, Newburyport, MA


January 17, 2014

Air browsing at 1,000 feet


Tendercrop Farm’s total holdings go beyond those up the street to the intersection with Route 1A, but there has been a considerable loss of active farmland to housing in both Newbury Old Town and Byfield, but not so much change along Route 1A from Newbury to Ipswich.

What were once shoe factories in Newburyport are now residences, and I am reminded that Amesbury is rich with similar opportunities for further development of the downtown.

As for open space, there is considerable remaining in Amesbury, Salisbury and Newburyport that share the splendor of the Merrimack River that empties the uplands and lowlands of southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts in its graceful reach to the ocean.

While we may be generally aware of it, the open space we share is best regarded from above.

There is a lot of it, and summer flights out of Plum Island Airport can be remarkably rewarding for a modest investment.

But take an hour to tour comfortably at home via Google Earth this winter, and a day or two of driving along our back roads this spring at, say, not more than 30 mph to marvel at what’s still available despite 400 years of rooting in.


Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and staff columnist. His e-mail address is

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