Area Briefs: Northampton kicks off Earth Day celebrations

Northampton City Hall

Northampton City Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 04-18-2024 11:53 AM

NORTHAMPTON — The city will kick off Earth Day celebrations with a ceremonial tree planting on Saturday, with 12 trees planted by volunteers to replace ash trees on Ice Pond Drive damaged by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer, a wood-boring pest that feeds primarily on ash trees and has no natural predator in North America.

The event is being organized by Northampton’s Department of Public Works, the Urban Forestry Commission, the residents’ group Tree Northampton, and the Northampton Rotary Club. The event also hopes to raise awareness of several invasive species threatening trees in the area, such as the Emerald Ash Borer and the Spotted Lanternfly.

The city will continue its tree advocacy with the 21st Annual Arbor Day Tree Whip Giveaway, held on Friday, April 26 and again on April 27. The city will provide 600 free tree whips for residents to plant on private property. Tree Northampton volunteers will staff the event and provide illustrated tree fact sheets specific to each species offered, together with tree planting and care information. Participants can choose from six tree species, including Winterberry Holly, Hawthorne, and Eastern Redbud. Larger trees include Red Oak, Tulip Poplar, Concolor Fir, and Shagbark Hickory.

Senior Center volunteer fair slated for April 25

NORTHAMPTON — A volunteer fair, sponsored by Northampton Neighbors, the Northampton Senior Center and RSVP of Pioneer Valley, will be held April 25 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Senior Center at 67 Conz St.

The fair is a means of connecting aspiring volunteers with local causes and organizations in need of support.

Northampton Neighbors, offering a range of social and volunteer opportunities, is dedicated to helping older adults create and maintain connections.

The Senior Center provides extensive programs for older adults in Northampton and surrounding communities.

RSVP specializes in matching older adults with volunteer opportunities.

Fundraiser to support school music programs

AMHERST — A fundraising event for the music program in the Amherst-Pelham Regional and Amherst public schools is taking place at The Drake at 44 North Pleasant St., Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Yasu Suzuki and Marcia Gomes will be joined by special guest Evelyn Harris, for the concert “Protect Our Investment: Celebrate Music for All Students K-12.” While a free concert, donations are encouraged. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The concert comes after initial cuts proposed to the elementary school instrumental music program were not implemented. Money raised will support music classrooms, repairs and maintenance for instruments and other music-related expenses.

Suzuki is the orchestra director for the Amherst Regional schools and Gomes, a middle school English teacher in Amherst, also teaches voice at the Institute for the Musical Arts summer rock camp for girls.

Along with Harris, a longtime member of the a capella group Sweet Honey in the Rock, Suzuki and Gomes will be joined by bassist-singer Nick Laurel, who works at Amherst College’s Frost Library, percussionist Nick Shaw, who has led the Conjunto de Bomba at Amherst Regional High School, trombonist Ariel Templeton, who is the Amherst elementary schools band director, and saxophonist Dan Friedman, Pathfinder High School’s music director.

Organ donor event at City Hall

NORTHAMPTON – Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra and State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa will join representatives from the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles and Department of Public Health involved in organ donation to celebrate Organ Donor Month, encouraging members of the public to register as a donor at the RMV when getting or renewing their driver’s license, Real ID, or ID.

In 2023, 549 deceased donors donated organs resulting in 1,401 life-saving transplants through New England Donor Services, the region’s premier organ procurement organization. Members of NEDS also will be present during the celebration, which takes place Tuesday, April 23, at 10:30 a.m. at Northampton City Hall. 

Road work to bring traffic delays

GRANBY — Road resurfacing on East Street between New Ludlow Road and Pleasant Street will commence on the week of May 20. The Department of Public Works advises motorists to seek alternate routes if possible. Roadway detours and/or closures are anticipated. Residents may experience short-term inconvenience/delays due to construction operations.