Project summertime

Project Summertime at Devens Museum

DEVENS: On August 19 at 1pm, Fort Devens Museum Executive Director Kara Fossey will present a program on “Project Summertime,” a camp held at Fort Devens in the summer of 1970 for local youth. This program was born out of the examination of a 16 mm reel of film found in the museum’s collection. Through a grant from the Ayer Cultural Council (part of the Massachusetts Cultural Council) digitization of the film was completed. The 29-minute video (no audio) details camp activities and will be shown after an illustrated talk about “Project Summertime.”
The Fort Devens Museum is located at 94 Jackson Road (3rd Floor) in Devens. The facility is wheelchair accessible. The museum is open on August 19 from 10am to 3pm. This event is free and open to the public with donations gratefully accepted. More information at
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notloB Parlour Concerts presents Mark Schatz & Bryan McDowell

HARVARD: Mark Schatz (Nickel Creek, Bela Fleck, Claire Lynch Band...) and award-winning instrumentalist Bryan McDowell bring two generations and backgrounds together in an unparalleled synergy, humor, beauty, and ease, taking the listener on a delightful, toe tapping journey through a landscape of fiddle and banjo tunes, songs, lilting waltzes, and searing guitar solos. Stir in some clogging, hambone, and jaw harp, then sit back and enjoy an eclectic musical feast! This duo will be presented by notloB Parlour Concerts at Fivesparks, 7 Fairbanks Street on August 24 at 7:30pm. (Doors 7pm).  Admission is by free-will offering, suggested donation adults $25, teens/seniors $15-20, children $10. 100% of patron donations go to the artist. For more information, visit

This multi-generational duo presents a broad spectrum of American acoustic music. Both Schatz and McDowell are multi-instrumentalists who cruise seamlessly from old-time to bluegrass, from folk to swing, playing and singing tunes and songs, old and new, including their own original compositions. At age eighteen Bryan took first place in fiddle, mandolin, and guitar at the prestigious National Flat-picking Championships in Winfield, Kansas. Mark has toured and recorded with a who’s who of the acoustic music world including Bela Fleck, Nickel Creek, Tony Rice, and Tim O’Brien. The two worked together in The Claire Lynch Band from 2009 to 2014, and they’re excited to present a new and dynamic show which of course will include some of Mark’s colorful hambone and Appalachian clog dancing.

In January 2020, Mark Schatz and Bryan McDowell started working up a duo show for festivals, small venues, and a Canadian fall tour. The time they spent together touring with the Claire Lynch Band had fostered a personal and musical rapport, which has made for a fruitful collaboration. Their show offers  stylistically diverse material, ranging from traditional fiddle tunes and ballads, a Bob Dylan song, and a Louis Jordan boogie-woogie number to an Eastern European folk song on bowed bass and bluesy renderings on fretless banjo. During this time they recorded tracks for their new CD, Grit & Polish, which climbed quickly to #1 on the Folk DJ charts shortly after its release in June of 2021.

Shirley Traffic Advisory Committee (STAC) Seeking New Members

SHIRLEY: The Shirley Traffic Advisory Committee (STAC) is looking for new members to be involved in the next phase of its mission. Beginning in early 2022, the STAC worked to identify ways to minimize the negative impact of increasing traffic – especially heavy truck traffic - on Shirley’s roadways and the quality of life of its residents. In April 2023, STAC submitted its recommendations to the Select Board regarding traffic-related improvements designed to preserve the safety, environment and rural character of Shirley. These improvements are especially urgent in the face of new or proposed warehouse trucking facilities on Shirley’s borders in Lunenburg and Lancaster.
In the next phase of its activities, STAC will focus on providing assistance to the Select Board and town leaders as they work to implement the recommended improvements. Toward that end, the committee is looking to add 2-3 new members. Volunteers should be Shirley residents willing to contribute their time and energy to accomplishing the committee’s mission, including attending one or two meetings per month.
The committee’s recommendations, mission and goals can be viewed on the Traffic Advisory Committee page on Shirley’s website.

If interested in joining the committee, please contact the Shirley Town Administrator at (978) 425-2600 x200 or And always feel free to attend a STAC meeting to ask questions, provide input and meet committee members in person.

Letting the Land Lead: Summer in the Field

GROTON: Summer in the Field is a meditative dance performance that celebrates the ways in which we are nourished by the land.  It will be held on August 26 at 5pm at The General Field.  The last in a four-part series in partnership with the Groton Conservation Trust, this performance is the culmination of the explorations that Letting the Land Lead has undertaken since the autumn. Click here for more details and registration info.

Free Healthy Soils Workshop at Fredonian Park

SHIRLEY: Thanks to a grant from the Shirley Cultural Council, The Gardeners Exchange, a north central Massachusetts gardening group, is pleased to announce that its program Healthy Soils Grow Healthy Plants, to be held August 19 from 10:30am-12:30pm is free and open to the public. In this hands-on (and hands-in!) workshop at Fredonian Park in Shirley, M.L. Altobelli will demonstrate how to improve the health of your soil by apportioning and mixing the best ingredients before adding them to garden plots or raised beds.

M.L. will share her soil restoration secrets, from soil testing, to nutrient-mixing, to cover crops and other site preparation tips for maintaining the nutrient density and biological integrity of living soil. Come prepared to mix and take home your own soil amendments, along with a wealth of knowledge.

For over 35 years, M.L. has been exploring the world of soils and plants to create beautiful, healthy gardens. She is one of the founding members of the Ecological Landscaping Association, and owns and operates M.L.'s Greenery in Motion, a design, installation, and maintenance company that creates specialty gardens to provide color from March through November. She recently purchased the Agway in Gardner, now known as The Good Earth Farm and Garden Center.

Non-members of The Gardeners Exchange planning to attend are asked to pre-register by emailing program coordinator Dina Samfield at  prior to August 15 with their names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails.
Fredonian Park and Nature Center is located at the intersection of Fredonian and Mill Streets. Participants should come prepared for learning and working outdoors, and bring gardening gloves.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Shirley Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. The mission of the Shirley Cultural Council is to promote excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences in order to improve the quality of life for Shirley residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our community.
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Ayer Police Department Food Drive

AYER: The Ayer Police Department was made aware from a local food pantry that they are anticipating food shortages by early Fall. Therefore, they are reaching out to you to help by donating nonperishable food items. They have seen the community time and time again rally for great causes and all of us are counting on it happening again! No one should ever go hungry!  For the entire month of August, the Ayer Police Department will be accepting donations which can be left in our lobby. All nonperishable food items will be accepted. They have provided a list of the following items that our local pantries go through the fastest.
  • Boxes of cereal
  • Canned soup
  • Canned carrots, green beans, corn, & mixed vegetables
  • Canned beans
  • Canned fruit
  • Instant potatoes (pouches or boxed)
  • 1 or 2 lb pound bags of rice
  • Peanut butter & jelly
  • Box cartons of shelf stable whole milk (not evaporated)
  • Toilet paper

