An eyesore turned garden, a church’s first female settled pastor, and city kids play tennis

Children gathered at Devir Park in Malden for tennis activities.
Children gathered at Devir Park in Malden for tennis activities. (USTA New England)

In Lawrence, city officials and environmental activists celebrated the transformation of an “eyesore” vacant lot into a community garden. The lot on Lowell and Margin streets was turned into a garden to allow residents to grow fresh food. Mayor Daniel Rivera, Councilor Jeovanny Rodriguez, and Heather McMann of Groundwork Lawrence collaborated on the project and announced its completion last week. To apply for a plot at one of 10 community gardens around the city, contact Maria Natera at or 978-974-0770, ext. 7006. Visit

Chelsea will hold a community meeting to solicit feedback on the upcoming “rebranding” of downtown storefronts on Thursday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. at the Chelsea Senior Center. The proposed design guidelines will outline recommendations on signage and design types for downtown businesses. A number of businesses on Broadway have accessed free design services provided by the city through this program to update the look of their facades, according to a news release.


A historic vote was recently cast in a North Andover church resulting in its first female settled pastor. Debra Adams, who holds a master of divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School, led the morning worship service for the congregation on Aug. 5. Following the service, she was confirmed as the 14th settled pastor of Trinitarian Congregational Church of North Andover in a unanimous vote of church members, according to a statement. Adams will preach her first sermon as settled pastor Sept. 9 at 9:30 a.m. Visit

In Malden, over 130 kids made a racket on the tennis courts at Devir Park on Aug. 7. The US Tennis Association New England hosted a free kids’ day event as an effort to expose more children to tennis. In addition to games, drills, and activities, there was an assortment of activities including design-a-tennis ball, face painting, dancing, pizza, and ice cream. Mayor Gary Christenson and some Malden police officers and firefighters attended. To help beat the heat, firefighters soaked kids with their fire hoses. The tennis association’s online youth initiative, Net Generation, sponsored the day as a way to show the sport can be accessible and affordable. Visit


Can connecting with historic farms like Wright-Locke in Winchester advance today’s “food movement?” On Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 7:30 p.m., Cathy Stanton, anthropologist and public historian, will give a talk, “Can History Help Reinvent the Food System?” Stanton teaches at Tufts University and is involved with local food projects. Her research has focused on the way people make use of the past in their present-day lives. This event is free and open to the public, and will be held in the 1827 Barn at Wright-Locke Farm, 82 Ridge St.. RSVP at

National Public Radio host Peter Sagal will be stopping in Rockport on Aug. 25 to share whimsical stories from his 20-year career in radio. There will be two shows on Saturday, at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Sagal has hosted the popular news quiz show, “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” since 1998. Audience members can expect stories involving former President Barack Obama, Hollywood celebrities, and also animals smuggled in pants. Tickets start at $55. Visit

Morgan Hughes can be reached at