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Posts from ‘Sam Mix’


Blog 10- The Interest Group Meeting

The purpose of this post is to discuss the community interest group meeting and the events leading up to it.

The few weeks leading up to the meeting were a little quieter than normal. I sent group emails to remind people about the meeting. I had two groups of people who I needed to email. One was the group who I previous met individually with. Another was the group that I had not yet met with. I mentioned this in my previous blog. I brought both groups up to speed so I was able to email them as one big group.

Some responded quickly and some did not. Some did not respond at all. This is the nature of the beast with group emails. I knew this, but waiting can be still hard. While I waited, I started to work on how to plan the meeting. I reach out to a few people and did a little online research, but it was not that helpful. The best thing for me was to think what exactly I wanted out of the meeting. I want a list of ideas/improvements/etc. that was ranked somehow. I am also a person who likes visuals and who imposes his preferences on other people, so I knew maps where going to play a role. After some brainstorming with Jenny Isler, we came up with following schedule:

  1. Meet and settle-in
  2. Opening and welcoming – 5 Minutes
  3. Purpose and induction of everyone – 10 Minutes
  4. Handout individual maps and have everyone draw their “dream Hadwen arboretum” – 10 minutes
  5. Everyone draw their ideas on one big map. 10 minutes
  6. Rap-up, thanks, and good- byes

The idea is that people will take 10 or so minute with markers, pens, and pencils to draw on the own individual maps. Then, each person would stand up and explain and draw what improvement they would like to see and a big group map. The plan was that this would show over lap and where people disagreed. Jenny would also be recording ideas on a poster board in case some ideas were not draw able, like invasive plant removal.

Getting the space was also a little trick because Clark University is starting to gear up for Week One. Week One is the orientation period for freshmen. It starts a week before classes and requires a ton of prep (according to one of my friends who is a coordinator for this Week One). I loved my week one, but now as a rising senior, it means I need to find an after-hour time to meet.

A day or two before the meeting, I made some posters with historic maps of Worcester, a copy of Hadwen’s will, and documentation of the WWI victory garden. I plan to use these posters to show some of the neat stuff I found during my research.

An hour before the meeting, I had time to set up the room. When people first started to show up, that was when I was the most nervous. I slipped up a little when introducing everyone and starting the meeting. Once we started, I felt much better and things ran smoother. Everyone was very engage and polite. Scott Lindgren, Rick Miller, Nicole Apostola, Walter Crackett, Liz Tomaszewski, Scott Guzman, and Tovia Shapiro were there. It was by enlarge, a success.

The most reoccurring suggestions were define maintain trails, encourage native plants, build information kiosks, get rid of invasive plants, improve the composting zone, and clean up front area. The aesthetics and health of the arboretum is important to the interest group. This makes a lot of since because they live near it. They see it and use it regularly.

An interesting thing that I observed was the sizes of the dream compared to age. I originally expected the participants who were closer to my age to have bigger, more expensive ideas and the more mature participants to be more conservative and practical with their suggestions. I found quite the opposed. The younger participant talked about smaller, simpler things like expanding the community garden out a little bit, making a small sitting space, roping off an area reserved for training (arborist, Master gardeners, etc.) The more mature members brought things like acquiring the house in between Fairlawn Hospital and the Arboretum and using it as a visitor center. After giving it some thought I have a hypothesis on this unexpected phenomenon. The older people in the meeting have lived around the arboretum longer and plan to live there longer than myself. The members who were closer to my age may not see the arboretum in the bigger long-term picture as much as the other members.  This is not to say that one group is more important than the other. It is completely the opposite. Both groups where vital, short and long term thinking, old and young, big and small.

I was very happy with the meeting. Now I have to start taking everything I have attained with summer and write a strategic outline for the arboretum. I also need to write a history report about the Hadwen Arboretum. I have done most of the legwork. Now I have to transcribe my work into a presentable format.


Hadwen Arboretum # 9: Finishing up Individual Meetings

This week I made two more contacts in the Hadwen neighborhood: Gerry Powers and Liz Tomaszewski. I arranged to meet with both of them quickly.