The drive will end on August 31 and all of the food provided by you will be given to the Stone Soup Kitchen Ministries. So come on in, drop the food into the grocery cart and leave knowing you helped feed someone in need! For more information please contact: Sergeant John MacDonald, Ayer Police Department, (978) 772-8200 x570;

A Conversation with Professor/Author Gail Sahar at GPL

GROTON: Have you been asking yourself "what does culture war even mean" and "what does it mean to be 'woke'" and how do these questions contribute to the current divide in America? If you have been, please join a conversation with Professor Gail Sahar, author of "Blame and Political Attitudes: The Psychology of America’s Culture War" courtesy of Groton Public Library, August 9 at 7pm. Questions about the causes of events, from terrorist attacks to mass shootings to economic and public health crises dominate conversations across the US. Recent research in social psychology outlines the process we use to identify the causes of such events, reveals how we determine who is responsible or to blame, and documents the far-reaching consequences of these determinations for our emotions, our actions, and our attitudes.

Current approaches to political opinions posit a direct path from a person’s worldview (liberal or conservative) to their attitudes toward specific political issues like abortion and welfare. This book argues that blame is the missing link between the two. Sahar demonstrates that the current emphasis on value differences, whether between conservatives and liberals in the U.S. or between religious and secular countries on a global level, ignores commonalities in the way people think about issues. She proposes that focusing on perceived causes of social problems is a much more promising avenue for dialog than trying to reconcile fundamental belief systems. Informed by the latest psychological science, this new take on how to change attitudes has implications for anyone seeking to influence the viewpoints of others, from politicians and activists to ordinary people talking about current events at a dinner party.

You can buy signed books (by bookplate) by Gail from Aesop's Fable. Just write that you would like the book signed in the notes section at checkout. For more information, visit
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LUK, Inc. to Expand Accessible Behavioral Healthcare through UMass Memorial Health - HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital Funding

FITCHBURG: LUK, Inc. recently received funding from UMass Memorial Health - HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital through their Determination of Need Program to increase behavioral healthcare accessibility in the communities they serve. This mission directly aligns with the Determination of Need Program’s focus goal: to ensure that resources will be made reasonably and equitably available to every person within the Commonwealth at the lowest reasonable aggregate cost” (UMass Memorial, “Determination of Needs”).
The agency will accomplish this goal with LUK’s Equity & Access Project (LEAP). LEAP is designed to increase access to quality behavioral health care for populations that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and/or adversely affected by inequality.
The project focuses on those who encounter barriers to accessing behavioral health services based on the availability of standard outpatient appointments as well as language availability. Through LEAP, LUK aims to increase the number of behavioral health appointments accessible outside traditional hours (before 8am-6pm) and on weekends, as well as appointments made available in languages other than English (such as in Spanish or American Sign Language).
With this funding from UMass Memorial Health - HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, LUK will be able to start building appropriate staffing to hold appointments outside standard hours and in multiple languages in order to provide more accessible care in Central Massachusetts communities.
LUK, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the safety, health, and well-being of youth, families, and adults in Central Massachusetts. As a community-based organization, LUK’s mission is to challenge and inspire youth, adults, and families to realize their unique potential through community-based prevention, intervention, education, and support services.
For more information about LUK, Inc. visit, call (800) 579-0000, or find us on Facebook (@LetUsKnowINC). Join us in building stronger communities, family by family!
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Volunteers Still Needed to Clear Water Chestnuts from Grove Pond

AYER: There's just one more day in July to join in the Big PULL! Sign up to help, no matter what your experience level is!  With the support from the Nashua River Wild & Scenic Grant, canoes, paddles, life jackets and gear - and paddling instructions are available, if needed.  All that's needed is YOU! The remaining date is July 25, 9am-12:30pm.  For details and to register, please go to
Have you heard about how hard people have worked and how hugely successful this Campaign has been?  This season, 132 volunteer children, teens and adults have CLEARED entire areas, including the upstream source, and tackled the main infestation- giving a total of 735 hours of volunteer time!   Also, so far, 966 baskets have been pulled - an estimated at 209,940 invasive water chestnut plants! 
Please join the community and help with this PULL!  Most folks are finding it a relaxing, meditative time to be in nature and connect with other like minded people.
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Ayer Officials To Release the Town’s Community Choice Power Supply Program Aggregation Plan

AYER: The Town of Ayer has developed an Aggregation Plan in compliance with Massachusetts law regarding public aggregation of electric consumers. It contains required information on the structure, operations, services, funding, and policies of the Town’s Plan. The Plan has been developed in consultation with the Town’s municipal aggregation consultant, Colonial Power Group, Inc. (CPG) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).

The purpose of this Plan is to represent consumer interests in competitive markets for electricity. It seeks to aggregate consumers in the Town to negotiate rates for power supply. It brings together the buying power of more than 8,400 consumers. Furthermore, the Town seeks to take greater control of its energy options, including enhancing the ability to pursue price stability, savings opportunities and the amount of renewable energy procured. However, savings cannot be guaranteed. Participation is voluntary for each consumer. Consumers have the opportunity to decline service provided through the Plan and to choose any Competitive Supplier they wish. The Town has distributed this Plan for public review prior to submitting it to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).

Basic Service rates change twice a year or more, depending on rate class. As a result, the aggregation rate may not always be lower than the Basic Service rate. The goal of the aggregation is to deliver savings over the life of the Program against National Grid Basic Service. However, such savings and future savings cannot be guaranteed.

The Town of Ayer’s Aggregation Plan is available for public review and comment from July 19, 2023, at 9am through August 20, 2023 at 5pm. The document will be on the Town’s website at and available Select Board’s Office or in the Town Clerk’s Office.

Any person who desires to comment may do so in person at the Select Board’s office or submit written comments using one of the following methods: (1) by e-mail to; or (2) by postal mail to the address below.

Comments must be clearly marked Town of Ayer’s Aggregation Plan and must be received (not postmarked) by the end of the comment period in order to be addressed.

Carly Antonellis
Assistant Town Manager
Town of Ayer
1 Main Street
Ayer, MA 01432

Any questions pertaining to this should be directed to Carly Antonellis, Assistant Town Manager at (978) 722-8220 x100.

