NORTH OF BOSTON
The Trustees of Reservations, a nonprofit conservation organization that preserves natural and historic places in Massachusetts, has raised $222,000 of its $250,000 goal to protect Gerry Island off the coast of Marblehead for generations to come. The 1½-acre island is home to birds and other wildlife. The Trustees will continue to fund-raise until garnering the last $28,000 needed for removal of pieces of old infrastructure from previous developments, vegetation management, the creation of a short trail for visitors to explore the island, and the installation of beaches. Once the fund-raiser is complete, Gerry Island will be the Trustees’ 117th reservation.
At Melrose High School, 27 seniors have earned a Seal of Biliteracy, signifying that they have achieved proficiency in two or more languages. The students were awarded medals to wear during graduation at a senior awards ceremony at the Melrose Center for the Performing Arts on May 24. The high school offers language courses in French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. English Language Learning students at the school speak 20 different languages. The State Seal of Biliteracy, part of the LOOK Act passed in November, set guidelines for language learning programs and will go into effect next year.
The Merrimack Repertory Theatre raised $110,000 for its education programs Student Matinees and Young Company during its June 2 gala in Lowell. About 200 guests attended the event, which included a silent auction, live auction, and performances by Merrimack Repertory Theatre actors. US Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, a longtime supporter of the theater, was presented with the Donahue Community Leadership Award.
Middlesex Partnerships for Youth is one of the 100 local nonprofits to receive a grant of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s “100K for 100” program. Middlesex Partnerships for Youth is a Wakefield-based organization that provides programming designed to increase the health and safety of students. The workshops it provides cover topics ranging from bullying to anxiety and safely navigating the Internet. The money will be used to expand training opportunities for school and community members.
At the 2018 Massachusetts Assisted Living Association Excellence Awards Dinner, Natalie Kaplan was honored for her volunteer work at Harriett and Ralph Kaplan Estates, an assisted living facility in Peabody. Kaplan, a Peabody resident, keeps the residents company and has helped the organization with fund-raising. She also started the Natalie Kaplan Speakers Bureau, which brings in interesting people to speak with the Kaplan Estates residents.
Salem State University has been awarded the Silver Massachusetts Excellence in Commuter Options Award for its efforts to create a more sustainable campus and initiatives that provide a diverse set of transportation options around the school. Salem State has implemented a bike share program, a ride-sharing effort for commuting students, and installed about 400 bike racks on campus. The award was presented by MassDOT, MassCommute, and MassRIDES.
SOUTH OF BOSTON
For blind and visually impaired people looking for a supportive space, the South Shore’s low-vision group will hold its second meeting on Monday, June 18, at the Talking Information Center in Marshfield, 130 Enterprise Drive. The center, a nonprofit reading service broadcasts newspapers, books, and special consumer information to listeners with visual or other impairments, teamed up with local organizations to create the first collaborative low-vision group on the South Shore. The topic of the upcoming meeting is navigating new technology. The meeting will be broadcasted live by the center for those who cannot attend. For more information about the center, visit www.ticnetwork.org, or call 781-834-4400.
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has released 53 northern red-bellied cooters, a turtle species, into the wild at the Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area in Hanson. Last fall, the cooter hatchlings were removed from the wild and paired with educational and scientific facilities across the state to be raised in captivity during their young lives as part of the state’s “headstarting” program. The program is designed to keep the turtles safe while they develop to reduce the likelihood of death from predators. The northern red-bellied cooter is listed on both the federal and state endangered species lists.
South Shore’s best and brightest are showing off their skills for the chance to win a $2,000 prize at the second annual South Shore’s Got Talent Friday, June 22. The competitive showcase features area musicians and performers to raise money for the job skills program at Wellspring Multi-Service Center, which provides support and resources to students from over a dozen South Shore communities seeking to enter the workforce. The show begins at 7 p.m., at the South Shore Conservatory Jane Carr Amphitheater in Hingham, 1 Conservatory Drive. Tickets start at $25. To register or for more information, visit http://wellspringhull.org/web/ssgt-2/ or call 781-925-3211, ext. 130.
Add the bus trolley to the list of ways to get around Hull this summer. Thanks to a $20,000 state tourism grant, the Hull Chamber of Commerce will introduce a 28-passenger “Hull O Trolley” next month. It will run from the Pemberton Point MBTA ferry station to Nantasket Beach, making stops at Fort Revere, the Hull Lifesaving Museum, and the Kenberma shopping area. The chamber hopes to incorporate historic tours given by local volunteers into the route. The trolley will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends from July 4 through the end of August.