I met with Gerry Powers at Nu Café. Gerry had an iPad and we used it to look at the Arboretum and the neighborhood surrounding it. We talked about the Knights of Columbus, the Regional Environmental Council (REC ), and the Neighborhood Association of Columbus Park (NACP), all of whom have an interest in the Hadwen Arboretum. The Columbus Park area borders the Arboretum; Gerry is a member of the NACP. Last year, HASTREES, the Clark student club that “speaks for the Trees of the Hadwen Arboretum”, went to a NACP meeting at Gerry’s home and the members were delighted to talk to the students of HASTREES about what they called “their” arboretum. Their concerns were similar to those expressed by many of the community contacts I have made. Gerry also mentioned The Knights of Columbus are building a parking lot on their property for their new sport fields, which will be adjacent to the Arboretum. This could mean that people can park there and visit the Arboretum.

Liz Tomaszewski is the sustainability coordinator for Worcester Polytechnic Institute, commonly abbreviated WPI. She is also a resident of the neighborhood around the Hadwen Arboretum. She talked to me about the Worcester Brownfield task-force, a group of community leaders, local officials, and state regulators that might be really helpful to get to know down the line. We also talked about getting other colleges in Worcester to collaborate on the Arboretum.  A joint WPI-Clark project might be a great thing to do. She said that she would be happy to be a part of the community interest group meeting I am planning as part of my project.

As a fun side note, I went to see  Zonkeraz, Walter Crockett’s band, perform at Indian Ranch. The band was popular in Worcester during the 1970’s, and had a classic rock n’ roll/Americana feeling which I liked a lot. They played at this beautiful out-door theater and campground. There was a large lake and trees everywhere. It didn’t dawn on me until much later that something like an open space for events could be doable at the arboretum.  Seeing this event brings more merit to the idea of amphitheater at the Hadwen Arboretum.

Jenny and I met with Scott Lindgrin from Pare Corporation.  This is the first time that I had Jenny with me for a meeting. Scott and his company’s Sustainability Team had already done pro bono mapping work for Clark in the Hadwen Arboretum, and Scott generously said he would be willing to do a little more work still. We went over the series of maps that Pare made and discussed what his role could be in the community interest group meeting. He has done this sort of thing many times in his business of environmental consulting and site development. Scott offered to bring copies of the maps so everyone could draw their ideas on them.

Scott also advised that the interest group meeting include just the people from the community, not Clark. The idea behind this is that having Clark people at this meeting could create expectations on the part of community members, or could turn into a different type of meeting than what I intend. The purpose of the community interest group meeting is mainly just to have everyone I have spoken with individually share their ideas in one place, get a good idea of what the community wants (perhaps there will be some good discussion), and bring together people with shared interests who may not know each other. In other words, I am hoping to foster a community interest group! This is an important step in a longer-range strategy. HASTREES convened a campus-based interest group last semester. My project is to develop relationships and an interest group among community members. Next, we will do the same with city and government agencies. The strategy is to collect all the ideas and interested parties with enough momentum to convince Clark to invest in a practice of managed care for the Hadwen Arboretum, instead of benign neglect – or waiting to hear from the neighbors about issues before doing anything. I will need to make it clear to my friends in the upcoming community meeting that their vision is valuable in a longer range plan, but not to expect anything from Clark just yet.

While I will continue to meet with new contacts, I need to work on this next step of my project: convening the community interest group meeting.


Hadwen Arboretum# 8: More Meetings


Since my last post I met with Colin Novick , Jack Foley, and Walter Crocket. I also had a quick phone call with Matt from the Fairlawn Hospital. This week and last week, Jenny Isler is on a vacation, and thus I had a few meetings with Mike Dawley, Director of Clark’s Physical Plant, for guidance.

Colin Novick is from the Greater Worcester Land Trust, an organization dedicated to maintaining open spaces. When I met with him at the Hadwen Arboretum, he brought another GWLT member, Nicole Apiotie who also likes the Arboretum. They both had an impressive understanding of open space laws. When we passed a spot where a neighbor had built illegally on the Arboretum, Colin and Nicole told me about squatter rights. If the person claims a section of land that is not initially his, but his ownership goes unchallenged for a period of time, he can become the legal owner of the land section. Another thing they told me was that because the Arboretum has no access restriction (i.e. has no “Open From… “ signs), Clark University is not liable for any person’s injury. In other words, if a person goes into the Arboretum and gets hurt, this person can’t sue Clark. The GWLT also is working East-West Trail, which was mentioned before in my previous blog. Apparently the GWLT hopes to have the trail go through the Hadwen Arboretum. No new trails are needed. Near the end of our meeting/walk, Nicole said her husband knows a lot of about trees, and that they are willing to catalog some of the trees growing in the Arboretum.

