Town of Cummington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results of the

 

2001

 

Open Space and Recreation

 

Survey

 

 

 

Responses of 102 Households

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 23, 2001

 

 

 

 


Cummington Open Space and Recreation Survey

 

Cummington is developing an Open Space and Recreation Plan, with the help of the Conway School of Landscape Design.  This plan will inventory natural, historic and cultural features, identify trends in development and make predictions about how the town will develop in the next 50 to 100 years.  It will serve as a guide to help preserve and protect open lands, historic sites, recreational facilities, and the characteristics of the town.  A Plan finished according to State standards will allow application for State and Federal funds towards land acquisition, historic restoration, and recreational development.  This survey of residents' experience and opinion is very important to the Plan to make sure that the plan reflects the opinions of the community.  PLEASE RETURN BY JANUARY 20, 2001 to a box marked "Surveys" in the Creamery, Community House entryway, Post Office entryway, Library entryway, or the transfer station.

 

1. How satisfied are you with the following in Cummington?  (5=very satisfied, 4=satisfied, 3=neutral, 2=dissatisfied, 1=very dissatisfied, 0=no opinion)                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Check all of the following that in your opinion describes Cummington:                                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H   A town in transition (from what to what?)    See Page 7

 

3.  How much do the following contribute to the character of Cummington? (5=very important, 4=important, 3=neutral, 2=not important, 1=doesn’t contribute, 0=no opinion)            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S    Other   See Page 7_______________________                                                      

T    Other   See Page 8_______________________                                                      

U   Other   See Page 8_______________________                                                      

 

 

4.  How many times per month during the appropriate season and where do the members of your household participate in the following activities?  Do you consider it important to improve or create places for this activity in Cummington? (5=very important, 4=important, 3=neutral, 2=not important, 1=don’t see a need, 0=against making improvements or creating new facilitates) Note: blank responses were counted as 3=neutral

 

Activity

My Prop.

Times/mo

Others Prop.

Times/mo

Public Prop.

Times/mo

In Town

Times/mo

Out of Town

Times/mo

Improve or Create Town Facilities

 

 

Avg

#

Avg

#

Avg

#

Avg

#

Avg

#

5

4

3

2

1

0

5+4

2+1+0

rank

F

Ice-skating

2.0

2

2.4

8

2.2

6

1.0

2

1.5

11

22.6%

27.4%

35.5%

3.2%

4.8%

6.5%

50.0%

14.5%

1

BJ

Use Library

6.3

14

4.0

1

4.1

13

3.3

28

4.0

14

25.8%

21.0%

40.3%

0.0%

4.8%

8.1%

46.8%

12.9%

2

L

Walking on trails

7.8

31

9.6

32

8.0

22

5.6

17

8.6

15

16.1%

29.0%

32.3%

4.8%

9.7%

8.1%

45.2%

22.6%

3

A

Cross country skiing

4.0

23

3.6

23

5.3

15

7.1

14

7.4

21

14.5%

22.6%

38.7%

4.8%

11.3%

8.1%

37.1%

24.2%

4

W

Using playgrounds

27.7

6

20.0

1

7.2

5

5.7

9

10.0

2

16.1%

21.0%

46.8%

0.0%

6.5%

9.7%

37.1%

16.1%

4

H

Sledding/Tobogganing

3.6

20

3.9

14

4.0

8

3.7

9

2.6

7

8.1%

27.4%

41.9%

4.8%

11.3%

6.5%

35.5%

22.6%

6

E

Snowshoeing

2.3

23

2.5

24

2.3

11

2.3

10

1.9

8

8.1%

25.8%

45.2%

3.2%

11.3%

6.5%

33.9%

21.0%

7

AL

Birding/nature study

16.6

40

11.5

17

11.9

11

13.5

11

10.5

10

11.3%

19.4%

48.4%

1.6%

6.5%

12.9%

30.6%

21.0%

8

AV

Tennis

3.5

2

 

 

2.5

2

1.8

5

2.5

2

8.1%

21.0%

56.5%

1.6%

4.8%

8.1%

29.0%

14.5%

9

BG

Concerts

1.8

5

1.0

2

1.7

3

1.3

9

1.4

18

8.1%

21.0%

53.2%

3.2%

3.2%

11.3%

29.0%

17.7%

9

Z

Swimming in streams

11.4

7

5.8

10

3.4

15

4.7

9

2.9

11

12.9%

14.5%

48.4%

6.5%

8.1%

9.7%

27.4%

24.2%

11

Y

Swimming in ponds

8.3

3

2.0

8

5.8

12

3.3

4

6.0

16

9.8%

16.4%

49.2%

3.3%

8.2%

13.1%

26.2%

24.6%

12

AM

Farming for pleasure

14.2

5

8.5

2

 

 

13.5

2

15.0

1

14.5%

11.3%

51.6%

1.6%

11.3%

9.7%

25.8%

22.6%

13

AQ

Looking at views

21.8

46

19.8

30

16.3

26

14.4

22

13.6

18

11.3%

12.9%

51.6%

1.6%

14.5%

8.1%

24.2%

24.2%

14

BA

Softball

4.5

2

4.0

1

4.0

1

3.0

3

 

 

12.9%

11.3%

53.2%

3.2%

6.5%

12.9%

24.2%

22.6%

14

BC

Soccer

 

