Last weekend (8/29), the District One Neighborhood Association (DONA) resumed its annual summer barbecue potluck at the Mill River Recreation Area. The excellent turn-out reflected neighbors’ eagerness to be together, in person and sharing a meal. Many people said as much, describing the relief of being together in person rather than on a screen. John Porcino led a variety of children’s games, including his famous set of parachute games, paper folding and story-telling. The food reflected the international nature of the neighborhood with dishes from Sri Lanka and India among others.
Poster displays describing District One activities and developments provided useful information to enable neighbors to become engaged proactively in what’s going on around them. These included drawings of the upcoming North Amherst Library renovation that will make our library accessible, provide rest rooms as well as a community room—all thanks to a generous anonymous donor. Residents are very eager for the project to get underway.
Another poster presented some of the recommendations of a District One Planning Committee, DONA project to identify principles for future development and construction related to commercial development, climate change, retail, transportation and farming. The goal is to build consensus among neighbors about the kind of development we want so we can work together with developers to make it happen, rather than playing catch up after developments are too far along to influence.
A third display updated district residents about The Eruptor Project, an 80,000 square foot research and small-scale manufacturing facility, planned for the Mitchell farm between Montague Road and Sunderland Road. DONA’s Neighborhood Eruptor Committee is closely tracking the project and staying in touch with project leadership as the proposal works its way through the Town committees, zoning regulations and approvals needed for it to move forward. One key concern relates to new flood plain maps that appear to limit the land available for development.