NSRWA has long worked closely with many committed Marshfield allies to create a network of South River parks and trails. These include creating and landscaping South River Park; acquiring the 37.5 acre Pratt parcel on the north bank of the South River; planning for connecting south bank trails; and most recently designing and funding a canoe and kayak launch at the Keville Footbridge and adding trails and parking to the Pratt parcel.
These initiatives will take constant vigilance to maintain, monitor and expand. To that end we are pleased to have helped to organize, support and participate in the Friends of South River Park and Greenway. There is an advisory board to be chaired by Susan Caron, a former Marshfield Open Space Chair who has been a driving force behind the South River Park and Greenway concept. Other members include: Karen O’Donnell and Sue MacCallum, both members of the Marshfield Open Space Committee; Jay Wennemer, Marshfield Conservation Agent; Dave MacDonald, professional organic landscaper; Susan and Michael Wolfe, Marshfield residents; and Betsy Appleby, Board member of Good Will Hunters, a nonprofit that supports community causes in Marshfield.The Friends group was approved by the Marshfield DPW to provide support to the town to develop a sustainable maintenance plan for the South River Park.
Using thoughtful and professionally guided landscape practices, the Friends seek to protect the investment made by the community in this park, protect and preserve the land that buffers the South River, provide ADA accessibility to riverfront views and Veteran’s Honor Roll, and enhance the visual entry to Marshfield.
Check this out! http://friendsofsrpg.org/
The History of South River Park
The South River Park, the first link in the proposed South River Greenway, is a beautiful 1.7 acre park, which includes trails, rain gardens and permeable pavers, restored native vegetation and access to the South River via a boardwalk and overlook.
The park is the culmination of countless hours of planning and volunteer labor. Partners included the NSRWA, Town of Marshfield staff and funding from Marshfield Town Meeting and the CPA.
The building of the boardwalk at the South River Park was a labor of love for builder and NSRWA volunteer John Zarella—owner of North River Marine. He worked tirelessly on this project with support from family or friends to build this beautiful, solid boardwalk which finally gives the handicapped visual access to the South River.
Invasive species removal was an important component of the park’s construction. The site was overrun with invasives, including Japanese Knotweed, which is particularly difficult to eradicate. The NSRWA secured a $10,000 grant from the Sheehan Family Foundation for the boardwalk construction and removal and control of Japanese Knotweed. A hardy group of volunteers braved the hottest day of the summer to chop down and remove the knotweed.
The South River Park is the gateway into what the NSRWA and Town of Marshfield hope will be a greenway along the South River. In October 2012, the Town of Marshfield voted to acquire another piece of land, helping to bring the South River Greenway closer to reality. The parcel includes 37.5 acres with 2,860 feet of frontage along the South River.
The NSRWA will continue to monitor and advocate for land aquisition opportunities to bring the South River Greenway to fruition.