 

30.0

1

 

 

16.0

1

1.0

1

8.1%

16.1%

54.8%

3.2%

6.5%

11.3%

24.2%

21.0%

14

BI

Star Gazing

11.9

30

6.5

4

7.0

4

5.5

8

4.8

5

8.1%

16.1%

54.8%

0.0%

11.3%

9.7%

24.2%

21.0%

14

X

Swimming in pools

18.0

7

7.5

2

7.0

2

13.0

2

5.0

3

9.7%

12.9%

48.4%

3.2%

8.1%

17.7%

22.6%

29.0%

18

AH

Picnicking

3.1

13

1.8

6

2.0

10

3.2

6

2.5

13

6.5%

16.1%

51.6%

3.2%

11.3%

11.3%

22.6%

25.8%

18

AI

Sugaring

4.6

8

5.5

6

3.0

2

3.8

4

2.0

3

6.5%

16.1%

51.6%

3.2%

11.3%

11.3%

22.6%

25.8%

18

AG

Horseback riding

13.0

5

3.5

2

11.0

2

3.5

2

4.7

3

9.7%

11.3%

50.0%

0.0%

14.5%

14.5%

21.0%

29.0%

21

AK

Gardening

14.0

63

9.8

5

5.0

1

9.9

11

25.0

1

9.7%

11.3%

51.6%

3.2%

11.3%

12.9%

21.0%

27.4%

21

BB

Basketball

 

 

10.0

1

 

 

2.0

1

1.0

1

9.7%

11.3%

56.5%

3.2%

6.5%

12.9%

21.0%

22.6%

21

B

Downhill skiing

1.0

1

6.0

4

2.3

4

1.0

2

4.9

12

8.1%

11.3%

40.3%

3.2%

16.1%

21.0%

19.4%

40.3%

24

Q

Bicycling on trails

8.0

5

7.6

5

7.8

6

12.5

2

6.4

5

4.8%

14.5%

58.1%

1.6%

8.1%

12.9%

19.4%

22.6%

24

R

Bicycling on roads

7.5

8

11.2

5

8.1

19

8.1

16

10.0

10

4.8%

14.5%

50.0%

4.8%

11.3%

14.5%

19.4%

30.6%

24

AN

Photography

5.1

20

3.9

10

3.6

14

3.5

11

4.0

8

9.7%

9.7%

54.8%

0.0%

14.5%

11.3%

19.4%

25.8%

24

D

Snowmobiling

2.5

4

2.6

5

3.0

2

2.0

2

2.6

5

6.5%

11.3%

45.2%

3.2%

9.7%

24.2%

17.7%

37.1%

28

K

Dog walking

18.8

25

14.3

16

17.9

20

11.9

13

11.0

3

6.5%

11.3%

48.4%

4.8%

12.9%

16.1%

17.7%

33.9%

28

N

Running on trails

8.0

2

5.8

4

6.0

3

1.8

6

2.0

2

4.8%

12.9%

58.1%

1.6%

11.3%

11.3%

17.7%

24.2%

28

AO

Drawing/Painting

5.6

14

5.6

5

21.8

5

3.6

5

3.7

6

4.8%

12.9%

56.5%

3.2%

11.3%

11.3%

17.7%

25.8%

28

AP

Crafts

3.4

11

5.5

2

 

 

1.5

2

 

 

1.6%

16.1%

58.1%

1.6%

12.9%

9.7%

17.7%

24.2%

28

AS

Horseshoes

2.0

3

 

 

3.3

4

4.3

4

 

 

8.1%

9.7%

59.7%

1.6%

9.7%

11.3%

17.7%

22.6%

28

AU

Aerobics

10.8

5

4.0

1

4.0

1

9.5

2

1.0

1

1.6%

16.1%

58.1%

0.0%

11.3%

12.9%

17.7%

24.2%

28

AZ

Baseball

4.5

2

6.0

1

 

 

3.7

3

3.5

4

6.5%

11.3%

54.8%

3.2%

9.7%

14.5%

17.7%

27.4%

28

BE

Dancing

7.2

5

2.7

3

2.0

1

2.0

1

1.4

11

9.7%

8.1%

58.1%

3.2%

9.7%

11.3%

17.7%

24.2%

28

BF

Movies

3.1

10

1.7

3

2.0

2

1.7

3

1.4

20

3.2%

14.5%

48.4%

4.8%

12.9%

16.1%

17.7%

33.9%

28

G

Hockey

 

 

2.0

2

1.0

2

1.0

1

 

 

1.6%

14.5%

53.2%

3.2%

16.1%

11.3%

16.1%

30.6%

38

AA

Fishing

5.3

7

5.7

7

4.6

11

4.0

9

4.8

8

6.5%

9.7%

58.1%

1.6%

12.9%

11.3%

16.1%

25.8%

39

BH

Poetry readings

1.7

3

1.0

1

1.7

3

1.2

10

1.1

8

4.8%

11.3%

69.4%

1.6%

6.5%

6.5%

16.1%

14.5%

39

I

Rollerblading

4.0

2

10.0

1

7.1

8

5.0

6

4.8

6

8.1%

6.5%

54.8%

9.7%

11.3%

9.7%

14.5%

30.6%

41

M

Walking on roads

9.4

15

9.3

12

14.2

35

11.2

26

10.5

10

4.8%

9.7%

58.1%

4.8%

11.3%

11.3%

14.5%

27.4%

41

AB

Hunting

4.5

6

6.8

4

4.0

1

12.0

2

3.8

5

6.5%

8.1%

53.2%

1.6%

8.1%

22.6%

14.5%

32.3%

41

AD

Canoeing/kayaking

15.0

1

2.3

4

3.1

13

 

