What's Happening Now

May 31, 2021, with additional text November, 2021

Nahant becomes a Tree City U.S.A.

Nahant Tree City USA ceremony with Selectman Josh Antrim, SWIM Executive Director VI Patek, Town Administrator Antonio Barletta, and Fire Chief Austin Antrim.
Selectman Josh Antrim, SWIM Executive Director Vi Patek, Town Administrator Antonio Barletta, and Fire Chief Austin Antrim in October, 2021, with newly planted trees provided by SWIM. 

On May 31, 2021, SWIM's Vi Patek sent out an email to SWIM members announcing that Nahant had become a Tree City U.S.A., with a formal announcement at a Board of Selectmen meeting and a press release in the Lynn Daily Item to follow.  A requirement of this designation is the formation of a Tree Task Force for the management of public trees which is described in Nahant's new Tree by-law shown below.  The Tree Task Force is already at work serving Department of Public Works' Superintendent Zach Taylor in his efforts to manage Public Shade Trees and the future of our community forest.  The first duty will be to inventory all trees on public lands, and good progress has already been made.  The leader of the Task Force is Wendy Wornham.  The four other members are Tom Price, George MacNaughton, Sharon Hawkes and Kristy Lee.  This is a big step forward in the preservation, restoration and management of our town trees. 

From the November 2021 SWIM Newsletter:  ... [Our] urban forest is declining rapidly due to age and disease.  New trees need to be planted and through SWIM, twelve trees have been planted:  six pine trees on East Point at Lodge Park on May 2, and six out of ten Arborvitae at the Town compost dump on October 19. ... As part of our Plant a Tree Program, SWIM has pledged gifts to the Town for the planting of trees annually.  Trees are good for our health.  They cool us with their shade and calm us with their beauty.  They clean our air and water.  Let's plant trees! 

New Nahant By-Law:  Creation of a Nahant Tree Task Force

There is hereby created and established a Nahant Tree Task Force which shall consist of five volunteer residents who will be named by the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works to serve him for the purpose of developing and/or updating annually an inventory of all Public Shade Trees along with a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas.  This written plan shall be presented every year to the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works and to the Tree Warden for their convenience. 

March 30, 2021

Arbor Day Tree Planting at the Johnson School

Johnson School tree planting.
Tree planting at the Johnson School.  Photo by Vi Patek.

On March 30, 2021, in celebration of Arbor Day, Johnson School Principal Kevin Andrews and students planted a tree donated by SWIM in front of the school. Our children are learning about the importance of trees!

March 27, 2021

SWIM Sponsors Dune Grass Planting

Zach Taylor discussing the dune grass planting project.  Photo by Vi Patek.
SWIM Members planting dune grass.
SWIM volunteers planting dune grass.  Photo by Vi Patek.

On March 27, 2021, for the second year and thanks to our collaboration with DPW Superintendent Zach Taylor, volunteers planted dune grass seedlings along Short Beach to help stabilize our fragile dune. We had a wonderful time planting the little seedlings which hold so much promise for protection of our most critical dune. SWIM paid for 3,300 seedlings.

October 26, 2020

Backyard Environmental Tips from SWIM's Vi Patek 

A cheap way to make a back yard a better environment is to reduce the size of the lawn!  The health of trees and bushes can be dramatically improved by increasing the circle of mulch underneath them.  Trees naturally grow with dead leaves and natural litter around them - try to find a wild tree without natural litter beneath it.  Traditionally, we plant grass right up to the trunks and mow it, maintaining a hard surface.   Instead, spread mulch from the trunk about 2" thick (do not ever let it actually touch the trunk since this causes the tree to grow unnatural roots near the trunk instead of fanning out its fine feeder rootlets) all the way out to the outermost edges of the branches.   In the fall, just leave the fallen leaves there!  Less work!  You can plant many bulbs in the mulch this fall for a gorgeous spring display next year.  In spring, you can plant a groundcover in the mulch, such as Pachysandra which is not native but certainly better for the tree and the environment than an unnatural, hard surfaced lawn.   Rainwater runs off a lawn but groundcover absorbs it and helps nourish the tree.  Also, less lawn means less mowing, which means less gasoline exhaust, noise and dust!