Jack Foley is a Vice President of Clark, as well as the head of community and government relationships. Like any Clark student, I have gotten his group emails and heard his name thousands of times. However this was my first time personally meeting him. He was eager to hear whom I had talked to. When I mentioned someone who he did not know, he almost immediately looked to his computer to see if he could find the individual I mentioned. I liked his enthusiasm. He said that education should be a priority and physical improvement should be a close second for the Arboretum. He said that educating people about the Arboretum is the first thing one should try to do, and then, once people know of it and understand its value, they will want the see an improvement in the arboretum. I need to make a case that Clark should invest time and money into the Hadwen Arboretum. To this end, I mentioned the idea of an amphitheater in the Arboretum. In response, Mr. Foley pointed out how the locals may complain about the noise, and that having more people in the Arboretum may upset parts of the neighborhood. This was a good point and finding a way to bring more attention to the Arboretum without attracting negative activities is important. He also gave me a few names of people who I should contact. One name at the top of his list was Walter Crockett, who I had planned to meet that afternoon.

I met Walter at his house and we walked with his two lovely dogs to the Arboretum. He showed me some of the issues he values, such as trails. A really important note that I got from Walter was that the service projects executed by Clark can be counterproductive, if well meaning. Walter showed me some trails that were blazed by Clark students that spring, which were not maintained and remained unused. It would seem more reasonable that if Clark choses to make new trails in the Arboretum, Clark should also make sure they will be used and that there is some plan for maintaining it. Near the end of our walk, he gave me tickets to a concert, for a local band called Zonkeraz which he is part of. I plan to go soon and will talk about it in the next post.

My conversation with Mike Dawley was mainly about how to approach some individuals and some technical questions. I asked about one of the contacts Jenny had given me. Pare Corporation is an engineering and design firm that did some pro bono work for the Hadwen Arboretum last year, making some maps. I also asked about protocol for hosting a service project. I am thinking of getting the Boy Scouts interested in doing such an activity in the Hadwen Arboretum, and I wanted to know what paperwork would be necessary to initiate such an endeavor.  Mr. Dawley explained that all projects regarding the Arboretum go through him and there is not much paperwork needed on his end.

Jenny Isler, my project mentor, will be coming back soon. I think I have made a lot of progress while she was away.  We will meet soon and see what direction we need to go next!


Lots of productive meetings


I ended my last blog talking about reaching out to people for advice, and attempting to see how they value the arboretum. The first three people I met with were Greg Doerschler, Jim Collins, and Rich Miller.

Greg is the Senior Analyst for Clark and faculty adviser for the Outing Club. We talked about HASTREES, the Arboretum, and education. He currently values the Arboretum for it’s tranquility. He enjoys walking there and having lunch. It gives him a place to get away from work and the urban environment. He likes it but he thinks the space can be made much better. Greg and I also discussed the role of HASTREES, the Arboretum advocacy club. One of the two really important pieces of advice I got from him was that I should figure out how I should make sure that the HASTREES continues to function properly and play a role in making the Arboretum great. It’s a club that could expand its responsibilities and improve its effectiveness. The second thing he said was that I should look into seeing how other departments can use the Arborertum. O.B. Hadwen said in his will that the land he bequeathed to Clark should be preserved for education and scientific purposes. In the past biology and botany have been the only educational departments that used the Hadwen Arboretum. As the plant science disciplines at Clark got smaller, the focus on the Arboretum shrank. This having been said, Greg pointed out that the Art department could use the area, potentially utilizing it for plays, poetry readings, music, drawing, and other activities. Furthermore, the Athletics department has used this space for running and we can capitalize on that utilization.