West Main Street Trench Paving

AYER: On July 25, The Ayer Department of Public Works (DPW) and its Contractor, Davenport & Sons, will pave the areas excavated during the recent emergency sewer repair work on West Main Street. The work location is on the roadway of West Main Street, across from the Fire Department’s parking lot. Work will take place between 7am-3pm. Delay should be expected when traveling toward the intersection of West Main Street, Main Street, Park Street, and Mill Street during these hours. West Main Street will be open to one lane of alternating traffic between Mechanic Street and Main Street. Uniformed police officers will be directing traffic in this location. The DPW appreciates your patience with this work. If you have questions, please call DPW at (978) 772-8240 or email

Author Talk: Janet Raye Stevens & Sharon Healy-Yang

SHIRLEY: On August 2 at 6pm, all are welcome to join mystery and suspense authors Janet Raye Stevens and Sharon Healy-Yang for an engaging, multi-media event revealing some intriguing inspirations for creating a mystery set circa WWII. Using film clips, anecdotes and excerpts from their books, Janet and Sharon talk about 1940’s women in real as well as ‘reel’ life and how these smart, stylish, and wise-cracking gals in books and film inspired their own 1940’s-set mysteries. This lively blend of mysteries, movies, and lots of banter is a perfect program for mystery lovers, aspiring writers, and film enthusiasts alike. The program will include a Q&A session and the authors will have copies of their books on sale at the end of the event. Light refreshments will be served.  This program is sponsored by the Hazen Memorial Library Gift Fund, 3 Keady Way. For more information, contact us at (978) 425-2620.
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Real Estate & Personal Property First Quarter Taxes Due August 1, 2023

AYER: FY24 1st Quarter Real Estate / Personal Property Tax bills are due August 1, 2023. FY24 First and Second Quarter Real Estate/Personal Property Tax bills have been mailed. First quarter bills are due by August 1. Cash, check and credit/ debit card payments accepted at the counter during Town Hall hours, (Monday, Wednesday & Friday 8am-4pm; Tuesday 8am–6pm; Friday 8am-2pm). For your after-hours convenience, a secure Tax Collector drop box is located outside the Columbia Street entrance to Town Hall for checks only. Make checks payable to the “Town of Ayer.”
You can search for and pay your bill online using UNIPAY. Payments are accepted by e-check, debit card or credit card. Click here for Online Payments and select Collector.

Do you use the Bill Pay function with your Bank?  The P.O. Box address for payments has changed. Remit Payments to: Town of Ayer, MA, Department 1100, PO Box 986535, Boston, MA 02298-6535. Make sure to update this address or it may result in delinquent payments.

NOTE: The Town of Ayer uses Unibank and Kelley & Ryan for our online payment  providers.  These are the only online services the Town has contracted with for payments.

Construction Notification - West Main Street Sewer Repairs

AYER: On July 11, The Ayer Department of Public Works (DPW) and its Contractor, GVC Construction, will resume emergency repairs to an underground 24” diameter sewer main on West Main Street. The work location is on the roadway of West Main Street, across from the Fire Department’s parking lot. Work will take place between 7am-7pm. Delay should be expected when traveling toward the intersection of West Main Street, Main Street, Park Street, and Mill Street during these hours. West Main Street will be open to one lane of alternating traffic between Mechanic Street and Main Street. Uniformed police officers will be directing traffic in this location. The repairs are expected to be substantially complete by Thursday, July 13. Ayer DPW will be on site inspecting the work. If you have questions, please call DPW at (978) 772-8240 (7:30am-3:30pm) or email

Registration Open for Twists & Turns Vacation Bible School

BOLTON: Held at Trinity Church Congregational, VBS will be held this summer from August 7-11 from 9am- 12pm. Vacation Bible School is a free program including Music, Craft, Snack, Recreation, and Bible Learning offered to children in PK - 8th Grade.  This year, children will learn how Jesus changed the game for Peter and how Jesus can change the game for us.  To register online or print a registration form, visit or use the QR code below.  Trinity is located at 14 Wattaquadock Hill Road.

Implementation of a 4-Way Stop Central Avenue at Groton Harvard Road

AYER: Public Notification: The Town of Ayer will be converting the intersection of Central Avenue and Groton Harvard Road to a 4-Way Stop on July 26. Currently, the Groton Harvard Road approaches have stop control and there is no stop control for Central Avenue. Signage and roadway markings will be added in accordance with the attached plan. In brief, stop control will be added to the Central Avenue approaches, including stop ahead warnings.

Several factors as to why this implementation is taking place include:
  • High Crash Rate: 81 Crashes since 2002, 19 with possible/minor injuries, near misses not recorded but known
  • Intersection Improvement Study Completed
    • Crash Rate indicates two-way stop is no longer adequate for the intersection
    • Skewed Intersection Geometry
    • Poor Level of Service on Groton Harvard Road
    • Interim Improvement of 4-Way Stop Recommended

For more information including presentations, please click here. The Town of Ayer appreciates your cooperation during this important project. If you have any questions, please call the Ayer DPW at (978) 772-8240 (7:30am to 3:30pm) or email

Tips for Safe Fourth of July Celebrations

According to the state Department of Fire Services and State Police, Massachusetts fire departments reported nearly 1,000 fires related to illegal fireworks between 2013 and 2022. In addition to the 42 fire service injuries, five civilian injuries, and $2.5 million in damages attributed to these fires, Massachusetts medical facilities reported about 30 severe burn injuries extending to 5% or more of the victims’ bodies that were caused by illegal fireworks. In 2022 alone, fire departments reported 106 fires and explosions attributed to fireworks, an increase of nearly a third over the prior year.

It is illegal for private citizens to use, possess, or sell fireworks of all kinds in Massachusetts without a license and a permit. This includes fireworks purchased legally elsewhere and brought into Massachusetts. It includes sparklers, firecrackers, cherry bombs, and other fireworks. Fines range from $10 to $1,000, and some violations could carry a one-year prison sentence.

Residents are encouraged to report any misuse of fireworks they notice in the community to your local Police Department.

In case of a firework-related or other emergency, always dial 911.

Additionally, residents are reminded of these key safety tips for Fourth of July celebrations:
  • Attend organized and permitted fireworks displays only.
  • Report illegal fires to the police.
  • Remember that alcohol/drugs and fireworks do not mix.
  • Keep pets indoors and away from fireworks. The loud noises and flashing lights can be frightening and overwhelming for pets. Pets can become frightened and run from familiar environments and people, becoming lost. Read more here.

The Department also urges residents to observe the following tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on getting home safely following Fourth of July celebrations:
  • Be mindful of pedestrians.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. From 2017 to 2021, 1,460 drivers were killed in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday period — 38% of the drivers killed were drunk.
  • Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, do not plan on driving. Instead, designate a sober driver or use a ride-share service to get home safely.
  • Take keys away from individuals who are under the influence and are planning to drive. Alcohol and drugs impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory, which are critical for safe and responsible driving.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, safely pull over and call 911.
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Summer Concert Series at Fruitlands Museum

HARVARD: The Concord Band is back for another summer season on the Fruitlands Museum outdoor stage! The Concord Band will treat concert-goers to a fun program of music comprising timeless classic songs, motion picture scores, Broadway musicals, and popular favorites. Each week presents a new program with different themes,

- July 5: True to be Red, White, and Blue
- July 12: Outstanding Overtures & Magnificent Marches
- July 19: Summer Retrospective

Gather on the lawn for a picnic concert with stunning sunset views. Bring your blanket, lawn chairs and picnic basket. There is plenty of room on the concert lawn to spread out. Dogs are welcome to join for these picnic concerts and just must remain on leash while on the grounds at Fruitlands.