 

2.5

21

3.2%

11.3%

58.1%

3.2%

14.5%

9.7%

14.5%

27.4%

41

AJ

Lawn mowing

4.1

61

2.5

2

4.0

2

6.8

6

4.0

1

9.7%

4.8%

45.2%

3.2%

16.1%

21.0%

14.5%

40.3%

41

AR

Shuffleboard

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.8%

9.7%

61.3%

0.0%

11.3%

12.9%

14.5%

24.2%

41

BD

Social clubs

1.0

1

2.5

2

 

 

1.3

4

2.0

1

1.6%

12.9%

56.5%

4.8%

8.1%

16.1%

14.5%

29.0%

41

C

Snowboarding

1.0

1

2.0

3

5.7

3

4.0

1

3.4

5

4.8%

8.1%

48.4%

4.8%

16.1%

17.7%

12.9%

38.7%

48

O

Running on roads

8.0

2

15.0

1

11.7

9

14.6

7

8.8

5

3.2%

9.7%

58.1%

4.8%

12.9%

11.3%

12.9%

29.0%

48

AE

Camping

3.0

6

1.7

3

1.7

6

2.7

3

2.5

13

6.5%

4.8%

56.5%

4.8%

9.7%

17.7%

11.3%

32.3%

50

AT

Weight training

10.5

6

 

 

 

 

4.0

2

1.0

1

1.6%

6.5%

56.5%

1.6%

16.1%

17.7%

8.1%

35.5%

51

J

Skateboarding

3.0

1

 

 

3.0

1

2.0

2

1.0

1

3.2%

3.2%

59.7%

9.7%

16.1%

8.1%

6.5%

33.9%

52

P

Running on a track

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.0

1

1.6%

4.8%

59.7%

8.1%

11.3%

14.5%

6.5%

33.9%

52

U

Golfing

 

 

2.0

1

2.0

1

 

 

12.0

6

3.2%

3.2%

48.4%

3.2%

12.9%

29.0%

6.5%

45.2%

52

AC

Trap/skeet shooting

3.0

3

2.0

3

1.0

1

3.5

2

5.5

2

3.2%

3.2%

58.1%

1.6%

14.5%

19.4%

6.5%

35.5%

52

AW

Squash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.6%

4.8%

62.9%

1.6%

12.9%

16.1%

6.5%

30.6%

52

AX

Handball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.6%

4.8%

62.9%

1.6%

14.5%

14.5%

6.5%

30.6%

52

AY

Football

 

 

1.0

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.6%

3.2%

61.3%

0.0%

16.1%

17.7%

4.8%

33.9%

58

T

Riding ATV’s

3.0

1

5.0

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.6%

1.6%

50.0%

4.8%

12.9%

29.0%

3.2%

46.8%

59

V

Driving range

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.0

3

1.6%

1.6%

59.7%

3.2%

8.1%

25.8%

3.2%

37.1%

59

AF

Rock climbing

1.0

1

1.5

2

2.0

1

 

 

3.0

1

0.0%

3.2%

66.1%

3.2%

11.3%

16.1%

3.2%

30.6%

59

S

Dirt biking

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.0

1

10.0

1

0.0%

0.0%

51.6%

11.3%

9.7%

27.4%

0.0%

48.4%

62

 

BK       Other Activities    See Page 8______________________________________________________

BL        Comments See Page 8______________________________________________________

              ______________________________________________________________________________________

 5.  Are there special places you'd like connected with walking trails? See Page 8  _____________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

 


6.  If there were a map of trails in Cummington, would you use it?                                                   

 

 

7.  Are you concerned that publicity about trails might lead to abuse such as erosion, noise, trash, or vandalism. (5=very concerned, 4=concerned, 3=neutral, 2=not concerned, 1=see no risk, 0=no opinion)                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                      5           4           3           2           1           0    

 

8    Is access to the Westfield River adequate? (5=very adequate, 4=adequate, 3=some improvement required, 2=significant improvement required, 1=inadequate or non-existing, 0=no opinion)                                                                                                                                                       5           4           3           2                       

1    0

 

 9.  How adequately do you feel the indoor recreational programs and facilities in Cummington serve the following groups? (5=very adequate, 4=adequate, 3=some improvement required, 2=significant improvement required, 1=inadequate or non-existing, 0=no opinion)                                                        1

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. How adequately do you feel the outdoor recreational programs and facilities in Cummington serve the following groups? (5=very adequate, 4=adequate, 3=some improvement required, 2=significant improvement required, 1=inadequate or non-existing, 0=no opinion)                                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

11  Do any of the following interfere with your use of open lands in Cummington?                                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12  How important is it to you to protect the following? (5=very important, 4=important, 3=neutral, 2=not important, 1=don't care, 0=no opinion)                                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J    Other    See Page 9___________________

 