Another person I met with was Jim Collins. He is the University Vice president and CFO. He has been a major decision maker at Clark for about 30 years, and he runs the financial side of the University. He is the key for figuring out what the university leadership has felt about the Arboretum for the last few decades. I met with him at his office on the 2nd floor of the Geography building. We discussed the relationship between the Arboretum and the University administration. I had previously believed that the main reason that Clark had not sold the Arboretum was because students and community wanted to keep it. What I learned instead was a lot simpler and somehow sadder. It turned out that Clark declined to sell the space not because of the opinions of students, faulty, or community; but because they couldn’t find anyone who would buy it. As I mentioned before, part of the Arboretum is deed-restricted (Hadwen will said it will only be able to be used as arboretum) and another section is also debatably  deed-restricted (did Hadwen’s daughter have the right to give her section of land without the deed restrictions her dad gave?). These deed-restrictions are a huge turn off for developers and they render the land unsellable. Mr. Collins also said that in the 80’s the administration tried to sell the Arboretum to the Worcester Country Horticulture Society, but they were turned down. WCHS instead acquired Tower Hill, which is about 107 acres bigger than our arboretum. Mr. Collins told me it would have been nice for the community to have WCHS here, but they would not have been able to enact the scale of development they did at Tower Hill. The University also thought of building a graduate department building or housing there, but the administration decided that it was too far from the main campus and instead preferred the concept of having all students in one place. The administration ultimately decided to leave the Arboretum as a woodlot, a loosely regulated forest reserved for recreation use and small-scale production. From the viewpoint of a financially-oriented administrator, Hadwen’s gift is more of a burden because of its odd shape, odd placement, and deed restrictions.

The last person I met with this week was the Friends of Newton Hill founder and president, Rich Miller. Friends of Newton Hill is a community group that is dedicated to the preservation of Newton Hill, a section of Elm Park. Ten years ago, Newton Hill was a drug infested, crime ridden, trash filled embarrassment of a park. Miller started with a small group of neighbors to clean up and call the police to take care of crime. He developed a positive relationship with a lot of people (including police, neighbors, and schools), gathering volunteers to work in the park. He also told me that providing positive activities and energy is the greatest way to combat negative energy and activities. Today, Newton Hill hosts music shows, has a Frisbee golf course, and proves a fun, safe green space. To me, Newton Hill is a success story for how to rejuvenate an open space and should be closely looked at. Additionally, Miller told me about the East-West trail. This is an urban walk that is planned to connect Worcester’s major green spaces and parks. It would be similar to the historical walk in Boston, but instead connecting natural open spaces. Newton Hill is one park planned to be part of the East –West trail, and Rick thinks that Hadwen Arboretum might benefit from being linked into this path.

My first three meetings were a large success. I was really worried about meeting strangers to ask for help. However, I decided to take the plunge and so far I am happy about how well things have gone. I realized that most people like to help and give advice. It also probably doesn’t hurt that I am a student and my cause is a good one. I have planned another few meetings for next week and feel more confident about it.


Hadwen Arboretum #6

June 8, 2013

Since the last time I posted, two events have taken place: I went to the famous Arnold Arboretum, and I finally found O.B. Hadwen’s will.

The Arnold Arboretum is located in Jamaica Plain, right outside Boston. One of my friends, Max, came along with me on this day trip. We went into Boston via train, had lunch in Chinatown, and took the subway to the Arnold Arboretum.

We first walked along the rose garden to the visitor center. The grass was well kept and all the trees are labeled with simple little metal plaques. While at the visitor center, I asked the how the Arboretum maintained its grounds, as well as if they had a maintenance master plan. Soon I was led to one of the arboretum technicians– a young woman who was really helpful. She explained to me how the arboretum is broken up into different sections. She walked us through part of the section that she manages. She also told us how, within each section, there are areas that are classified as high or low maintenance. Some areas require more man-power because of the type of vegetation.

As we walked toward her section, we walked through parts of the arboretum that were lower maintenance.. These regions looked more like a forest, with grass and scrubs growing high. There was very minimal maintenance in place in these sections, and as a result, they looked untamed. Our guide said that the maintenance levels of the different areas were prioritized based on their location and the foliage growing there. If it is a section with higher traffic or near a building, it is likely to receive more attention. Furthermore, if an area is home to more valuable or more sensitive trees, it is also likely to be more vigorously maintained.

One other thing she mentioned was how the Arnold Arboretum ensured everything was labeled and cataloged, which is something Clark also should attempt to do. If the Clark University knew where the rarer trees were, they would know what areas they should focus on more closely.

Sadly, the technician had a meeting to attend, so Max and I thanked her, and we parted ways. We then spent about three hours walking around the arboretum. We noticed the arboretum had made an effort to place maps at key locations to help people find their way around. There were also benches, trash cans, and water fountains. Something that struck me as interesting was that there were multiple grades of pathways. The main roads were wide and paved, but there were also quite a few gravel and dirt paths. While the budget for the Hadwen Arboretum is limited, the notion of varying grades of pathways and the sectioning of space are both things we should look into.