I reduced the lawn next to our driveway and created an attractive new curved edge to the remaining lawn.  This particular lawn was very matted, so I cut out the sod in the shallowest cuts possible so as not to damage the fine feeder roots.  I also added a little new soil in areas where the old soil was gravelly or sandy.  I used Pachysandra, which is easy to get in flats of 50 little plants.  Plant each Pachysandra about 5" apart, then add mulch to keep moist and stop erosion.  Keep the Pachysandra moist by sprinkling once a week.  I would have preferred a native groundcover but could not find one suitable for the site.  Here is a great search engine for native plants you can buy at the Native Plant Trust in Framingham:  https://plantfinder.nativeplanttrust.org/Plant-Search

August 29, 2020

SWIM Hosts Virtual Arbor Day Celebration

Photo by Vi Patek
Photo by Vi Patek.

On August 29th, 2020, SWIM went virtual for Arbor Day (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and published its PowerPoint presentation celebrating Nahant residents' favorite trees. Residents submitted photos, poems, and stories expressing what these trees meant to them. The celebration is intended to be open-ended and we look forward to adding more messages about Nahant trees in the future. If you would like to add to the collections, contact nahantswiminc@gmail.com. To view this wonderful celebration of our trees, see the link below. The photographs of the trees seen in the stories were provided by the individuals who submitted the stories; other photographs are by Nancy Cantelmo and Vi Patek, unless otherwise noted.

May 25, 2019

SWIM and the Nahant Wetlands Bylaw Review Committee

Nahant residents, after considering whether or not to rescind the new Wetlands Protection Bylaw at Nahant’s Annual Town Meeting held on April 27, 2019, voted instead to establish a Wetlands Bylaw Review Committee as proposed by Frank Guidara. This committee is to be composed of members drawn from the Conservation Commission, the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board, the Finance Committee, and SWIM’s President Vi Patek or another named SWIM representative. Before the Annual Meeting, SWIM had collaborated with Conservation Commission and sent in a town-wide mailing on April 22nd relevant information about the Nahant Wetlands Protection Bylaw. For more information, see the SWIM 2019 Wetlands Protection Bylaw Information Sheet.

May 10, 2019

SWIM Co-Hosts Earth Day Environmental Symposium

On Monday, April 22, 2019, Nahant SWIM Inc. partnered with the Nahant Preservation Trust to co-host an Earth Day Environmental Symposium, “Beautiful, Yet Fragile, Nahant”.

Five speakers made presentations about their areas of expertise focusing on the diverse challenges confronting coastal habitats today. Rising sea levels, pollution, invasive species and storms were addressed. Actions that can make a difference were presented: for example, planting native plants and trees, continuing to protect nature preserves and studying the interaction of people with the environment.An attentive audience of about 80 residents lingered afterward to converse with the speakers.

The speakers and other information are shown in the attached Earth Day Symposium invitation. For information about composting, see the attached SWIM Composting Flyer.

October 12, 2018

Curbside Composting Service Coming to Nahant

In November, 2018, Black Earth Compost Company will begin curbside collection of compostable waste for participating Nahant households. For more information about this service, and to sign up if interested, go their website at https://blackearthcompost.com/nahant-ma/.

July 16, 2018

Nahant's Rainfall Measurements

Vi Patek's Rainwater Gauge
Vi Patek's rainwater gauge

Vi Patek notes, “As far as I know, there is no official rain gauge on Nahant.  Rainfall reported in the media is typically collected at our regional airports, which are not necessarily representative of Nahant's weather.  So I have become a rain measurer with an official standardized rain gauge via www.cocorahs.org. CoCoRaHS stands for Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. I read my gauge every morning before 7 a.m." To check the posted readings, go to their website (https://www.cocorahs.org), and then click 'Maps'. Next, scroll down to 'New Map' and click 'MA'. Then, scroll down below the map and click 'Station Name'. This will alphabetize all station names making it easier to find Nahant or any other town in MA.  Vi’s station number is ‘MA-ES-45’ and name is ‘Nahant 0.4 N’.  A photo of her rain gauge, which measures to the hundredths of an inch of rainfall, is shown. Between June 6th and June 14th, she measured only two hundredths of an inch of rain, and recommended people keep watering new plantings. Fortunately, by the morning measurement of June 15th, 0.37 inches of rain had fallen.

October 12, 2018

Short Beach Clean-up Held on September 16

Short Beach Beachcleaning Volunteers, Linda Pivacek and Susannah Corona. Photo by Vi Patek.
Short Beach beach cleaning volunteers, Linda Pivacek and Susannah Corona. Photo by Vi Patek.