13  What do you consider the greatest threats to Cummington's character are currently or will be over the next 50 years? (5=very significant threat, 4=significant threat, 3=possibly a threat, 2=not a threat, 1=won’t happen, 0=no opinion)

                                                                                                1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 14 How much do you enjoy viewing the following scenes in Cummington? (5=very much, 4=enjoyable, 3=neutral, 2=don’t notice, 1=don’t care, 0=no opinion                             1

 

 

 

 

 

 

G Other      See Page 9_______________________                              5           4           3           2           1           0

 

15  What residential growth policies do you favor?  Check as many as apply.                                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O   Other______See Page 9___________________________________________________________

       

16  What commercial and industrial growth policy do you favor?                                                                

 

 

 

 

 

17  Name specific places in Cummington that are most important to you such as historic sites, natural settings, community gathering places, etc. See Page 9

     

18. What would you hate to see removed or significantly changed?                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

K   Others       See Page 10__________________________________________________

            

19. How important is it that Cummington acquire lands? (5=very important, 4=important, 3=neutral, 2=don’t see a need, 1=don’t care, 0=shouldn’t be done)                     1

 

 

 

 

20. Check all of the following that you would like to see more of in Cummington?                                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P    Other   See Page 10_________________________________________

 

21. Do you consider Cummington to be your                                                                                                    

 

 

 

22. If this is your primary residence how many income earners in your household commute to a place of employment outside of Cummington?                                                                                                                                                

 

 

 

 

 

23  How many members of your household are                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

24. How many members of your household have lived in Cummington                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

25. What best describes the area of Cummington in which you live?                           

 

 

 

 

 


26  Do you live on a dirt road?                                                                                                                             

 

27  Which of the following best describes your household?                                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28  How much Cummington property do people in your household own?                                                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29  Does any of the land owned by members of your household currently have development restrictions? Check all that apply.                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

 

 

 

 

F    Other   See Page 11________________________________________

 

30. What best describes the places where your household members did most of their growing up?  Check all that apply.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31. Please check any actions you or your household could and would take in order to preserve open space in Cummington:                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


       

32. Please check any actions you or your household could and would take in order to acquire or improve recreation areas or facilities in Cummington:                                                                                                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

33. What State actions do you favor to preserve open space?                                                                                         

 

 

 

 

 

34. Comments, Concerns, Issues, Suggestions, etc. concerning open space and recreation planning or anything else about the Town of Cummington   See Page 11_________________

 

2H A town in transition (from what to what?)

Farm town to bedroom community

Farming to Bedroom Community

Too many Outsiders

Farm to Bedroom

Run Down to Renovated

from town that did little planning to one seeing need for it

rural to more developed

agricultural community to artsy environment with many "trust fund" types

Hilltown past to Hilltown future

Rural community to suburb/vacations for NY

Farming to residential and small business.

checked but no comment

from rural to ?

Public involvement in town offices

Farm to Bedroom Community

Agriculture to Bedroom community

Rural to suburb.  There are 10 houses where there was 1 28 years ago

Farming Agricultural to Bedroom

Quiet undiscovered to Discovered

 

3S How much do the following contribute to the character of Cummington?

Creamery

Prefer Cummington to remain as is

Open Agricultural Fields

High Tax Rate

Good Schools

Winter Snows

old people who know history of town

sugar houses

fair treatment of non-natives

peace and quiet

Lots of open areas (no buildings, logging, Snowmobiling, etc.)

Families here for several generations

No shopping malls

bar and grill

art and culture

the "artistic" community

The Creamery

Respect for artists

Unfancy not like Deerfield

 

3T How much do the following contribute to the character of Cummington?

Low Population Density

Elementary School

Good Fire and Police

Foliage

local artists and notables

diverse community

No major factories or recreation facilities.

Financial support for Artists

Informal

 

3U How much do the following contribute to the character of Cummington?

Poetry Readings

Good Roads

Volunteerism

lack of development (commercial, industrial)

progressive people

Independence of citizens

Old Creamery

 

4BK Other Activities

Yoga

Driving around town and neighboring towns exploring dirt/old roads

 

4BL Comments

We believe no official intervention is required or desired in these activities

Would do more outdoor hiking/walking if I knew where trails went and had property owners’ permissions.  Would like to see an indoor pool and gym.

I believe open spaces are important-very important- the recreation just comes naturally - don't see much of a need for creating activities, except maybe some ways for young people to play sports and socialize

football, baseball, soccer, etc. bring development?

There is no better skating anywhere than River Road and the cycling in this area is as good as any for a person who likes to climb

Age limits activities and frequency

 

5 Are there special places you'd like connected with walking trails?

no

There are enough beautiful, natural places to walk without creating walking/biking trails

Bryant Homestead to Cummington Fairgrounds

no

Interpretive trails

no

no

no

no

would like to have our trails connect with neighboring towns--trails to form a network for hiking, biking, x-country, horseback, snowmobiling, viewing nature and wild life

foot paths along the Westfield

NO--more trails, more people, more abuse of land

No

campsites (tents)

NO

NO

Redevelopment and extension of walking trail from green (red) bridge, along River (Westfield) toward Swift River.  Before the nudists took over it was a lovely place to walk and picnic at the now so-called Nude Beach.

I'd like a trail along the Westfield River, perhaps from below Bryant Library to bridge (on south side of the river).