The other major event that happened was the discovery of the Hadwen’s will. Two sources came through to help me recover this document. The first was the Worcester Probate and Family Courts. I had sent a request for the will via mail and just got a photocopy in reply. At the same time I ran into Fordyce, Clark’s archive librarian (I mentioned her in my third blog), and she told me she found some records about the Hadwen’s estate that I should look over. The next day when I visited archive, we found another copy of the will. This was an original copy though and record it came with had more documents ? Please review this sentence. Not sure what you mean. The first time I looked at archive, we could not find information about when Clark obtained the Arboretum property, in 1907, up to the 1920s. This information filled that missing gap.

I realized that trustee Arthur Estabrook, who the Clark music building is named after today, was a friend of Hadwen and talked about Hadwen’s property in regards to Clark. This could be the reason why O.B. Hadwen gave his land to Clark. When the property was given to Clark University, it was part arboretum, part farm, part home.  We continued to use it as a farm throughout WWI, turning it into a large-scale victory garden.

Another interesting thing I learned was that Dr. Potter (from blog #3) was involved with the arboretum earlier then I had previously thought. He became a friend with O.B. Hadwen in Hadwen’s later years, and he started to live in Hadwen’s house, known as Magnolia, after the Hadwen family moved out.

A final note: At this point I am beginning to write some emails to the people I would like to get advice from. I would also like to have some of these people became a part of the interest group. Now, I have ended the research part of my summer project and now have to move on to the outreach portion of the project. I am much more nervous about this section than the research. I have to contact and set up times to meet with experts and community leaders to get their advice on how I should begin building value for the arboretum. I will update you after my first few meetings.


Hadwen Arboretum # 5

May 29, 2013

Two interesting things happened since the last time I posted.


One of my “high-hanging fruit” email contacts got back to me. A librarian from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society sent me the link to where they have started to upload a lot of their old records. The link the librarian sent me brought me to a list of annual records, each with the meetings, lectures, and the obituary for that year. Attached is an image of a cover page from one such document. I looked at the years 1901–1903, as those were the years Hadwen was president. As president he gave brief speeches at the start of each year. I also looked at the 1907 issue, the year he passed away. The society’s obituary about him was smaller than the one in The Worcester Magazine, but it referenced a lecture Hadwen gave in 1900, which I later found and read. Beside the section of his will that directly applies to Clark, this is the first time that I have seen Hadwen communicating through his own words. You can see them here.

The second issue of note is that my time left for conducting research is almost up. Like I said in an earlier blog, the low hanging fruits have been picked and it is time to move to the next step. I have enough good information to tell a story about Hadwen and the history of the arboretum. I am to spend the last few day of my research looking up best management practices for Hadwen Arboretum. Because of HA’s uniqueness and the difficulty inherent in categorizing it, finding a complete list of best management practices (BMPs) in one place is difficult. The arboretum is part community garden, part unkempt arboretum, part forest, part open space (sports field), as well as many other things. Thus, this list will be a compilation of different BMPs, goals, and factors important to BMP as ascertained through varying sources.  I plan to look at government and municipal park services, campus greens space, and other actual arboretums.



Hadwen Arboretum #4


I recently got my workspace from Jenny Isler, a nicely sized office in the physical plant building. I had a lot of paper to store and organize from the archive. I spent the last few days looking for more specific information about Obadiah Hadwen.

Low-hanging fruit versus high-hanging fruit is a concept that I learned this semester that has become very useful for me in prioritizing what I have to do. Low-hanging fruits are considered easy activities that yield quick results. High-hanging fruits are more difficulty activities that may take a while to pay off. For this research part of my project, the low-hanging fruits are basic internet searches, what I was already given via Jenny or HASTREES, and Clark resources (Clark’s various libraries). Clark’s archives and rare book collection are a perfect examples of low-hanging fruits. They were easy to access and provided me with an enormous amount of information. Early on I was given a copy of Hadwen’s obituary, which was also a low-hanging fruit.

The last example of low-hanging fruit that I found was from the Guy Burnham Map and Aerial Photography Library. Two things that I was looking for were a map that showed where Wing Kelly Farm was (the farm that Hadwen’s father bought in 1834 that later became today’s arboretum) and a map of the arboretum as he left it in 1907.