This fall, SWIM partnered for the second time with CoastSweep to clean our coastline, and this year our efforts coincided with International Coastal Cleanup Day. We plan to continue with this partnership and timing in future years. For Nahant, this was the first cleanup in a long time that occurred on an actual beachgoing day. Short Beach was full of happy people in their bathing suits, and it was gratifying to see individuals and families leave their fun and relaxation to come to our tables, sign in and pick up bags and gloves to clean the beach. This set an example for everyone on the beach and helped children understand what a difference volunteering can make to our environment. According to our paperwork, about 70 people participated in cleaning Short Beach. Many thanks to all the volunteers!

April 12, 2018

SWIM and Nahant's Arbor Day Proclamation

On April 5th, 2018, the Nahant Selectmen accepted the text of the Arbor Day Proclamation for 2018 (see attached pdf below) and expressed support for planting trees around town, including tree planting by children during a Town activity event. SWIM had requested that the Proclamation be declared by the Selectmen in order for Nahant to comply with its application for designation as a Tree City USA. According to the application process, this Proclamation must be made official one year before applying for that status. The proposal should be included in the Warrant for 2019 and, if the Selectmen and residents choose to make Nahant a Tree City USA next year, monies could then be channeled to the Department of Public Works for a tree maintenance and planting program.

November 17, 2017

SWIM Introduces A Guide to Exploring The Rocks of Nahant

Nahant has a fascinating geological history and rocks are everywhere you look. Several years ago, Vi Patek, Director of Nahant SWIM, Inc., noted that visitors to Nahant’s beaches were often fascinated by the variety and beauty of the rocks: children and adults alike enjoyed gazing at rocks, collecting rocks, climbing on the cliffs and swimming in rocky coves while on Nahant. Together with former SWIM board member Ellen Antrim, geologists Barry Sidwell and Malcolm Hill, graphic designer Amy Klee and photographers Maria Peterson and Christopher Marks, they created A Guide to Exploring The Rocks of Nahant and How to Become a Rock Detective, a geology guide to aid in rock identification and explain the geological history and formation of Nahant's rocks and their unique characteristics.

The book has been written to appeal to all ages, to be durable enough to survive a day at the beach and to serve as a great beginner’s guide to geology and rock identification. In creating this guide, the authors and Nahant SWIM, Inc. hope to spark interest in the geology, history and beauty that surround us, and encourage a desire to protect our beaches. SWIM will donate copies to the Nahant Library and the Johnson School. Individual copies may be obtained by contacting SWIM at nahantswiminc@gmail.com or going to Nahant Public Library. A donation of $10 is suggested to cover SWIM's costs. An additional story about the book was published in the Lynn Item at (https://www.itemlive.com/2017/11/15/nahant-rocks-inspired-curious-grandchildren-four-environmentalists-study-local-geology/).

October 28, 2017

Marine Science Center Open House and Coastsweep Clean-up Keep SWIM Members Busy on October 14

On Saturday, October 14, SWIM members joined visitors celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Northeastern University Marine Science Center at its annual open house, and took the opportunity to display SWIM information, collect names of those who want to hear our news, and provide SWIM refillable water bottles for donations. On the same day, SWIMmers participated in the COASTSWEEP worldwide cleanup and, with additional volunteers, brought Short Beach back to its beautiful natural state. By the end of the summer, this popular beach was badly littered, requiring greater efforts than our Beachkeepers could provide alone. SWIM has now established plans for an annual autumn cleanup of Short Beach in association with COASTSWEEP (https://www.mass.gov/coastsweep).

October 28, 2017

Greenscapes Presentation Held at the Johnson School

Students at the Johnson School enjoyed the fourth annual Greenscapes classroom program “Keeping Water Clean” on September 15, 2017. The educational event, sponosored by SWIM, was designed to help children understand why water runoff is a critical issue for the health of the ocean and for our own health.

October 27, 2017

SWIM Co-Sponsors Annual Nahant Coastal Bioblitz

On Sunday, September 10, 2017, SWIM collaborated with the Ocean Genome Legacy of the Northeastern Marine Science Center in the third annual public scavenger hunt to document Nahant’s coastal biodiversity. Over 120 sleuths of all ages recorded 600 observations about local marine organisms from six of Nahant’s beaches. Volunteers helped the participants identify 60 marine species.