Concerts are on Wednesday evenings starting at 7:15pm; gates open 5:00pm.

Reservations are encouraged for faster entry. In the event of rain forcing cancellation, ticket holders will be contacted via email in advance of showtime. Questions? Contact Catherine Shortliffe at
Three pieces of continental currency printed in 1775 (from the groton history center collections)

Revolutionary War Currency on Display at the GHC’s July 15 Open House

GROTON: On view at the Groton History Center’s July Open House, a display of Revolutionary War currency offers a sneak preview of future exhibits during the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  The GHC invites visitors to enjoy the many treasured antiquities at the Boutwell House, 172 Main Street, on July 15, 11am-2pm. 

These short-lived Revolutionary War bills tell a fascinating tale. Issued in 1775 to finance the war, the new currency was backed, not by gold or silver, but by the anticipation of incoming tax revenue. It soon proved worthless, however, due in part to the proliferation of counterfeit bills, and state-issued currency (led by Massachusetts) backed by gold and silver. Several of the bills on exhibit feature punched holes indicating their subsequent cancellation.
Ongoing visual treats at the Groton History Center, aside from its period furnishings, include several gorgeous oil paintings by the American Impressionist, Edmund Tarbell (born in West Groton in 1862); shore birds carved by the late Harvey Sargisson, renowned for the beauty and delicacy of his work; and an exhibition of rare photos, artifacts, and ephemera related to Groton’s Early Industries.
The GHC’s Open House is free (donations welcome) and open to all, thanks to support from the Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds, as well as GHC donors, members, and volunteers. For more information, visit,, or call (978) 448-0092.

Meet a Pair of Oxen Up Close & Personal

SHIRLEY: Meet a pair of oxen (Phil & Kent), up close and personal at the Shirley Historical Society Museum, #182 Center Road on July 15 at 2pm. (Rain date July 16 at 2pm). Following a 400-year-old New England tradition, Natalie Delorey has trained these gentle giants to work at typical farm jobs. She will explain their history and their talents. The Museum basement will also be open for visitors to see a variety of farm tools which have been used in Shirley. Admission is free. Visit with any questions.

Scouting for Instruments

by Franny Osmon

ACTON/GROTON: Arjun Saulnier, a member of Boy Scouts Troop 284 of Acton, didn’t have to look far to find an Eagle Scout project that was a great fit. The recent Acton-Boxborough Regional High School graduate and longtime violin student of Groton Hill Music School’s Angel Hernandez was quite familiar with Groton Hill’s mission to give music generously when there is need. So Arjun went on a mission of his own – to search out and collect gently used instruments (and the funds to refurbish them) for Groton Hill to distribute to students in need.

This spring, Arjun and his mom, Hashi Chakravarty, transported nearly two dozen instruments – violins, guitars, a drum set, woodwind and brass instruments – plus a xylophone and a banjo – to the music school. Arjun knew that many of the instruments he collected were likely in need of a tune-up, so he also collected $1100 to bring them back to life so they could go to new homes.

“I’m extremely glad to be able to give back to Groton Hill after taking lessons there for so long,” said Arjun. “I hope my project and the accompanying donation can help to bring the joy of music to other students!” Arjun plans to pursue chemistry studies at Case Western Reserve in Ohio this fall.
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Public Forum on PFAS: July 13, 7-9pm

A note from Laurie Nehring, People of Ayer Concerned About the Environment

AYER: SAVE THE DATE: July 13, 7-9pm!  PACE and Silent Spring Institute will be co-hosting a Public Forum in Ayer on PFAS: Update on the PFAS Health Study in Ayer and proposed legislation to regulate PFAS; Senator Jamie Eldridge will be presenting this new legislation.  Details coming soon!
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Removals in July: Volunteers Needed

AYER: PACE members are delighted with the progress of the Water Chestnut PULL at Grove Pond!  Compared to last year, they have SOLID progress, thanks to the help of over 65 volunteers!  More help is needed in July; dates are posted for the weekends, but Laurie Nehring will happily create additional dates for any group of 4 or more!  PULLING will continue through the summer. Please sign up at

MassDOT’s Reconstruction of Route 2A / Willow Road Intersection

AYER: Construction Update June 29, 2023 - No detours are scheduled for June 30 or during the week of July 3. The Willow Road Northbound detour will be reinstated July 10-21. The detour will be in place Monday-Friday during work hours. Details:

Willow Road Northbound is closed from the intersection of 2A to Westford Road. The detour route is westbound from the intersection, to the Rotary, then to Sandy Pond Road, see image below. Police details will be onsite to direct traffic. During detours, there will be signage directing traffic. There will be varying road conditions. Please travel with caution.
This project is owned and managed by MassDOT, however the Ayer DPW will be providing construction updates to provide work status and traffic impacts for the Town.

IMPORTANT NOTICE - The current detour, which closes Willow Road Northbound during work hours, will be extended through June 30. Willow Road Northbound is closed from the intersection of 2A to Westford Road. The detour route is westbound from the intersection, to the Rotary, then to Sandy Pond Road. Police details will be onsite to direct traffic. During detours, there will be signage directing traffic. There will be varying road conditions. Please travel with caution. This project is owned and managed by MassDOT, however the Ayer DPW will be providing construction updates to provide work status and traffic impacts for the Town.
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New Outdoor Water Conservation Measures effective July 1

AYER: Important Notice - Please Conserve Water. The Ayer DPW is dedicated to providing a reliable water supply today and protecting that supply for the future.  In order to safeguard the Town’s drinking water resources, the Town is asking everyone to conserve water and comply with the following Outdoor Water Conservation Measures beginning July 1, 2023 and until further notice:
  • Mandatory – No Outdoor Water Use Monday-Friday.
  • Mandatory – No Outdoor Water Use between 9am-5pm on any day.
  • Mandatory – Odd / Even Outdoor Water Use Allowed on Saturday and Sunday from 5pm-9am (even numbered street addresses may water on even numbered dates and odd numbered addresses may water on odd numbered dates).
  • Mandatory – All Town properties are banned from all Outdoor Water Use.
  • Voluntary – Curb outside water use and conserve water as much as possible.
  • Handheld watering is not restricted but discouraged between 9a,-5pm.
Outdoor Water Use is defined as an automatic irrigation system or non-handheld sprinkler system.  Handheld watering is defined as physically hand holding the hose or watering can.
The Ayer DPW will be monitoring outside water use and will be enforcing the mandatory conservation measures with ticketing / fines / water shut-off for violations.