The trail started by the state along the river below the bridge (orange-red) down stream. Neglected and never finished by the state which starts but never completes things.

No

I think the snowmobile trails are good trails for spring, summer and fall.  Would make a wonderful workable project with snowmobile clubs and cheaper financially for taxpayers.

Rivulet

no

no

Along the Westfield River

no

Bryant Estate

no

Deer Hill and Snow Basin

 

 

12J How important is it to you to protect the following?

the new saw that slashes trees with unclean cuts is bad for trees, looks terrible

Water quality the most important issue!

Keep the dirt roads dirt.

Dirt roads

The dirt  roads (especially Trouble St.)

open spaces for their intrinsic value = preservation

Non developed lands is a 5.

Mature maples along roads

 

14G How much do you enjoy viewing the following scenes in Cummington?

dirt roads covered in autumn leaves, deep snow, animal tracks in mud

farms, old houses

wildlife

big trees, bears, moose, martins, fox, beaver

Old houses with property "kept up"

Dirt roads

Dirt roads

I wouldn't live here otherwise.

Quiet dirt roads

Well-maintained home sites.

thriving old towns in good repair showing care

view of town from Orcutt Hill

not seeing houses everywhere

Glimpses of wildlife and birds

 

15O What residential growth policies do you favor?

crunch nos. to determine how much development is  needed to bring in the necessary revenue to make budget

protect open farm lands, forests

no building above 1500' elevation

protect town water, regulate strictly the use of all herbicides (atrazine, simizine et al), regulate logging to minimize  erosion

Limit subdivision of large properties

Ban all new housing period!  "Limits," like "conservation" and "regulation" only slow what they intend - in 23 generations original plan is overruled easily.

15N sounds like "Big Brother"  socialism. We don't need this! 15K is limited by state law.

Encourage large building lots- 10 acres.

Establish sign ordinance!

permit multi-use in town

Develop a well-rounded, representative, and active planning committee that oversees consistently these issues

 

17 Name specific places in Cummington that are most important to you such as historic sites, natural settings, community gathering places, etc.

The old mills on River Road.  The cemetery on Trow Road.  The Rivulet Trail.

The Creamery, Swift River, Clark Joyner's cow pasture.

Porterhill, Dodwells, Potash, and Clark Roads

All of them

Family center, creamery

library

Library, William Cullen Bryant Homestead

Community House, Elementary School, Museum, Library

Westfield river, Community House, Pettingill, farm lands

my house

Bryant homestead, museum, community house, churches, old mill, library

All dirt roads and the town center

Library, Community Hs., both churches

Bryant Homestead, Library, Brick House Road dirt! Trow Rd.

A-J in question 18, maple-lined road by old Heron farm and on Dodwells Rd.  Old Creamery swim hole and others, all dirt roads and history they hold, respite they offer from pavement, civilization and black top.

Warner Farm, The Rivulet Trail, Bryant Homestead, churches, Community House, The Creamery!  Country roads

dirt roads, Warner Farm, Westfield R., Creamery, Bryant Homestead land, pond near Transfer Station, Notchview trails, Maples along roads, undeveloped hillsides, Village and West Cummington Churches

all the woods

Bryant Homestead all of Route 112, Plainfield Rd.

Creamery, Bryant Homestead, old cemeteries, Community House

practically every place--except gravel pit uphill from town garage--a disaster!

The river.  Pettingill field, museum, community house, farms.

Community House, school

Leaving farmland open, no parking lots, ball fields.

Ball field, Snow basin, and churches, Community Houses.

Warner farm, Bryant Homestead, churches, Community House, Pettingill field, BTES.

Community House, Town museum, Library, church, Rural area.

Community House - church - farms

Community House

Village Centers

Rivulet Trail, Creamery, maples along roads, dirt roads, Westfield River swim hole near Bryant Library, all of Stage Road

Pettingill Area, Cummington Fair

Old pound; scenic views; Community House; church; any hillside view

All of the above

Bryant Homestead, Library, Westfield River,

Dirt roads, less speeders.  Open farm land. My private home setting. Limit 5 acres per dwelling will help keep this town country for this is why I moved here.

Farms, Village Centers and hilltops

Museum, Todd Morden Lodge

Community House, BTES, Historical Museum, Our Churches, Pettingill Field

Library, Old Creamery, William Cullen Bryant Homestead, "swimming hole" on Westfield River, Bryant Cemetery

Roads, rocks, hills, streams.

Westfield River, Swift River, open spaces for hunting.

Library, Creamery, West Cummington church, Main St in Cummington.

town pound - access to Westfield River

Community House, Fairgrounds, Bryant Homestead, Farms

Churches and Community House

Community House, Church

Bryant Homestead

Bryant Mt., especially Bryant Homestead Conservation Area.  Sears Farm, Thayer Farm.

Bryant Cullen Homestead, Trails, Beach

The museum, village church, W. Cummington church, River Road.

library, Creamery, woods, privacy

The Loop, The Church, The sheep and cows, Bates Road, Bryant Homestead, the old growth forest

Bryant Homestead, Deerhill, Rivulet Trail, Library, Both Churches

 

18K What would you hate to see removed or significantly changed?

dirt roads, old cemeteries, old foundations and barns, "dog pound"                                                                                                                                                                                            

Open space!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Cummington                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Corn fields; hay fields turned into recreational areas.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Dirt roads esp. Trouble St.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Kingman Tavern museum.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Dirt roads                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Open spaces, except to ban all use.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

protect maples from over tapping like Vermont does                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Church, ball field, river.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Library                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Woods for hunting and outdoor use.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

remove hazardous trees                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Trees along main street                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

20P Check all of the following that you would like to see more of in Cummington?     

