Archive 2008 - 2019

What the Judges Saw in Holliston - part 7

by The Publisher

Overall Impression (OI) Recommendations: Holliston is a jewel among uncut gems. If you enter Holliston from either Sherborn or Milford or Medway, you will immediately know what this means, because typical Massachusetts communities surround Holliston. Frequent and colorful floral displays immediately set the stage for more color as one progresses to town center. Then the eyes have to choose between color on the side, color on the street poles, and newly renovated section of Washington Street, still with flashing lights during our tour dates at intersections preparing drivers for the soon-to-come fully operating traffic signaling. If all one did was to drive through Holliston on Route 16, it would be apparent that things are good in Holliston, and they are becoming better. We recommend creating a Community Bulletin Board and kiosk featuring events of the month located at Blair Park , or perhaps at the Mobil Mart, or even the Rail Trail crossing of Central at the unofficial parking area across from Coffee Haven.

If you stop at Town Hall you will find the historic cemetery and the church, not uncommon in small towns. But they are bounded in front by the ‘Big Bed’ gardens and its blocks of color; behind by two new electric vehicle charging stations; across the street by the trees at the Carnegie Library with its (shush now, don’t tell) its ‘Secret Garden’ in the front and new Pollinator Garden at the rear. The sense of community provided by the public color has become contagious apparently, because two banks and the fueling station have installed their own front landscaping. We recommend the Garden Club begin a new commercial landscaping campaign to increase the number of business with featured landscapes. The judges had a big advantage over the tour hosts because they had visited the prior year for the America in Bloom Annual Symposium and Awards Ceremony, but we were treated like royalty. We were invited to speak at the annual Community Celebration and interviewed for television; given a private viewing of the Community Farm and its secluded apiary; a riding tour of Pinecrest that included the arboretum, mystery rock pile, the community garden and its Pollinator Bed and new butterfly aviary [where we had the privilege to release new butterflies!], and had another television interview; and a very enjoyable riding tour of the Rail Trail with its myriad of attractions and unique features. And still allowed time to collect our thoughts daily and initiate the Evaluation Report. What a pleasure to meet all the energetic people, the forward-thinking Trustees, and many other attributes included in Holliston. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORKS!

We were particularly impressed with the town’s efforts for preservation of their records, children’s activities available at the Library, the exuberance and authenticity of the Historic Society tour, and the ventures included in community gardening. We have recommendations in other specific areas, but some were non-committal to any criterion. The Children’s section of the library has posters on the windows that overlook the pollinator gardens. We recommend removing them to increase the view of the gardens or have in their place posters that are related to pollinator gardens. We mentioned concern about the original materials at the Historic Society and the lack of protection for viewing; we recommend making high-quality copies for display, and temporarily storing these valuable original records at Town Hall facilities until you can arrange for separate storage.