To the editor,
Marblehead seems to be suffering from a severe case of “neglect.” This, unfortunately, is very evident around town and certainly sends a poor message. A community such as ours enjoys being visited by people from around the country and around the world; however, what message are we sending to these visitors when they see so much evidence of this neglect? Several areas within the historic downtown, areas to which visitors often come, look as if no one cares to ensure that we send a positive statement that we care about our community.
For example, the gardens around the lovely old townhouse are choked with weeds and the grounds of Fort Sewall are a disgrace! So much time and effort went into refurbishing this very important area, primarily by a group of dedicated volunteers, with the idea that it would send a strong statement that Marblehead cares not only about preserving the history of which we are so proud, but also about how we are seen. Unfortunately, walking up the path is an embarrassment!
Most of the low bushes that were planted as a part of this project are dead or dying and the area is choked with large weeds. A series of young trees was planted to replace, among others, the “iconic tree” that had stood there as a beacon for so many years before succumbing to age and storms. Unfortunately, these are classic examples of the townwide neglect and appear to be dying. In addition, the trees that were planted along Atlantic Avenue in an attempt to improve the appearance of that busy commercial area are also looking pathetic (from neglect?).
We all hear that funds are limited and boards and commissions are understaffed but I feel that we should take a hard look at our priorities. I think that many of us are tired of seeing the growing evidence of this rampant neglect — whether in school buildings that are not maintained properly or trees and bushes that are allowed to die. I do not have a solution to offer but I can only hope that there can be an increase in awareness to this concern throughout the community. I think that letting our elected officials know that we care about how we are presenting our town to the world at large might be a beginning. Marbleheaders throughout history have risen to the cause when the need arose so let’s hope this can happen again before our lovely town is overcome by neglect!