All Town employees are the enforcement agents authorized to implement the Water Conservation Measures.

Enforcement of the Outdoor Water Conservation Measures is as follows:
  • 1st Violation – Written Warning
  • 2nd Violation - $50.00 fine
  • 3rd Violation - $200.00 fine
  • 4th Violation - $300.00 fine and reduction in water availability to allow for basic water needs.

Please do your part to maintain this valuable resource.  Follow us on social media for more information and conservation tips. Use the hashtag #waterwednesdays. If you have questions about this notice or about these Mandatory Water Conservation Measures, please contact Kimberly Abraham, Water and Sewer Superintendent at (978) 772-8240 or
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Hanscom Federal Credit Union Awards $25K to Veteran & Gold Star Family-Owned Businesses

GROTON/BEDFORD: Hanscom Federal Credit Union awarded a total of $25,000 to veteran and Gold Star Family-owned businesses during the 2023 InnoVets Pitch Competition held on May 24, in Boston’s Innovation District. Through their partnership with InnoVets and Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, Hanscom FCU has donated a total of $50,000 to support a wide range of veteran businesses.

First-place winner Michael Kerwin, a U.S. Army veteran from Groton, received $12,500 in seed money to support YouV Sunscreen, a blacklight and fluorescent sunscreen. Second place was awarded to U.S. Army Sergeant veteran Patrick Sherman from Malden, who received $7,500 to support his company, a rental marketplace where people can search and rent gear or equipment for their next adventure. The fans at this year’s competition were also given the opportunity to vote for their favorite entrepreneur who would receive $5,000. This prize was awarded to Steve Chang, an Army Special Forces veteran and founder of CEO Headlamp, a Veteran Transition Accelerator that helps veterans leaving service secure employment.

“Studies by the Small Business Administration and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families show that veterans have better business success rates than their non-veteran counterparts,” said Peter Rice, Hanscom FCU’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “There are almost two million veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. generating $1.3 trillion in sales and employing over five million Americans. Military experience cultivates discipline, resilience, and adaptability, the very traits a successful entrepreneur needs to succeed. But despite this experience and what the data shows, veteran entrepreneurs have a harder time getting financing. This is something our country, specifically the financial services industry, needs to change.”

“At Hanscom, we’re totally committed to supporting those who have served our country and who know its best days are yet to come,” he continued. “As the largest financial organization in Massachusetts that’s serving veterans, military members, and their families, it’s part of our mission to help these, and other, veteran-owned businesses thrive financially, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be working with InnoVets and Massachusetts Fallen Heroes to help make this happen.”
PHOTO: Pictured in the group photo are Ed Brzychcy, Entrepreneurial Consultant and InnoVets Pitch Competition Master of Ceremonies; first-place winner, Michael Kerwin, founder of YouV Sunscreen; Peter Rice, President & CEO of Hanscom Federal Credit Union; and Dan Magoon, Executive Director of Massachusetts Fallen Heroes. (Photo by Rich Prager)
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Summer Solstice Celebration at the Boutwell House 

GROTON: To honor this leafy season of flowers and sunshine, the Groton History Center invites the public to a Summer Solstice Celebration at the Boutwell House, 172 Main Street, on June 24 from 3-5pm (rain date, June 25, same hours). Enjoy an eclectic mix of live guitar music, light refreshments, a chance to socialize in Georgie’s Garden with views of Gibbet Hill, shady outdoor seating, and tours of the cool, high-ceilinged governor’s house. Join the party and bring family and friends to share in the spirit of Groton’s living history. 

In the first hour, the Solstice gathering will feature an unveiling of the famous Prescott Stone, proudly displayed in its new setting thanks to support from the Community Preservation Commission and the Historical Commission. The town’s nearly 250-year engagement with this stone dates back to 1680 when Jacob Prescott first carved his initials in it before adding it to the stonewall bounding his property. Two subsequent owners of the house on what is now Old Ayer Road, Oliver Prescott, and Jonas J. Parks, rebuilt the wall and added their names to the stone. Its further adventures, eventual rescue from obscurity, and preservation make this long-missing piece of Groton's history a story worth hearing.

Guests on the early side can catch the dedication of two garden benches – one to former GHC board member, Judy Adams, and the other to Ranier Collins, the sister of board member Michelle Collette.

Experience the flavor of the past in this plein-air Solstice Celebration. All are invited free (donations welcome) thanks to the Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds. For more information, visit or call (978) 448-0092.

Copper Bookmark Metalsmithing Workshop at LPL

LUNENBURG: Learn about the structure of metal and how to create drawings in copper & use letter stamps to create textures & words. Participants will be able to stamp their name, favorite quote, or even a unique drawing on their bookmark! Registration is required. There are two time slots, each is age specific, please only sign up for the one that is the correct age range.
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ShirleyArts! Preps for The Old Peabody Pew

SHIRLEY: The cast has been hard at work preparing for the July 15th production of The Old Peabody Pew at the Historic Shirley Meeting House. The play was written by Kate Douglas Wiggin in 1907, It was performed in Shirley about 100 years ago and again about 50 years ago. ShirleyArts! is performing it one more time in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Meeting House. The story takes place in an old New England Meeting House. It describes the repairs and improvements made by the women of the parish. It also comments on the man and woman relationship customs of that era. The play, directed by Meredith Marcinkewicz, will begin at 7:30pm on July 15. Admission is free, but both ShirleyArts! and the Meeting House accept donations.

PHOTO: Front Row, left to right are Julie Holston, Nancy Sawyer, Vicki Landry, Diane King, Sarah Stevens. Back Row left to right - Lisa Perreault, Bob Huxley, Andy Sullivan, Laurie Marcinkewicz, Katie Broach.

Groton Hill Music Center Announces BoD Roster for 2023-24

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GROTON: Groton Hill Music Center, the region’s foremost nonprofit destination for music education, performance, and community engagement, has announced its new roster of Board Members and Officers for the next fiscal year:

Board Officers:

  • Chair – Simon Jones (Harvard)
  • Vice-Chair – Miriam Smith (Harvard)
  • Treasurer – Jonathan Panek (Harvard)
  • Clerk – Phil Francisco (Groton)

Board Members

Peter Ashton (Auburn, ME), Peter Bentinck-Smith (Concord), Kirsta Davey (Groton), Jeffrey C. Fuhrer (Acton), Pam Lynn (Acton), Samuel Morrow (Groton), Janet Nicholas (Stow), Jane Puffer (Acton), David Riggert (Portsmouth, NH)

Honorary Board Members:

Robert Anderson (Groton), Ralph Brown (Watertown), David Moulton (Groton).

