Hopedale History
    June 15, 2006
    No. 62
    Tom’s Parklands

    A recent addition to the Hopedale history website is Don McGrath’s memories of the founding of
    Sacred Heart Church in Hopedale.

    Canoe and kayak rentals will be available at Hopedale Pond this summer.

    Sophie Carter Whitin Draper, 94, died on May 26.

    It’s been a good year for lady slippers in the Parklands. At least, I noticed them in more places that I
    had in the past. I’ve seen them in five different locations in the last couple of weeks. It’s a short season,
    though. They only last about a week. I’ve added pictures of a few other wildflowers (even including
    poison ivy) to the website this week. Here's a link to them.   


                                          Tom Lipsky and the Parklands

    My cousin, Bill Wright, recently suggested, because of my frequent mention of the Parklands lately, that
    I contact his friend, Tom Lipsky, who had spent a large amount of time there years ago. I did, and Tom
    sent me the following memories.

    I was raised on Lake Street, and spent many hours in the Parklands, which was a short walk away. I
    kept notes of every species of bird that I saw, in every season. Of course, the species I saw are typical
    of any forest and pond habitat in the state, but keeping track made the walks more enjoyable.

    I remember spending up to eight hours some days in the woods, just listening, watching, and waiting.
    I've seen osprey diving for fish; a small group of river otters feeding in a cove; huge groups of
    blackbirds moving in October, as well as nighthawks streaming at dusk, feeding on flying ants as they
    migrated; hawks, herons, ducks and owls. I recall the robin I freed from a fishing line at West Cove.
    And, I saw definite evidence of breeding worm-eating warbler, a bird which has Connecticut and
    Massachusetts as its northernmost range. My sighting could have been one of the first, if not the first of
    the breeding of this bird in this state. It seemed every time I went out I saw something interesting. I
    even put up some swallow boxes in the stream above the Rustic Bridge, and enjoyed the families that
    eventually moved in.
    The Parklands is a jewel in a highly developed area. Now I live in Stow, where I have a small parcel
    that backs up to an apple orchard, which backs up to the town forest, which backs up to the new
    National Wildlife Refuge, just opened last year. So, I get my forest fix whenever I want. But my
    memories of Hopedale are an integral part of me and I could not have grown up in a better place.

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