to enhance our client service operations and improve our organizational efficiency, enabling our staff and volunteers to spend more time directly assisting our neighbors and fulfilling our mission. We are also grateful for the support to our Community Garden. Our neighbors enjoy receiving freshly grown organic produce each week. The GBFB support is critical as the Community Garden grows into a core Pantry program supporting the overall health of our neighbors."

This grant follows the release of GBFB's second annual report on food insecurity, equity and access in Massachusetts. The study, "Opportunities to Improve Food Equity & Access in Massachusetts," reveals rising rates of food insecurity in the state and sustained disparities in food access for communities of color; with Latinx, Black and LGBTQ+-identifying adults experiencing the highest rates of food insecurity.

"It is solely through collaboration with our network of partner agencies that we are able to address food insecurity across Eastern Massachusetts on such a large scale," said Catherine D'Amato, president and CEO at GBFB. "In response to the sustained inequities in food access, we aim to invest in those communities facing a heightened need for food and drive equitable progress towards hunger relief through strategic grantmaking to our network of partner agencies. As food costs continue to rise nationwide, we look forward to seeing how these funds bolster the Franklin Food Pantry's ability to provide nutritious meals to our neighbors in Franklin.


About the Franklin Food Pantry

The Franklin Food Pantry offers supplemental food assistance and household necessities to almost 1,100 individuals per year. The Franklin Food Pantry is not funded by the Town of Franklin. As a private, nonprofit organization, we depend on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other strategic partners. We are grateful for our many partnerships, including that with the Greater Boston Food Bank, that allow us to achieve greater buying power and lower our costs. Donations and grants fund our food purchases, keep our lights on, and put gas in our food truck. Other programs include home delivery, Weekend Backpack Program for Franklin school children in need, mobile pantry, emergency food bags and holiday meal packages. The Pantry is located at 43 W. Central St. in Franklin on Route 140 across from the Franklin Fire Station. Visit for more information.   

About The Greater Boston Food Bank:
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, GBFB distributed the equivalent of nearly 97 million meals in fiscal year 2021 through its network of 600 dedicated food distribution partners and programs in the 190 cities and towns across Eastern Massachusetts. A member of Feeding America, the nation's food bank network, GBFB's mission is to end hunger here and it is committed to providing at least three healthy meals a day to everyone in need. For more information, visit us at, follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617.427.5200.

Community garden harvest at a Franklin Food Pantry distribution
Community garden harvest at a Franklin Food Pantry distribution

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Franklin Community Garden Updates

Happy Spring! 

Just a reminder: Opening day at the Franklin Community Garden is April 23. Volunteers are needed to help: put out hoses and sprayers, fill one of the flower boxes with soil, put down some clover and move the picnic benches to their proper location. Come and meet your fellow gardeners! Amend your soil, plant some seeds, put up some cages and plan out your garden! Hoping for a sunny day! 

May 14 is a seed and seedling exchange from 11-1. This is a time change from a previous email. White Barn Farm in Wrentham  is having their plant sale that same morning staring at 9. We like to be there to get the best selection. If you go and purchase some plants and then discover you have too many then you can exchange for something else at our exchange from 11-1. Sometimes plants come packed in 6's or 8's and you only want 3 or 4. Great time to exchange!

If you are planning to start your plants from seeds you should have already started your pepper plants, eggplants, and tomatoes indoors. If you are interested in a growing snap peas, then you now can plant the seeds right in your garden bed. If you are interested in growing greens (lettuce, arugula, kale, shard, etc.) and or root crops (carrots  and radishes) you can plant those in your garden beds. If you have a row cover, then you can cover them. If not, some straw or hay will protect them a bit.  At the end in the month you can start from seed indoors: squashes and flowers can be started indoors also (like zinnias and marigolds)!

See you on April 23rd! 

Franklin Community Garden Updates
Franklin Community Garden Updates

Shared from Recreation Dept email update

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Shade Sail installed at Community Garden

Good Afternoon,
I'm happy to announce that our shade sail project has been completed and is now installed at the Community Garden.  The area will be used for gardeners to enjoy lunch, read a book or just relax after tending to the garden.  
We are lucky to have some incredible volunteers from the New England Chapel that worked for two days to install this structure.  If you would like to send an email of appreciation to Dena Gauthier (, and/or Robert Heriot (, I'm sure they would appreciate it.

The shade structure will typically be put up around Memorial Day in May and taken down around Veterans Day in November.  
Thank you,

Ryan Jette
Director of Recreation
Franklin Recreation Department

275 Beaver Street
Franklin, MA 02038
Office: (508) 613-1667
Mobile:(508) 400-4099
"just for the fun of it"

Shade Sail at Community Garden 1
Shade Sail at Community Garden 1

Shade Sail at Community Garden 2
Shade Sail at Community Garden 2