At the June 14 Annual Meeting of the Board, departing member Deb Verner of Acton was commended for her long-time involvement in the organization. Also, the roster includes two newly-elected Board Members: Pam Lynn and Jane Puffer, both of Acton.

Pam Lynn enjoyed 45 years in the Acton-Boxborough School System as an educator, mentor, and administrator. Upon retirement she shifted to community service, including terms on the Historic District Commission and Acton Memorial Library Board of Trustees, as an archivist for the Discovery Museum, and Secretary of the Friends of the Acton Council on Aging. Pam studied history at Wellesley College and received a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Pam has lived in Acton since 1981 with her husband Jon Benson, a retired attorney. 

Jane Puffer is a marketing executive with technology company experience from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. She is currently President of Dreamaker Consulting Group, which is retained to provide marketing leadership to early-stage technology companies. Previously, Jane was Vice President for marketing at Integrated Development Enterprise Corporation. In addition to Groton Hill, she currently serves on the Leadership Board of Beth Israel Medical Center. Jane received her B.S. in business administration from Central Connecticut State University and her M.S. in administration, innovation, and technology from Boston University.

Groton Hill Music Center CEO Lisa Fiorentino said: “I'm so proud of all that our team has accomplished since the opening of our new home in September 2022. We're offering concerts with big-name artists in our new halls, we've added new Music School programs that serve more students than we’ve ever had, and we've expanded our community engagement programs into more communities. Groton Hill's Board of Directors is a vital part of our team -- serving as ambassadors in the community, and offering their special skills and experience to ensure that we remain a robust nonprofit that makes vibrant music experiences accessible to those in our region and beyond.”

Now in its 39th year, Groton Hill Music Center (formerly Indian Hill Music) opened the doors of its stunning new home for music education, performance, and community engagement in September 2022. Designed by award-winning Epstein Joslin Architects of Cambridge (MA), the architecturally exquisite 126,000-square-foot venue houses two world-class performance spaces – the 300-seat Meadow Hall and the 1000-seat Concert Hall – 35 multi-scaled rehearsal and teaching spaces, and state-of-the-art acoustics designed by Threshold Acoustics of Chicago. Additionally, two-thirds of the land on which the facility sits – formerly an apple orchard and a horse farm – is preserved as picturesque agricultural fields. Groton Hill is a regional gathering place for all to experience the highest quality music education, with private lessons, classes, ensembles, and supplemental learning programs for all ages and abilities; world-class professional performances of all genres — from jazz, bluegrass, Celtic, and country to Americana, folk, classical, and more; and impactful outreach programs that share the transformative power of music throughout the community.
Learn more at
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​​​​​​​CodeRED® Emergency Alert System Implemented in Ayer

AYER: The Town of Ayer has instituted a rapid emergency notification service called CodeRED®. This service can be used in case of fires, evacuations, water system problems, natural disasters, or other emergencies. The system will distribute emergency messages by telephone, text, and email to targeted areas or the entire town at a rate of 1,000 calls per minute. Click here to sign up!

ShirleyArts! Auditions James & the Giant Peach JR

SHIRLEY: James is an orphan who goes to live with his two mean aunts. His luck changes when he is befriended by some garden animals and a peach grows so enormous, they can all move inside and roll away. The famous story by Roald Dahl is acted out with puppets, singing, dancing, and lots of fun.
This summer, ShirleyArts! will be producing a junior version of James and the Giant Peach and needs at least 20 participants from ages 8–17. Auditions will be June 26 from 2-4pm at the Ayer Shirley Middle School. Everyone who auditions will be assigned a part. Rehearsals will be weekday afternoons. Monday-Friday, 2–5pm for the weeks of June 26, July 10, and July17. Performances will be July 21, 22 and 23.  The participation fee is $150.
If you have any questions, email Director Meredith Marcinkewicz at Visit for more details and to register. Walk-ins are also welcome.
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Summer Concerts on the Lancaster Town Green

LANCASTER: Lancaster’s Town Green will be rocking this summer when five live bands perform a variety of music concerts for folks from Lancaster and surrounding communities. Sponsored by the Friends of Thayer Memorial Library, the Thursday evening family-friendly concert series will run June 29 through July 27, 2023 – RAIN or SHINE, 6:30-8:30pm. First Church of Lancaster will serve as the backup performance venue in the event there is inclement weather. But when it’s nice outside, the performers will set up and play in the gazebo located on the Town Green for the sixth year.

Folks are asked to bring their lawn chairs and/or blankets for seating. The Friends of Lancaster’s Seniors will offer pizza and refreshments for sale at 6pm, but folks are welcome to bring a cooler with food and beverages if they’d like. Also, ice cream trucks have been known to crash the concerts as well.

The following performers have been scheduled for Thursdays in this summer’s concert series:
  • June 29: Green Heron
  • July 6: Jim Atkinson
  • July 13: Clements Brothers
  • July 20: The Blue Color Ramblers
  • July 27: Roland
All concerts are free. All are welcome. For more information, call (978) 368-8928 x4 or go to

Shirley Democrats Elect Convention Delegates

SHIRLEY: The Shirley Democratic Town Committee is pleased to announce that it has elected three delegates and one alternate to the Massachusetts Democratic Convention, to be held at the Tsongas Center in Lowell on September 23. The Committee held its caucus on June 10. Elected delegates are Liz Johnson, Kendra Kratkiewicz, and Olivia Oestreicher. Tennie Komar was elected alternate, and the ex-officio delegate is Committee Chair Dina Samfield.

The 2023 MassDems Convention will be in person at the Tsongas Center in Lowell to adopt a Party Agenda and/or Platform by a majority vote of Convention delegates present and voting based upon the recommendation, subject to amendments, of the Party Agenda or Platform Committee.

“This year we had no male or non-binary candidates run for delegate,” said Samfield after the caucus. “But for the first time in as long as I can remember, we elected a youth delegate to represent our committee at the Convention.“

Olivia Oestreicher is a third-year student at Northeastern University, pursuing a B.S. in Political Science and Communication Studies, with a minor in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. At age 19, she has already served as an intern for 37th Middlesex State Representative Dan Sena, and is currently interning for 3rd Berkshire State Representative Smitty Pignatelli.

Says Samfield, "Olivia has already achieved a long list of accomplishments, and we are thrilled that she will be joining our other delegates at the Convention this year. Youth, minorities, and people with disabilities who are registered Shirley Democrats not elected as delegates or alternates may still apply to be add-on delegates.” She continued, “This is a great way to get involved and learn about the Democratic Party process.”

