Volume 2 | June 2018
Notes on Connection From Around Westborough
Welcome to our second Westborough Connects newsletter! The goal of this periodic communication is to shine a spotlight on the positive things going on in our community, including upcoming/recent events from Westborough Connects and other Westborough community organizations; interesting interviews with local people; examples of "connection" across our community; and noteworthy resources in Westborough and beyond. We welcome your input and would love to highlight the things that matter to you, so please send ideas/comments to WestboroughConnects@gmail.com.
It's a Wrap! Westborough Connects Hosts 1st Hot Topics Workshops
The May 14th Elementary & Middle School Hot Topics Workshop event was a great success with 8 featured workshops on a variety of topics of interest for parents/caregivers of K-8th grade students. Workshop topics included nutrition & children, social & emotional learning, technology in the classroom, youth behavior risk and more. If you were unable to attend but would like to review some of the workshop information and materials, click here. Westborough Connects wishes to thank the Westborough Public Schools for their tremendous support and partnership on this event, particularly Superintendent Amber Bock, Asst. Superintendent Daniel Mayer and Mill Pond Principal Suzanne Kenny. We also wish to thank the workshop leaders who took their own time during the busy month of May to put together some outstanding presentations for all of us. Feedback was very positive and we plan to offer similar workshop events aimed at parents and caregivers in the future. 
Westborough Comes Together for Good!
The annual clean-up effort sponsored by the Westborough Community Land Trust fell on a beautiful April Saturday and so many people gathered all over town to clean up trash. After a productive morning, volunteers came together to celebrate their good work with an appreciation luncheon on Baystate Commons!
 
Picking up litter feels good and can be fun, as demonstrated from these photos taken at the large-scale family-friendly site, where over 100 kids and their parents came together to clean a very littered section of Smith Parkway (by the MBTA station). Many thanks to the WCLT and sponsors around town: Arturo's Ristorante, Mugford's Flower Shoppe, Roche Bros. Supermarkets, Route 9 Dunkin' Donuts, and both Westborough Stop & Shop stores. And thank you to all who participated - we look forward to next year!!
Let's keep the Westborough Spirit going!!

Remember the Westborough 300th anniversary celebration last year? Our incredible Spring Fest 2017 - such a fun day of activities and gathering at Lake Chauncy, capped off with an amazing fireworks display over the lake? Where were you along the route in September as the epic parade passed through town? These and other commemorative events awakened a community spirit across town that people would love to see continue beyond the anniversary. The still-forming Westborough Spirit Committee is seeking members from the community to help plan and steer future events! Monies left over from the anniversary celebration will provide seed money for this new group to begin event planning. Whether you're new to town or have been here for generations, please consider being part of this wonderful effort. Interested in being on this committee?? Then, reach out to the Westborough Board of Select man ( selectmen@town.westborough.ma.us or Town Hall, 34 West Main St., Westborough, MA 01581). You may also email Reene Hatherley at reenehatherley@mac.com with any questions.
Upcoming Westborough Connects Planning Meeting
ALL are welcome, please join us!!

Westborough Connects will hold a planning meeting on June 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm at Release Well-Being Center . Attendees will discuss program and event ideas for the next 6-8 months. We already have a number of suggestions and we welcome new ideas! Please consider attending this meeting and sharing your ideas and expertise for planning events around important topics of interest to Westborough. We hope to have an outline for a few events that appeal to multiple groups of our residents: old, young, families and individuals. RSVP here . We hope to see you there. (If you cannot make it but wish to share thoughts and ideas, email us!)
Interested in Westborough Connects, but you can't make the Programming Committee meeting and are not sure how to get involved? Here are some options:
  • Subscribe to our mailing list to receive our newsletters, invitations and information.
  • Join one of our committees. Click here for a description of our current committees and here is a form to sign up for one of them.
  • Contact our Steering Committee Chair, Maureen Ambrosino (maureenconnects@gmail.com) with questions.
Community Event Highlights
Westborough's FIRST EVER Move and Groove Into Mill Pond dance for 3rd graders was a blast! Kids from all 3 Westborough elementary schools and their parents descended on Mill Pond on May 4th to meet new friends and dance their hearts out. This was a great opportunity for families to connect as they prepare to come together as fourth graders next year in the same school. Thank you to Amy Wallace, Jennifer Kirkland and Westborough Recreation, Suzanne Kenny at Mill Pond School, Armstrong Parent Group, Hastings Parent Group and Fales Parent Group for this great event!