At the end of May, about 100 members of the Rockland High School graduating class visited their former elementary schools, dressed in their graduation caps and gowns. The students were able to visit their old teachers at the R. Stewart Esten, Jefferson, and Memorial Park Elementary Schools. Current elementary students looked on and applauded while the graduating seniors marched down the hallways.
A new Hobby Lobby location opened at the Marketplace shopping center in Braintree on June 11 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration. The national chain sells craft and home decor supplies, including fabric, baskets, wearable art, and jewelry-making, scrapbooking, and paper-crafting supplies. The store will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays. The Braintree location is Hobby Lobby’s fourth in the state.
Two new shops have opened up at South Shore Plaza in Braintree. Italian brand Intimissimi, located on the lower level across from Guest Services, has 1,300 stores worldwide and offers women’s lingerie and nightwear. Calzedonia, another Italian brand, makes hosiery and swimwear for women, men and children, and is located on the lower level next to Pinkberry and Yankee Candle. Both brands are owned by the Calzedonia Group.
WEST OF BOSTON
The Division of Wildlife and Fisheries needs your help tracking down all the turkeys in the state. The annual wild turkey brood survey, which helps state biologists determine the health and size of the turkey population and determines the potential for turkey hunting in the fall, started this month. MassWildlife officials ask that anyone who sees turkey hens, newly hatched turkeys, or male turkeys, both adult and juvenile, to complete the survey, which can be found at https://www.mass.gov/news/report-wild-turkey-sightings. The current estimated turkey population is over 25,000, according to MassWildlife. The group is looking for updated counts in both rural and developed areas. The survey runs through August 31.
Yoga Under The Stars is returning for its third year as part of Summertime at The Street. People of all ages and skill levels are invited to roll out their mats at this free yoga flow practice at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19. The class will be led by YogaWorks instructor Gianna Contillo and will include a live DJ, complimentary juice tastings from Juice Press, and swag bags for all participants. The Street is located at 55 Boylston St. (Route 9) on the Newton side of Chestnut Hill. Participants should arrive 30 minutes early to secure their spots on The Green. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/.
The Goodnow Library in Sudbury has opened a fitness center for your brain. The library’s “makerspace” is designed to be a place where visitors of every age can focus on strengthening skills in science, technology, engineering, math, and arts. Classes and workshops on cooking, computer coding, 3D printing, laser-cutter instruction, writing, robotics, and arts and crafts are hosted in the newly renovated space. The library is located at 21 Concord Road. If you would like to make a donation to fund future technology and programs that will suit the public’s need, visit https://goodnowlibrary.org/get-involved/gifts-donations/. For more information about the makerspace, contact Samantha Greenfield at 978-440-5562.
Natick Center comes alive every Thursday night from 5-8 p.m. this June and July. Natick Night, the summer series of themed events taking place in front of local businesses in the downtown area, has returned. Each night showcases the entertainment and artistry unique to the town. Previous nights have included street performers, a walking history tour, a performance at The Center for Arts, artist demonstrations, a beer or wine tasting, restaurant specials, and more. The theme for Thursday, June 21 is “Murder a Merchant Mystery Night.” For a full list of this season’s themes or for more information, visit https://www.natickcenter.org/event/natick-nights-1.
Four bands are putting their talents to the test on Wednesday, June 20 for the fifth annual Battle of the Bands at Payson Park in Belmont. Middle school and high school bands from local communities are welcome to rock it out and compete to be the champions. The bands competing are the Moonkite Buzzards, Fourshadow, Sweet Relief, and Flip the Page. This event is sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank. The winning band takes home a $250 grand prize. The bank will also post a video of each band in advance of the concert on its Facebook page. The band with the most “likes” will receive a $50 AMEX gift card. Attendees have the chance to win a free Sony XB30 speaker, courtesy of the bank. The concert begins at 6:45 p.m. For more about the summerlong Payson Park Music Festival, visit http://ppmf.org.
The Dapper Doughnut is opening a new location in the Natick Mall, at 1245 Worcester St. The new store will hold a ribbon-cutting Monday, June 18, at 12 p.m., to celebrate. The restaurant specializes in cake-style mini-donuts made fresh in store every day. Each donut is custom-designed and decorated with any of 24 toppings and sugars right in front of the customer. Come to the ribbon-cutting to get a first taste of the shops’s food and refreshments. For more information, visit http://thedapperdoughnut.com/.Zipporah Osei can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Julia Preszler can be reached at email@example.com.