The deadline to apply to be an add-on delegate is July 14 at 5pm. The application can be found at For updates and more information on the Shirley DTC, email or visit the Committee’s Facebook and Twitter pages @DTCShirley. The Shirley DTC website is

Hazard Mitigation Planning Public Survey

AYER: The Town of Ayer needs your feedback on updating their Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP).  A natural hazard is defined as “an event of physical condition that has the potential to cause fatalities, injuries, property/infrastructure damage, agricultural loss, damage to the environment or interruption of business.  Please help in identifying these risks. Simply click HERE or open your camera on your mobile device and place over the QR code to complete this short survey.  Paper copies are also available in the Select Board’s Office at Town Hall. 

Brandon Bruin Promoted to Sergeant in Shirley

SHIRLEY: Police Officer Brandon Bruin was appointed/promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Bruin began his career as an intern with the Shirley Police Department in 2005, later becoming a reserve police officer and then being hired as a full-time police officer in 2009. Bruin left to start a fence company and also ended up working for another agency before coming back home to Shirley. Bruin earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in psychology from Fitchburg State University, and has over eight years of experience as a Shirley Police Officer. Congratulations!
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Free Nuclear Energy Program Offered

LANCASTER: If you care about climate change, come to this FREE presentation on the benefits of an energy source that is reliable, affordable and contains and/or reuses all of its by-products, on June 13, 6:30pm at the Lancaster Library, 717 Main Street. Find out about modern nuclear power that has been misrepresented in the media. Bring questions and learn how nuclear power can fuel the great electrification on a tiny footprint of land using existing infrastructure.

Nuclear suffers from inaccurate and poor marketing communication. People embrace nuclear when they learn more about it, apart from the hyperbole, exaggeration and false information. Be surprised to learn things like more than half of Americans support the development of nuclear power, especially upon learning that it can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

For example, did you know:

1. More than half of Americans support the use of nuclear power, especially when they find out it is a zero carbon emitting energy  source that uses a fraction of land compared to wind/solar. [Source: Gallup Polls and Beacon Research]

2. Some 20% of electricity provided by ISO New England regional grid, comes from nuclear power plants in Seabrook, New Hampshire and Millstone, Connecticut.

3. Nuclear is stable, reliable, dispatchable and affordable. It is the only energy source that contains 100% of its byproducts. It can use existing infrastructure and does not disrupt the grid when weather does not cooperate.

Presented by Eco-Nuclear Solutions, a grassroots, volunteer group of scientists, educators, activists and tree-huggers. They are environmentalists and energy realists who seek a stable affordable way to provide electricity for a power-hungry planet. E
co-Nuclear solutions is a regional bi-partisan group that advocates for the fastest way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, transition away from fossil fuels, and to fuel the great electrification. Eco-Nuclear Solutions has presented at area libraries and churches, met with leading state lawmakers, and testified at Statehouse hearings on the advantages of adding nuclear energy to the mix. See more at To schedule a presentation for your group, please email
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NVTHS Craft Fair Seeks Vendors

WESTFORD: The Nashoba Valley Technical High School Foundation's 11th Annual Craft Fair will be held November 18 from 10am-3pm (set up 8am-9:30am) at NVTHS, 100 Littleton Road (Rt. 110). Register now for this well-attended event - only 100 spots available! Vendor fees are $75, which includes an 8' spot and 2 chairs. Bring your own table or display. Click HERE for more information and to complete the online registration/payment. Any questions, email
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Champion Scottish Fiddler Alistair McCulloch with Tom Pixton on Piano at notloB

HARVARD: Hailing from Ayr in Scotland, Alistair McCulloch is one of Scotland’s best known fiddle performers, teachers and composers, with many appearances on radio and television. He is delighted to be collaborating this summer with New England’s Tom Pixton on piano, a well-known and versatile musician, for a performance presented by notloB Parlour Concerts at Fivesparks, 7 Fairbank Street on July 6 at 7:30pm.

Past winner of many fiddle championships, Alistair is fiddle instructor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has tutored many of the new generation of rising stars. To date Alistair has performed in over 20 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, China, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, the Middle East and throughout Europe and North America. Says the Scotsman of his work: "As the mountain of fiddle CDs rises even higher, this one can climb straight to the summit ridge."

His second tunebook, the 'Alistair McCulloch Collection Volume 2' was recently reprinted which includes a number of previously recorded pieces. Commissions have included a suite for William Grant & Sons of Glenfiddich whisky and an orchestral score to celebrate the visit of the Olympic torch to southern Scotland.

Alistair also regularly tours with his own trio featuring Aaron Jones of Old Blind Dogs, and former Capercaillie whistle wizard Marc Duff. He is a long standing member of the award winning ceilidh band Coila. Over the years he has collaborated with many of Celtic music’s best known musicians. Alistair has directed several fiddle groups and ensembles including the dynamic young group Innovation, and was formerly a soloist with the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. His playing style is driving and precise, described by the Living Tradition as "fresh, fiery and full of fun."

For more information about Alistair McCulloch, visit For this concert, doors will open at 7pm. Admission is a free-will offering, suggested donation being $25 adults; $15-$20 for teens and seniors; $10 for children. 100% of patron donations go to the artist. Cash or Venmo.  For more information, visit
KN-95 or equivalent masks are requested.

MassDOT’s Reconstruction of Route 2A / Willow Road Intersection (Updated)

AYER: IMPORTANT NOTICE: MassDOT’s Reconstruction of Route 2A / Willow Road Intersection, originally scheduled to start June 1, has been postponed. The detour is rescheduled to begin on June 12-23. Details of the detour route: Willow Road Northbound will be closed from the intersection of 2A to Westford Road. The detour route will be westbound from the intersection, to the Rotary, then to Sandy Pond Road. Police details will be onsite to direct traffic. During detours, there will be signage directing traffic. There will be varying road conditions. Please travel with caution.

This project is owned and managed by MassDOT, however the Ayer DPW will be providing construction updates to provide work status and traffic impacts for the Town.

- - - - - - - -

From June 1-16, a detour will be implemented from 9am-3pm as part of the Route 2A / Willow Road Intersection Project. Willow Road Northbound will be closed from the intersection of 2A to Westford Road. The detour route will be westbound from the intersection, to the Rotary, then to Sandy Pond Road. Police details will be onsite to direct traffic. During detours, there will be signage directing traffic. There will be varying road conditions. Please travel with caution.

Summer Reading Program Kick-Off: Eyes on Owls! 