ATM machine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Cottage industries. Possibly low impact recreation such as cross-country skiing, hiking trails etc. (no snowmobile or ORV trails or mountain bikes)

Outdoor education programs to help us understand our wealth of wildlife & their habitats--trees, plants, wetlands etc.

old homes restored                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Barber shop                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Dirt roads                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Creamery to sell a good, fairly cheap pizza!                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Moose                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Restaurants-breakfast no smoking like roadside café in Monterey, MA                                                                                                                                                                                            

Used book store, arts & crafts gallery, garden center                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Communication Tower                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Maybe retail crafts in existing structure.  More use of the museum & related craft type events that generate interest & income                                                                                                                                 

 

29F Does any of the land owned by members of your household currently have development restrictions?

have limited road frontage--OK by us                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

want very restrictive trust established to protect land in perpetuity that doesn't impose further financial burdens on landowner

Wetlands  Electric Co. right of way                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Flood plain                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Riverfront (can't build), setback (must setback anything new 25' which puts anything within 25' of boundaries, so basically can't even build a chicken coop).                                                                                                     

Westfield River Protection, Flood Plain                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

None                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

EPA I think. We're close to the river.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Conservation easements with Trustees of Reservations planned.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Close to river, so?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

34 Comments, Concerns, Issues, Suggestions, etc. concerning open space and recreation planning or anything else about the Town of Cummington

I would hate to see Cummington become "developed'.  It is a beautiful town with a lot of natural resources for outdoor activities in and around it.

We feel very lucky to have landed in this magical place!  We appreciate that Cummington is "neither here nor there", Being halfway between the 'big cities' of Pittsfield and Northampton.  We feel this town has managed on its own for 200 years without encouraging capitalism.  We would definitely support a plan for the long term preservation of the farms and woodlands that make this community so rich.  A trail map and info about swimming holes would be great!

I feel the state owns too much land in Cummington right now and the town doesn't need any more land.

I feel that it's time to drastically slow down the school funding.  Concentrate on building a much needed safety complex.  Increase budgets for police and fire departments and also the highway crew.  The school budget (Trump Tower Funding) gets most of our money.  Its time to keep monies here in town!!!

So far Cummington has been spared the slow death of development that has destroyed much of the towns around Northampton and Pittsfield.  So far it has just been "too far away" to become a hot spot.  But you already know this.  From a land perspective, what must be protected is the rare and exciting patchwork of open agricultural land, forest, and dwellings.  Forest or fields by themselves are nice, but boring.  Houses by themselves are suburbia.  The mix is the key.  Of the three, the open land is the most precious.  Difficult to make, subject to succession, and so easily spoiled by ill-placed buildings.  Any plan for the Cummington landscape must first save the fields.  Cummington must also remain a place for people.  It is not a postcard or nature preserve.  It must be possible for people of little means to live here.  There should be some local employment.  A great part of the interest of the area is the odd mix of artists, farmers, teachers, laborers, business types, etc. that people the hills in town.  This plan needs to honor and encourage this characteristic at the same time that it preserves the landscape.  Some things I worry about:  The seduction of cluster development, the decentralization of work due to technology sending people off into the hills, houses in the fields!, farmers giving up and selling out, that this plan will not be specific and achievable.

1.  If grants could be acquired for funds to be used solely for the purpose of acquiring land specifically for recreational use--go for it!  This land could have a stipulation that it never be developed.  2.  Any struggling farmer (dairy, animal, and agriculture) should have some type of tax relief from the state.  3.  After sixty years of life in the city, then moving to Cummington, it was like finding another life one would think does not exist.  The place, lovely scenery (hills, farms, valleys, streams), free of stress and traffic, healthy air and caring people transformed us into normal relaxed human beings.  Growth and prosperity are good; but you loose the quaint town that previously existed.

Encourage growth of businesses that would stay open past 7:30 in the evening.  Work to minimize others views of Cummington as a redneck, hillbilly, republican bunch of looney-tunes.

Need to maintain a balance between development and preservation because too much open space would drive up land prices and make Cummington too expensive for most people to live here.  I also do not favor too much zoning restriction since I believe a person should have great input as to what they wish to do on or with their property.

I oppose town or state or federal spending on open space or recreational uses.  Should all be funded with private funds and user fees.  If people don't care enough to reach into their own pockets, the project should not be done.  I live in a small town to get away from the attitude that government needs to provide everything.

Lack of summer jobs for our teens

This is a waste of time and nonsense.  Whose idea was this?  Get a life!  Get a grip on reality.

Too many newcomers have moved in, purchased what they want, done what they want and now want to shut the town down to all others.  I think it's wrong.

We need more recreation opportunity.  I would love to see a workout/health club facility, a town pool, better basketball courts.  I am excited by the new tennis court.  I would also like to see the swings go up at the playground!!  Community events are always important.  I would like to preserve the rural flavor and the historic flavor of the town.

