Thursday, December 7, 2023

American Planning Association Awards David Mark

David Mark in collectors' item
For 2023, Maynard resident David Mark was selected to receive the Citizen Planner Award from the American Planning Association - Massachusetts Chapter (APA-MA). The AMA-MA awards were bestowed at a lunch event on December 8th, at the Colonial Inn, Concord. David attended with Jean D’Amico, his wife. Also attending from Maynard were Greg Johnson, Town Administrator, and Bill Nemser, Planning Director.

The APA-MA has annual awards in several categories. Most of these are for city and town employees. The Citizen Planner Award is described as this “For a non-professional citizen who has made a distinguished contribution to planning such as members of planning boards, zoning boards, economic development boards or other elected or appointed officials. It could also include roles of citizen activists or neighborhood leaders.”

The award is to one person for the entire state of Massachusetts. David, upon hearing from the Town of Maynard that he had received the award, professed complete surprise, as the town employees who nominated him had kept secret the nomination. The award is for David’s several-years effort to have the Town of Maynard to create a historic site/park at the north side of Maynard. 


 A dedication ceremony for the Marble Farm Historic Site was held on May 2, 2023. This was the culmination of a 3.5-year effort to convert a historic site on town property into a historic site/park. Prior to the start of the project there had been preliminary clearing of the site – as an Eagle Scout project – in 2009. The history of the site itself dates to 1705, when the Marble family had moved there from Andover. Descendants of the family lived there until 1924, when the house burned to the ground.

Initial drawing (David Mark 2020)
As for the timeline of the site project, David Mark, Maynard resident, proposed to Maynard’s Community Preservation Committee in the fall of 2019 for a landscape architect feasibility study. In the spring of 2020 this was approved at the annual Town Meeting with a budget of $8,000. CBA Landscape Architects, Cambridge, MA was contracted for the feasibility study and provided an itemized estimated budget of $101,717. In 2021 this was approved by the Select Board, with a sign-off from the Conservation Commission, and then approved in the spring of 2021 at the annual Town Meeting. Justin DeMarco, Director of Department of Public Works, supervised the project.

The project was put out to bid. Three bids were received. All were significantly higher than the landscape architect estimate. The proposal was reviewed by David Mark and the Town of Maynard to determine which parts could be cut from what was originally proposed (see figure), for possible addition as a separate project at a later time. Cut were the stone dust path around the foundation, the stone dust path connecting the parking area to the Assabet River Rail Trail, the bicycle rack, and a bridge spanning the swale between the rail trail and the site. (There is a level-ground entrance to the site next to where the bike rack was to be created.)

Landscape architect's original plan
The project was put out to bid again. Four bids were received in the fall of 2022. Low bid was accepted, and a ground-breaking event was held on October 17, 2022.

The location is just north of Rockland Avenue and across from Christmas Motors. The site, approximately two-thirds of an acre, encompasses the basement stone walls of the foundation of the house, now surrounded by a four-foot high steel fence, two lawns, several stone walls, and an extensive planting of daffodils and flowering shrubs that began in 2018, courtesy of the Trail of Flowers organization. (, which was started by David. Construction was completed in the spring of 2023 and a dedication ceremony was held on May 2, 2023, to coincide with peak daffodil blooming. Starting with fall 2023, flowering shrubs and tulips have been added to the Marble Farm plantings. 



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