LUNENBURG: Lunenburg Public Library's Summer reading Program for 2023 is off to a great start on June 21 at 6pm with an amazing program featuring live owls! Marcia Wilson, teacher naturalist, and Mark Wilson, wildlife photojournalist and author, will present Eyes on Owls which will feature some of their owls and other birds of prey! Their program will focus on educating us about owl and birds of prey species and habitats. We can all learn so much from these experienced professionals! For more information, visit

Mass Cultural Council – Ayer Community Input Survey – Deadline June 30, 2023

AYER: The Ayer Cultural Council is collecting opinions from Ayer Residents to help them set future funding priorities.  Please take a moment to print out the Input Survey and return to the Ayer Select Board Office at Town Hall by June 30, 2023.  Surveys are also available at the Ayer Select Board Office at Town Hall; the Ayer Senior Center; and the Ayer Library. Click here to download the survey.
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Devens Regional Household Hazardous Products Collection Center

DEVENS: Did you know? The Devens Regional Household Hazardous Products Collection Center at 9 Cook Street is open to residents, employees, and pre-qualified small businesses of Stow and member towns. The Center is open on the first Wednesday and the following Saturday from 9am-1pm, March to December. The next dates are June 7 and 10. For the Devens HHW website, visit

Member Towns: Ashby-Ayer-Bolton-Clinton-Devens-Groton-Harvard-Lancaster-Littleton-Lunenburg-Pepperell-Shirley-Stow-Townsend. Open to residents, employees, and pre-qualified small businesses.

Please note: The Stow Board of Health office no longer accepts batteries and products containing mercury (such as fluorescent bulbs and thermometers). The office will still be providing the sharps disposal program.
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MA PFAS & Your Health Study in Ayer - Why Wait?

AYER: New lawn signs are going up soon to let Ayer current and former residents know that they can sign up for the PFAS health study this spring and summer!  No need to take your kids out of school - and kids are especially needed! This is a one-time blood and urine test for any PFAS (Forever) chemicals that may be in your body. YOU WILL GET THE RESULTS of your PFAS, as well as a full panel of other blood chemistry that you can share with your doctor.  Adults also get up to $50 in a choice of gift cards, children under 18 get up to $75.

Please help scientists learn about any health impacts from PFAS expsoures ~ be a part of this really important study!  To learn more or to sign up go to or call (978) 212-9733.  (This is a Hudson, MA number). It’s quick and simple!
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Mosquito Control

AYER: Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project personnel will be in the Ayer community to respond to residents' concerns about mosquitoes in the area on May 30, June 5, 12, 20 and 26. Any of the above dates are tentative especially May 30-June 1, and all dates are subject to change due to weather conditions, mosquito populations, mosquito virus activity and/or special event spraying. This program will shut down when cool night time temperatures become predominant in the area.
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Celebrate 250 Years with the First Parish Meeting House

SHIRLEY: The First Parish Meeting House is celebrating its 250th birthday in 2023. The meetinghouse was not always located where it is now and it did not always look like it does today. Since 1773, it has been located on the historic Shirley Common, and its doors are open to the people of Shirley for town meetings, worship and community celebrations. There are many upcoming events at the Meeting House including:

6/25, 1pm: Music on the Porch - Summertime Jazz Band
7/15, 7pm: The Old Peabody Pew by Kate Douglas Wiggin, a staged reading performed by ShirleyArts!
7/22, 7pm: Tedesco Duo
7/23, 1pm: Music on the Porch - Nancy Beaudette

... and more in the months that follow.

To learn about the history of this special building, stop by for a visit to see a pictorial display and exhibit of artifacts at the Historical Society’s museum building at 182 Center Road.  For more information, visit
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NRWA Eco-Adventure Summer Survival Fun Week 

GROTON: The Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) invites 11 to 14 year olds from all communities to participate in their Summer Survival Fun Week, a four-day program running from July 10-14, 9am-3pm each day. Venture into the woods, fields, and hills of Groton hiking, tracking, and building shelters. Spend a full day canoeing on the Squannacook River. During these adventures, participants will learn outdoor survival skills, study local plant and animal life, and engage in team building games. All activities are guided by NRWA’s professional educators and naturalists, including River Classroom Director Stacey Chilcoat. This program is based at the NRWA River Resource Center, 592 Main Street (Rt. 119). The fee for this 4-day program is $300 for NRWA members and $330 for non-members.  Pre-registration is required; limited spaces available. Register at, under Upcoming Programs. For more information, please call (978) 448-0299, or email
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Ayer+Devens 2033 Study & Report Committee: Expressions of Interest to Serve

AYER: The Town of Ayer, through the Ayer Select Board and the Office of the Ayer Town Manager, are pleased to notify the residents of Ayer of this noteworthy opportunity for local civic service as an appointed member of the “Ayer+Devens 2033 Study & Report Committee”. The Town of Ayer seeks and requests “Expressions of Interest to Serve” on the Committee from Ayer residents. The appointee/s term of service and Committee meeting schedule will be determined through the Committee establishment process. The production of the “Study” and final “Joint Report” will likely require a process in excess of 2-3 years. The process will afford the opportunity for a smooth succession of new committee members being appointed, if needed, as the “Study & Report” process advances to completion.
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Volunteer Still Sought for Invasive Water Chestnut Pull from Grove Pond

AYER: After only four pull sessions, groups of hard-working volunteers have pulled a total of 64 laundry baskets full of these invasive beasts! I calculated that to be 28,800 plants!  (My neurotic side had me count 2 separate baskets: 446 in one, 450 in the other! Do the math!)  And there are more, MANY more!  The plants are young, making their removal super easy!  People of Ayer Concerned with the Environment (PACE) invites you to sign up for as many dates as you can this June, July and probably August, too!  We can provide canoes, life jackets, paddles, and paddling instructions, if needed. All we need is YOU!  For more information and to sign up, please go to Hope to see you there!
- Laurie Nehring, President, PACE

Grant support gratefully provided by Nashua River Wild & Scenic Stewardship Council.

Construction Notification - Third Street Water & Drainage Improvements

AYER: The Ayer Department of Public Works (DPW) and its Contractor, CHB Excavating, will be replacing underground water and drainage infrastructure on Third Street. Work is planned to start as soon as May 30 and is anticipated to be complete by the end of this summer. The project includes replacement of water mains, hydrants, valves, drainage pipe, and catch basins. Water services for homes on Third Street will be replaced from the new water main to the home’s property line.
Homes on Third Street will be connected to a temporary above-ground water main during the duration of water main replacement. The temporary water main will be installed just off the edge of the road. The temporary water main will be buried in shallow trenches or installed at grade and covered for a proper ramp across driveways.

Temporary interruptions of water service may be required. DPW will deliver notices to any effected residence at least 48 hours prior to any planned interruption of water service. Third Street will remain open to local traffic and to public safety vehicles. Trenches will be temporarily covered with steel plates and repaved at minimum once per week. Ayer DPW plans to resurface Third Street (full width and length) in 2024.

Work hours are limited to 7am-4pm, Monday-Friday. Ayer DPW will be on site inspecting the work. If you have questions, please call DPW at (978) 772-8240 (7:30am-3:30pm) or email