What I found at the map library, a lovely, little space hidden in the basement of Jefferson, was an 1833 map of Worcester and a map of Hadwen arboretum done by Clark surveying students in 1911. The 1833 map has property named Wing Kelly shown on it (see below). This was an eureka moment for me because it confirmed the property story in his obituary. In his obituary, it was said that his family moved to Worcester and bought a farm called Wing Kelly Farm in the 1830s (when Obadiah was a young boy).

WKF 1833

The 1911 map done by Clark surveying students is the closest thing we have to Hadwen’s personal arboretum map so far (see below). We now have an idea as to what the arboretum originally looked like.

map1911 whole
Now the smaller, higher-hang fruits include mailing a will request to the county probate court and looking into some of the organizations that Hadwen mentioned in his obituary. I have mailed in the request, but many of the organizations no longer exist, such as the Worcester History Society. I feel that most of these avenues are not going to be that productive. I also have enough information to tell a decent story. There are a few holes in the story, but some holes are good when telling a story.

Now I am moving on to the last part of the research stage, which is mostly looking at other arboretums and Green education programs to make a list of best practices. That is what I will write about next time.


Hadwen Arboretum # 3

Yesterday I had a meeting with Jenny Isler, and we talked about my research. I had found a map of Worcester from 1870 right before this meeting, that I received from the Goddard library. It showed “Elmwood nursery”, and the house in the center of the nursery was marked as belonging to O.B. Hadwen (close up in figure 2).
Worcester 1870
Figure 1 Worcester 1870
Worcester 1870 close-up
Figure 2 Hadwen’s Property 1870

It was at that meeting that I realized today’s Hadwen Arboretum is a reflection on Clark. Hadwen Arboretum is part arboretum, part forest. This is just like how Clark is part research university and part liberal arts college: it’s a mixture. Because of its split composition, it is hard to find a traditional method of managing the arboretum, as both components are unique and require a careful balance.

A big question that Jenny brought up for my research: Why did Hadwen give the arboretum to Clark University?
This question is still on my mind today. Fordyce Williams, the Coordinator for Clark’s archives special collections, was friendly and incredibly helpful. We started with a folder that referenced another folder, and then another still. I soon had tons of information.

Through the research, I found several big Clark names mentioned in conjunction to the arboretum. This includes Atwood, Jefferson, and Higgins. Another name that kept emerging was Potter, whom I had never heard of. He was first mentioned in a letter between him and President Atwood in 1925. Potter showed interest in the Arboretum, and made some recommendations (recommendations about what). You also learn from these yearly letters that there was at one point a full time caretaker on the property, but this arrangement did not work out. A new question emerges from this information, as to why the implementation of a caretaker was such a failure. Potter continued to try a build support for an arboretum. In the 30’s, Atwood formed the Hadwen botany Club with Professor Potter as its president. This club hosted monthly meeting and talks about botany (some Hadwen Arboretum related, and some not). He made another recommendation in 1954, along with others professors, to President Atwood for use of the arboretum. Professor Potter seemed to have been a champion for the arboretum.

I realized with some level of sadness that I am not the first one to try to bring change to the arboretum, and that the lack of attention being paid to the arboretum is not new either. Potter was one of the first to make a recommendation in 1921, and again 1925, then others tried the same in 1954, 1971, 1974, 1978 and the 80’s.

There is also good news I learned from archive as well. The trustees were made numerous offers to sell the land that the arboretum occupies, including ones from the Fairland hospital and Worcester horticulture south. In the 80’s they even commissioned a company to create an outline to build houses on the arboretum. Despite these offers, the trustees ended up deciding to keep the property.

It may be a neglected piece of property, but it’s Clark’s neglected piece of property.

Other things I learned (largely from trustee chair Higgins’s file)
– HA today is really two parcels of land, one given by Hadwen himself (1907), and another from Anne Coes (1931). The 1931 section included the community baseball field. In Coes’ will she placed no constraints upon the property, unlike Hadwen, who specified the land was to stay an arboretum for scientific purposes.
– There is an overgrown road, called Appleton, which fairway hospital technically holds right-of-way to travel upon.
– There was also a legal issue about Clark regarding Hadwen’s will, because the land he bequeathed was not maintained as an arboretum. Despite this issue, since Clark has make not attempts to use this space as something other than an arboretum, Clark is not considered to have violated the will.

