Group walk at the Parklands


Walking in the parklands

All the stars aligned and several friends were all willing to meet at Hopedale Parklands on what turned into a glorious day to be outside . Two friends had never been there before, the third discovered the parklands after learning of it at one of my presentations. We had a lot of fun and a lot of silliness along the way.


Bonnie and Suzanne get serious about trash (sort of)

Bonnie and Suzanne work with the Blackstone Valley Heritage Corridor, so they were actually working as we walked and talked about creating a new group for volunteers to participate in Corridor activities, focused on group walks.


Dale and Suzanne talk about the fish they caught (and the ones that got away).

Dale is a serious walker, hiking almost daily. But Dale had never been to the Hopedale Parklands. I couldn’t wait to share it with him!


Enjoying the water views along the carriage road around Hopedale Pond

They got the 50 cent tour as I reminded them of the history of this wonderful spot, created over one hundred years ago now. Dedicated townsfolks transformed a swampy mill pond into a jewel of a community park, with trees and shrubs planted that were designed to grow and take on the appearance of natural woodland.


At the stone bridge

We walked out to the stone bridge and back; the Mill River flows under the bridge into the pond. This provided a good turn around spot for us. The bridge is about a mile from the main entrance on Hopedale Street; by turning back there I knew we’d manage right around a 2 mile jaunt. I’m still getting my foot back in shape after a 6 month hiatus from serious walking of any kind. This distance turned out to be just right for me.


Bonnie puts her whole self into grabbing trash others thoughtlessly toss into the weeds

Bonnie is a dedicated trash-picker-upper, so we wandered about as she spotted bits and pieces of trash along the way.


This bobber didn’t get away from Bonnie!

Bobbers stuck in weeds were no match for Bonnie. Suzanne pitched in and helped with her trash picker-upper stick as well. And by the time we got back to where we started, Dale was picking up trash and adding it to the collection. If he’s not careful, Bonnie will have a picker-up stick for him the next time we have a group walk.


A glorious fall day at the parklands

It looks like this is the first of what we hope may be many other group walks that provide time to spend together in the outdoors, along with an effort to clean up the trails we visit. Keep your ears open for announcements for future walks, but be prepared. If Bonnie and/or Suzanne are involved, you may find yourself becoming a VIP –Volunteer in the parks–The Blackstone Valley National Historic Park, that is.  I’ve heard volunteering is contagious…


Bonnie shows off her “haul” before placing it all in the trash cans provided. someone lots of folks “missed” the cans…


Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.


Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

3 responses to “Group walk at the Parklands

  1. Mary Chitty

    great blog post. love reading them let’s talk about thanksgiving before too long. love mg

    Mary Chitty MSLS Library Director & Taxonomist cell 617 861 7410 work 781 972 5416 Cambridge Healthtech, Needham MA

    On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 8:10 PM, Marjorie Turner Hollman wrote:

    > marjorie561 posted: ” All the stars aligned and several friends were all > willing to meet at Hopedale Parklands on what turned into a glorious day to > be outside . Two friends had never been there before, the third discovered > the parklands after learning of it at one of my pre” >

  2. Don Howes

    I just read this morning 11/3/16.
    I want to warn all walkers that the road bridge on Freedom street is currently closed. There are a lot of people that like to do a “loop” starting at an entry point on one side of the pond, using the Rustic Bridge (the stone bridge’s name) to cross the pond and return to their starting location. While the Freedom street bridge is under construction, the loop will add more than a mile as you would have to go towards the center of town and cross the river there.

    Thanks so much for your help in maintaining our treasured Hopedale Parklands. It is appreciated by many.

    Don Howes, for the Hopedale Park Commission

    • marjorie561

      Excellent caution Don, thanks for commenting. Until I arrived near the beach area the other day I had been unaware of the bridge construction. I was grateful we had not planned to meet at the Freedom Street entrance. In fact I prefer starting from that side of the pond, but I thought it would be easier for folks to find each other at the beach area. HOpedale Parklands is such an amazing gift to the community–I am so grateful to all the stewards who work so hard to make it available to all. Thank YOU Don for your hard work!

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