Proceeds from the ticket sales went to Project Graduation for the WHS class of 2018. Way to pay it forward, third graders (WHS class of 2027)!!
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Veteran's Luncheons
The Westborough Senior Center hosts a quarterly luncheon for military veterans and all are welcome to come. Thanks to the Westborough Rotary Club, there is no cost for veterans; other guests pay $5 to attend.
Each luncheon features different speakers and topics.

In April, the Veteran's Advisory Board sponsored the event which featured special guest Massachusetts Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Francisco A. Urena.

The next luncheon, Remembering World War II is scheduled for June 21st at noon and sponsored by Chik-fil-a and Cumberland Farms. Sue Wilkins, Director of Education at The International Museum of World War II in Natick, MA, will be the featured presenter. Please RSVP by calling the Senior Center at 508-366-3000.
Upcoming community event: LEARN to COPE will host a presentation for people and families impacted by addiction on June 12th, 7pm at First United Methodist Church in Westborough. The event is free and open to all. Learn to Cope is a non-profit support network that offers education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to opiates or other drugs. Click here for more information on this event.
Free presentation on “Earth-Friendly Gardening”
Sponsored by Westborough Community Land Trust, presenter Mark Richardson will address how you can help the environment while creating beautiful gardens and landscapes in your own yard. Attendees will learn what to plant and what not to plant, in order to save energy, use less water, help pollinators, and live sustainably in many other ways. Speaker Mark Richardson oversees the New England Wild Flower Society’s botanic garden, Garden in the Woods, and its native plant nursery operation, Nasami Farm.

The presentation is free and open to the public on June 18th from 7-8pm at St. Luke's Parish Hall in Westborough. WCLT Annual Meeting will follow from 8-9pm. Email events@westboroughlandtrust.org with any questions.
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CONNECTion Spotlight
Westborough Free Perennial and Plant Swap group on Facebook!!
Westborough resident Corrie Marino, an avid lover of plants, knew there were other people in town like her: she had an abundance of some perennials growing in her yard, too many of one kind or another. On the other hand, she wanted to add to the variety of her landscape without spending a ton of money. So, she created a Facebook group, "Westborough Free Perenial and Plant Swap," where Westborough residents could post about excess plants they were willing to pass along and where they could go to find free plants others were willing to part with. They also share tips and tricks for growing! In a short couple of months, the group has grown to 238 members - connecting with each other and with the earth in Westborough! Interested in joining this group? Click here.
Westborough Garden Club helps Westborough welcome spring!
Speaking of gardening ('tis the season!), have you noticed the beautiful planters and garden beds throughout various parts of the downtown. That is thanks to the wonderful work of our Westborough Garden Club and its Downtown Beautification Project. Thank you to all involved!!

This club has been around for over 85 years - Wow! For more information, visit the website here.
Noteworthy Articles & Resources
Article points to "connection" as antidote
Thanks to Westborough selectman Syed Hashmi for passing along this article about the powerful impact of community and connection. A trial on building community supports and seeking to reduce isolation among residents in the town of Frome, England showed a significant decrease in the number of emergency room visits (17%) - WOW! According to comments from physician Julian Abel in The Guardian article , “No other interventions on record have reduced emergency admissions across a population." Click here to read this fascinating article.
Helpful Community Contacts
As we approach summer when Westborough seems to slow down a little and many people head off in different directions, it's important to remember that there are still resources available for those in need. While this list is not exhaustive, we wanted to include some contacts for your easy reference in the event you should need them.

  • Westborough Youth & Family Services: 508-366-3090
  • Council on Aging: 508-366-3000
  • Westborough Food Pantry: 508-366-3007
  • Westborough Public Schools: 508-836-7700
  • Veterans Services: 774-551-5782
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
About Westborough Connects