August 17, 2017

SWIM Donates Trees to Nahant

Nahant DPW employees plant a Scholar Tree in Marjoram Park
Nahant DPW employees plant a Scholar Tree in Marjoram Park

SWIM donated a Red Oak, two White Oaks and a Japanese Scholartree to the town. These four trees were planted in Marjoram park this summer as a gift to the residents of Nahant. The Plant a Tree Program program was inspired by a presentation about trees by Barbara Warren, Executive Director of Salem Sound Coastwatch, at the Nahant Lifesaving Station in April of 2016 under the auspices of SWIM and the Nahant Garden Club. This event generated a lot of enthusiasm to address the need to plant more trees on Nahant. Nahant residents donated money to our program and SWIM bought the trees and gave them to the town.

August 8, 2017

SWIM Provides Scholarships for Nahant Students

Thanks to the continued support of generous donors, SWIM was able to start an annual program of providing scholarship funds for Nahant’s resident middle and high school students interested in attending the Northeastern University Marine Science Center’s Coastal Ocean Science Academy (COSA) summer program. In 2017 we expanded the reach of these funds to high school and college age residents seeking internships at Northeastern University. We are grateful that your generous donations allow us to make this opportunity available to our young people interested in ocean science.

To learn more about COSA, please visit http://tinyurl.com/nucosa2017.

August 5, 2017

Drinking Fountain Installed at Wharf

Testing out the new fountain
Testing out the new fountain

The next time you visit the wharf, try out the brand new water fountain attached to the wharf building’s wall. It features a bubbler and a water bottle filler cleverly installed on a custom made wooden base painted to match the building’s trim.

This plaque was installed at the fountain
This plaque was installed at the fountain

Two years ago SWIM decided that the public needed a source of drinking water at the wharf and that this would also be a means of expressing our mission to reduce the use of disposable water bottles and increase the use of refillable ones. We asked the Town if we could donate one. The answer was affirmative, but there was a two year delay due to construction plans for the wharf, the first of which was to completely rebuild the water pipe array in the wharf area. The Town has had the water tested and it is clean. In the meantime, our Wharfinger/Harbormaster Rob Tibbo chatted with Mark J. Irvine, President of Robert W. Irvine & Sons, and Mark offered to install the fountain as a gift. More time passed and Mark generously offered to also pay for the fountain itself and requested that we explain that the contribution is from The Nahant Lobstermen. We will be installing a plaque above the fountain with this information.

August 1, 2017

SWIM Works with Greenscapes Program

Greenscapes instructors from Salem Sound Coastwatch educate local children
Greenscapes instructors from Salem Sound Coastwatch educate local children

SWIM is working closely with the town via our Greenscapes Program to satisfy the more stringent EPA regulations for its MS4 Permit Input (Municipal Separate Stormwater Systems) going into effect in 2017, especially in the area of educating the public. The Johnson School will benefit from its third annual Greenscapes classroom event “Keeping Water Clean” to help children understand why water runoff is a critical issue for the health of the ocean and for our own health. We are planning a public event about lawn care and the environment.

May 7, 2017

SWIM Holds Nahant Beach Clean-up Day

SWIM’s Annual Nahant Beach Clean-up Day on May 5, 2017 focused efforts on cleaning Short Beach, Doggie Beach (that is, Black Rock Beach) and Tudor Beach.

April 29, 2017

SWIM Nalgene Bottles Available

SWIM Nalgene

Please consider eliminating your use of disposable water bottles and changing over to refillable ones. Disposable water bottles are designed for single use and their chemicals can leach into your drinking water if you re-use them, especially if they become hot in the sun or in your hot car. The very best solution is glass refillable water bottles but they are expensive and cannot be used at pools and in other situations.

SWIM has designed its own high quality Nalgene water bottles for you. We are offering them for a suggested contribution of $8.00 each, which is our cost. Please let us know if you would like any. Just email us at nahantswiminc@gmail.com.

September 19, 2016

Annual Nahant Coastal Bioblitz a Success

Bioblitz flyer

In September 2016, SWIM collaborated with the Ocean Genome Legacy of the Northeastern Marine Science Center, and participated in the second annual public scavenger hunt to document Nahant’s coastal biodiversity. Over 150 sleuths of all ages recorded 525 observations about local marine organisms from six of Nahant’s beaches. Volunteers helped the participants identify over 50 marine species.

April 10, 2016

Right Whale Visits Nahant

Photo by Bill Ludke
Photo by Bill Ludke

SWIM spread the news via our distribution list (almost 400) and large numbers of people were alerted to admire this magnificent, rare giant gently swimming along our shores. What a privilege – only about 500 are left in the world…

Woman on Beach by Alice Cort
Vi Patek by Dalia Shilas
Woman and Children on Rocks by Alice Cort

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