NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

February 25, 2013

City plants seed for parks conservancy


Newburyport Daily News

---- — NEWBURYPORT — There’s a new nonprofit in town and its cause is the city’s own backyard. Parks commissioners have long sought ways to supplement funding to provide park maintenance at a level worthy of Newburyport’s unique and popular parks. Long-time city benefactor, the Mayor Gayden W. Morrill Charitable Foundation, has helped to establish the Newburyport Parks Conservancy, an organization dedicated exclusively to the care and maintenance of Newburyport parks.

To kick off its fundraising efforts, the NPC will hold a Spring Wine Tasting on March 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. in Steeple Hall at the Mission Oak Grill. Sponsored by Port Wine and Spirits and the Mission Oak Grill, organizers promise an evening of music featuring Jazz Trio Lux, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and raffle and a sampling of fine wines.

Event-goers will be able to place orders for wine for holiday celebrations and other occasions at a discounted price. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online at www.newburyportparks.org or at Port Wine and Spirits in the Market Basket Plaza on Storey Avenue in Newburyport.

The Newburyport Parks Conservancy was founded as a “dba” of the the Mayor Gayden W. Morrill Charitable Foundation whose many recent projects include contributing to the renovation of Brown Square, to the construction of the first phase of the Clipper City Rail Trail and to Phase I of the Joppa Park Improvement Project.

Parks administrator Lisë Reid, who has been intimately involved in the establishment of the foundation said in a press release, “By lending their organizational structure to this nonprofit, trustees of the Mayor Gayden W. Morrill Charitable Foundation have allowed us to skip the lengthy process of incorporating a new charity and go directly to the important work of raising money to improve the maintenance of our many fabulous parks.”

Newburyport public relations firm Matter Communications has agreed to support startup costs, so that donations to the new foundation will go entirely to park maintenance rather than to administering the organization. “Acting as our founding sponsor is just one of the many ways I have seen Matter’s president Scott Signore contribute to the community,” said Reid. “His support has been essential to getting this effort up and running.”

Trustees of the Mayor Gayden W. Morrill Charitable Foundation helped establish the Newburyport Parks Conservancy to maintain the improvements to which they have given their support. Funds raised by the NPC will support maintenance and improvement projects in the city’s 19 parks including projects like annual renewal of wood fiber safety surfacing in playgrounds, repairs to play equipment and other amenities, professional landscaping services as the city strives to improve lawns and gardens in its parks, off-leash areas and larger improvement projects to beautify those amenities and portions of parks which need replacing with age.

The Newburyport Parks Conservancy operates as a 501c3 organization, making donations 100 percent tax-deductible. Those interested in donating to the conservancy may learn more by visiting www.newburyportparks.org, sending an email to info@newburyportparks.org or calling 888-465-1733.