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New Bedford, MA – October 12, 2014 – The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees), the nation’s oldest land trust and one of Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation organizations, is pleased to announce the official public opening of the Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens located at 787 Shawmut Ave in New Bedford. Community members and visitors are invited to attend the opening of New Bedford’s newest park on Sunday, October 26th from 11AM – 3PM. The celebration will feature a ribbon cutting, remarks, live music, fun, food and tours of this historic property which was the former site of the acclaimed Allen C. Haskell Horticulturists for half a century.
“We are thrilled to officially open this fascinating property and introduce more residents and visitors to the important role it played in the lives of so many landscape designers, gardeners and horticultural enthusiasts from near and far,” says Barbara Erickson, President and CEO of The Trustees. “The Haskell property provides an accessible, historically significant, and beautiful oasis in the heart of New Bedford that we look forward to sharing with many new faces.”
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the New Bedford community using this local treasure as a platform to engage more of our neighbors in outdoor recreation, horticulture appreciation, and educational programs,” adds John Vasconcellos, New Bedford native, resident and Trustees’ Southeast Regional Director. “Haskell Public Gardens represents a rich legacy of expert horticulture created by Allen that deserves to be carried on in perpetuity for all to enjoy and use as a platform for lifelong learning.”
The opening event will kick off with remarks from Mayor Jonathan F. Mitchell, City Councilor Henry Bousquet, Trustees President & CEO Barbara Erickson, and Southeast Regional Director John Vasconcellos starting at 11:30AM. Immediately following, the day will feature fun and surprises, including a performance by members of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra and music provided by the New Bedford bluegrass band, The Jethros. A variety of special activities will also be available for children through 3:00PM including the opening of the “Fort Building” in the bamboo cove, an art station named for Louise Beech, a garden scavenger hunt, and various lawn games featured throughout the property.
Themed tours of the property will also be provided throughout the day, including “Children and the Garden,” “Conservation in Action,” “30 Years with Allen” led by Gene Bertrand and “Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens: The Next Phase.”
The Trustees will also host a variety of themed interpretive stations illustrating the organization’s five-year vision for the property, as well as historical facts about the gardens and the stories behind some of the rare plants located on the property. Food will be provided by the Acacia Café Food Truck, Flours Girls Bakery, and Plouf Plouf Gastronomie. For more information, please contact Ross Moran at 508.636.4693 x112.
More about Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens
The Trustees acquired the storied Allen C. Haskell Horticulturists in 2013 with the mission of saving and preserving the legacy of this culturally significant, six-acre reservation. The Trustees were awarded a $500,000 Gateway Cities Park Grant from the state office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and $100,000 from the City of New Bedford to help acquire and renovate the historic property. Having secured funding for the initial acquisition of the property, The Trustees continue to seek funds to complete the renovation of the public gardens and establish an endowment. In addition to the formal garden designed by lifelong New Bedford resident Allen C. Haskell, the property features 1.5 acres of open space, 30,000 sq. ft. of greenhouse space, and two historic residences. Visit www.thetrustees.org for more information.
The Trustees of Reservations preserve and protect, for public use and enjoyment, properties of scenic, cultural and ecological value throughout the state of Massachusetts. With over 112 beautiful places for all to enjoy, we invite you to Find Your Place. Visit www.thetrustees.org.