Town needs better facilities for lost/found/abandoned pets

My concern is that with the increase of telecommuting, rural areas will lose the largest barrier to development--commuting distance to work.  I believe that people are also more willing to extend commuting time to 1 1/2 hours each direction--trade-off being that they live in a quiet rural community.  With baby boomers getting older and children leaving home, there is less demand to "be home" for the kids, making a longer commute acceptable.  Or a 2nd home/retirement homes in the "country" possible/desirable.  While it is not feasible or possible to halt development, I would plan for it by concentrating it in the village plus vicinity, keeping thereby our road maintenance to a minimum increase and leaving open spaces and all that that brings with it (views, trails, etc.) in the outlying hills.  As the town grows, which it inevitably will, development will begin to encroach on our open spaces.  I am hoping that this Open Space Committee will generate some demographic info that will help our town determine the best direction to take for a town plan.  30-50 years from now Cummington could resemble Springfield or it could look more like some of the more affluent communities of the Boston area (I.e. Holliston, Andover, Cambridge) that planned well for their growth

I think it would be important when looking at Cummington's own open space and conservation lands to look at protected lands in adjoining towns as well.  Wildlife corridors and greenways are extremely important in preserving the biodiversity of the region.  Large, unfragmented parcels of land are essential for the long-term survival of certain species.

We think it is extremely important to create protected areas--large ones and/or connected ones.  Possible strategies might be buying land to protect and/or working with private land owners to find ways for them to put their land under protection from development through deed changes or the creation of land trusts.  I don't know much about this but it seems like there is a lot of growth (population growth) right now and I would hate to see much more commercial development in Cummington or woods and farms disappearing for housing developments (or cell phone towers, or golf courses…) Thank you for doing this survey--(who are you?)  Great idea--I bet there are many people in town who would be willing to get involved in protecting and creating open spaces in Cummington.

1) support farming of all kinds

2) plant more trees and flowers

3) keep out industry that pollutes

4) keep out industry that does not pollute

5) Improve what we have and let it be for the next century!!

We abhor the use of the machine that devastates the roadsides by shredding limbs and saplings--it looks obscene!  Hunting should be by permit of landholder only.  It is a crime to pay taxes on our land, which we post, and still have hunters all over it.  We fear going out without our orange on, our animals, dogs and horses, are kept confined so that people with loaded guns can shoot where they want.

 Re: policy on residential growth wants none--"let mkt. Decide" but writes in "combined with some State purchasing for conservation."

Cummington is still a very special place, let's not screw it up.

The town has fed itself in the past.  Would like to see greater movement towards developing resources to do so in future.  Town must protect its water--in next 50-100 years. This will be a critical issue worldwide.  Hate with a passion to see permanent (?) herbicides used to farm corn.  These products are banned in every other first world nation.  Logging should not be allowed except when ground frozen.  The town's use of a hydraulic brush hog to clear roadsides must be followed up with pole saws to repair damage to trees, and immediately have cleared from roads resulting debris to prevent accidents.  Not a hunter, but believe town should sponsor hunter safety courses.  Deer overpopulation could very well become a problem, as it is further south.  The town's goals should be to get through the next fifty years without utter degradation of its resources, then we'll know better what effect global warming is having, and can assess our options.  If cell phone towers are built, they should go only on town land to reduce property taxes.  No private individual has the right to sell the view.

- Very wary of state DEM - don't want any Graylock Glen type development schemes here.

- The "tree eater" the road crew uses is awful - make the roadsides look terrible - lazy way to trim trees. Loud too.

- How come neighbors weren't informed there would be a gravel operation nearby (on state property) while the water system gets upgraded? I hope this isn't permanent.

- Snow basin could be a great sliding/hiking area but the state would rather make it a hunters playground.  They don't do anything to maintain their properties.  The old buildings should be torn down.

- Open space could be preserved by adequate zoning laws, concerning limits on subdivision of property - ex: require larger building lots and road frontages and limit building of new access roads.

Town meeting during day time, increase of barber shop or shopping place, protection of the night kind

Most taxpayers in Cummington work outside the town.  They ask for quiet weekends, spent with friends and family.  Their back yards are their vacation areas/ gardens, decks, pools, ponds, and barbecues.  They ask for privacy. We have one ballfield, one large picnic area, soon to be tennis court, and playground.  What more does a small town need in recreational activities.  Our property values will be drastically reduced, our backyard will no longer be a peaceful sanctuary.  If nighttime games are to be played go to a larger town or city.  All this will do is bring in out of towners!  Not to our benefit at all!!  We support a ballfield, parking lot, new driveway, and picnic tables in each one of your own backyards. See how your quality of life changes.  We moved here for the town’s quietness.  If we wanted more choices we would have moved to Northampton.  Respect your taxpayers and town citizens, open space to us means OPEN SPACE, not filled with people and noise.  We are sure that with all the designers out there someone can come up with a plan for a parking lot near the old tennis courts.

1. More control and inspections of private and public camping grounds - SEWERS - food sales etc. - someone control the dumping of sewage on public roads (namely W. Cummington Rd.) from campers and motor homes. 

2. Would like to see more control over junkyards and junk cars parked in yards. 

3. Would like to see the former Snow Basin property cleaned up.  Buildings and pond are safety and health hazards.  If this is an example of the states (DEM) care of things, then the state should stay out of things. 

