Southboro Open Land Foundation

people looking over meadow at sunset

2017 Annual Meeting: Art on the Trails, Elaine Beals Awards, e-Awakening and the Bay Circuit Trail

Published on May 23, 2017 by Eileen Samberg

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Southborough Open Land Foundation (video), held May 17, 2017 was highlighted by the presentation of both the 2016 and 2017 Elaine Beals Conservation Award and an illustrated discussion on the Bay Circuit Trail by Marilyn and Dan Brielmann of e-Awakening.  The meeting opened with a brief overview by Catherine Weber on the upcoming Art on the Trails Exhibition.  Following this, the 2016 Elaine Beals Award was presented to Christa Brady and the Friends of the Burnett-Garfield House in recognition of their efforts to preserve the property at 84 Main Street.  The group helped educate the community about the historical significance of the property and the importance of placing a historic preservation restriction on the property.   SOLF also took the opportunity to present special awards recognizing two Algonquin High School students, Jen Fox and Bridget Brady, for their leadership in leading the protest which awakened the town to the impending demolition of the house at 84 Main Street.

Alan French, founder and former chairman of the Bay Circuit Alliance, was presented with the 2017 Elaine Beals Award.  Alan has worked tirelessly for over thirty years to reinvigorate the Bay Circuit Trail concept and bring it to completion.  An idea first conceived in 1929 by a man named Benton MacKaye, the trail was to be a greenway, in a wide arc of open space roughly in the vicinity of what is now route 128. It would provide a natural respite for the growing population.  Now, the trail is in a much larger arc of over 230 miles of trail with Newburyport at one end and Duxbury at the other.  Southborough is at its westernmost point.  In the process, many acres of land have been protected and many many people have enjoyed these beautiful trails close to home.

Following the presentation of the awards, the husband and wife team of e-Awakening, Marilyn and Dan Brielmann,  gave an illustrated discussion of walks along portions of the Bay Circuit Trail, accompanied by original songs of Dan Brielman. Marilyn and Dan are environmental activists and educators whose mission is to tell green stories and build a sustainable environment through books, music and video. You can watch a video of their presentation here (their presentation starts  at about 20 minutes). More information, including videos of the Bay Circuit Trail, books, and Dan’s recordings, are available on their website  e-Awakening.