The Clark Archive provided a lot of answers, but generated more questions. The big questions surrounding Hadwen are still unclear. Why did he give it this land to Clark? What did Hadwen see in Clark when he wrote his will?

I think I may try to look more into his will. I’ll go to public records and see if I can find a full copy of this document.

I have a week and a half left to do the research section of this project and I still have to look in what practices other arboretums currently implement, as well as conducting a non-market evaluation. I know there was a graduating student who did an economics project on park spaces, and I hope to gain access to her research to further my own project.


Hadwen Arboretum #2

May 11, 2013

Since I last posted, I did an online search on Hadwen Arboretum and Obadiah Hadwen to see what comes up. For the arboretum, Wikipedia has only a scant four sentences:

Hadwen Arboretum is an arboretum in Worcester, Massachusetts. Located in Worcester’s West Side, it is owned and protected by nearby Clark University. The arboretum was bequeathed to Clark by Obadiah Hadwen for historical and ecological purposes upon his death in 1907. A 1978 report by Clark students cataloged 40 different types of trees in the area.

It was categorized as a “wikipedia stub.”  The link is below.

Wikipedia article for Obadiah was not much bigger. It talked about where he lived, what he did, where he when to school, and that he gave Clark University his home (aka Hadwen Arboretum). Very basic.

Clark also has some historical notes on its website, in the form of a PDF from 2006 ( It was the main reference for the two Wikipedia articles, and was written by Greg Doerschler (Clark’s Outing Club adviser) for “talking points”. It had a little bit more information about the arboretum and Mr. Hadwen. I learned that the school had thought of selling or developing the arboretum a few times. I want to know more about this.

At this point, I realized very that I couldn’t understand the arboretum without understating the Man…

The group HAS TREES, is a student group focusing on Hadwen Arboretum. As a member, I was given Obadiah Hadwen’s obituary from The Worcester Magazine, providing many additional details about the man. He was in many ways a Clarkie. His experience with plants began early while working as a farmer. While he eventually became Worcester’ biggest milk producer, he remained incredibly passionate about agriculture and horticulture. He became well respected in these fields, and was involved in numerous clubs and societies. He had dipped his toes into politics. He was also a very important board member at both UMASS and the park commission. After look over his obituary and seeing what he had done, it was clear to me that he was someone special.

Looking at the Clark University’s Arboretum historical notes, it revealed that the information was obtained from Clark’s rare book collection/archives. I know now where I am going to go next.


Hadwen Arboretum

May 8, 2013

Hello everyone!

My name is Sam Mix, I’m an Environmental Science and Policy major and in the Clark class of ’14. This blog will serve to trace some of my progress in working to create value for the Clark University Hadwen Arboretum. I will be working with Jenny Isler, the Clark Sustainability Coordinator, and many others throughout this project.  I have not done something like this (blogging) before and I am horrible at writing (thus, not being an English minor) so bear with me as I write this. The project goal is to make an action, or business, plan for the Hadwen Arboretum, forested area a few blocks off campus that has been left unmaintained.

This project as a lot of unknowns, but I am really excited to get started.

For this post, I will discuss my meeting with Jenny Isler, which happened on May 6, 2013:

Today I met with Jenny Isler in the AC to go over our LEEP project. We have met before multiple times to discuss this matter. This meeting, however, was on the second to last day of school and was the first meeting since I confirm funding though Clark’s LEEP initiative. We broke down my plan into to a few major steps. The first part of what I have to do is pretty clear.

Our general outline so far is as followed:

  1. Research
  2. Out-reach
  3. Convene meeting of stakeholders

Research is my first step. For this stage, my goal is to outline the story of the Hadwen Arboretum, to make a brief economic statement about the value that the arboretum, and to create a set of practices reflecting policies already put in place by other arboretums.

The other steps: To reach out and bring together a group of stakeholder for the arboretum (CU and community), and to figure out what they want to see changed. By then I should have some ideas on how to make the arboretum more valuable. Once this is complete, I will write a proposal and present it to Clark.

I will also be keeping a diary on how these events unfold for myself, as well as a newsletter for the stakeholders.

Other goals may be accomplished. Others may not happen. I feel like this project is going to be bigger than I what I first anticipated.

The Main Question: How to build value in the Hadwen Arboretum?

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