4. Would like to see Cauker Pond cleaned up and sanitary conditions improved.  That area is a decided drain on our police and ambulance depts.

Need more information re. Many of the programs in 31, 32, 33.  Loss of taxes to town in re. To state purchase or acquisitions.  How much tax exempt or reduced taxes already in place in the town.  Comparing 2001 to 50 years ago - Cummington was a closely-knit community.  Residents knew each other. They were very friendly and took part in many community activities such as dances, movies, plays, concerts, town suppers, town affairs, sugar eats, organizations, skating rink, swimming at the Creamery flat that was dammed by the town, skiing at Berkshire Snow Basin, and dining out at Tod Morden Lodge. Foreign students from Columbia University visited private homes organized by Cummington Ladies Society with participation by the whole community.  There were card parties and women were also then as now worldly outside the home.  Does T.V./VCRs/dishes etc. take up too much time?

We are very concerned that Cummington will pave all it's dirt roads.  When we moved to our home on Stage Rd. four years ago, we had a sense that we had moved back in time to a more peaceful, more sensible way of life.  I know that living on a dirt road somehow contributes to that feeling, and gives us all a link to the past that we should never give up.  I feel that it is essential that we preserve as much of the past as we can.

Please don't pave the rest of Trouble St. It is not necessary and would take away from the charm of Cummington.

The slant here seems to be towards conservation.  Pessimistic and negative. As though loss and destruction are eventually treatable and all we can hope to do is regulate and slow it down a little.  Which is what conservation is.  I think conservation is just a temporary, stop - gap measure that does not work.  Makes people feel good until loggers want the trees, miners want the minerals, hikers want more trails, etc.  Conservation implies and has been shown to mean conserve it for special interest groups, which inherently destroy (physically and characteristically) that which they want to help.  The money needed to "conserve" land usually comes from the people who want to use it thereby negating any supposed conservation. I would like to see all land in Cummington preserved AS IS.  Well, no, I'm not done. Sorry.  This survey did not ask about preservation.  It presented the alternatives of conservation (limits, regulations, restrictions) or nothing.  Not an objective well rounded view of the possibilities at all.  In the opening statement you use the terms "preserve" and "protect" and then completely reverse yourselves by the nature of the survey which does not (except 1-2 instances) ask about preservation or our views of "protection."  The issue of privacy was not addressed at all.  With the openness of the land, ironically, comes a lot more privacy, which I value highly.  Even though in a small town everyone knows your business before you do, they're your friends and neighbors and are therefore still very respectful.  A bunch of strangers stomping or snowmobiling all around is very invasive and destroys one's sense of security- which leads me to the issues of safety and security, and back to conservation again.  With conservation, I.e., limited use, will come a greater need for police, fire, ambulance, and access for the people and equipment.  Any possible income from recreational and /or conservation lands will be overcome or at the very least negated by the expenses of additional services.  Which means increased taxes (which I can't afford) and round and round we go.  It's a losing proposition.  There are no benefits (as opposed to preservation), especially for an apprentice hermit such as myself!

Form is too long! :)

Tho' this survey is all about our human preferences, there are at base certain FACTS about our LARGER environment that need to be considered. There is a desperate need for habitat for certain life forms, a need for more trees to return oxygen and sink CO2, and a need to keep well-vegetated ground for water absorption.  There is also the importance of curtailing invasive species etc.  Cummington is "in charge" - more or less- of a small but richly-endowed scrap of that larger environment.  This fact must under-gird ALL decisions.  (A guide to making such decisions, employed in Europe and increasingly here, is "The Precautionary Principle"- where scientific evidence at a certain level of probability is taken as grounds for decisions.

We would like to support as much open space as possible but do not favor removing large parcels from the tax rolls- there needs to be a balance. We don't want to be "land rich and tax poor." Each household should get one survey per registered voter.

Too many speed traps. Too long/confusing survey.

Library expansion needed.  Encourage more cultural activities in town.  Thanks to highway dept. for snow removal! Better than the boys in the big city!

I moved to Cummington 17 years ago for the small town that it was and I hope will always be.  I'm for a good quality school system with activities to connected to them only. As a single parent and a working mother, when I moved here, I provide the "other" activities for my child by transporting him to other towns or cities where functions were available. I do not feel the taxpayers should raise other people's children as I didn't expect the already townspeople here to raise mine.  I would hope that Cummington will always remain the "special" and unique hilltown that it is.

In response to Question 32 E, on voting for town funds to acquire recreational facilities, a hand written response said, "depending on what is requested.

In response to question 33, asking what state actions the respondent favored, a hand written notation said, "Keep the state out of it."

1.  Not in favor of any recreation types that lead to increase of second homes for seasonal recreation.

2.  Encourage development of primary homes for permanent residents and home businesses.

3.  Enforce zoning to prevent run down and eyesore residences with collections of junk.

4.  Pave more roads to reduce road maintenance for better year round travelling on same.

5.  Establish and enforce better noise control in zones around resident’s living areas.

This town desperately needs a sign ordinance - we've already seen what the lack thereof can do at the store in the P.O. complex.  It should be done before there is further development that will result in signs desecrating the appearance of our town.

It would be great if local residents had a public beach. Cummington is known for the "Nude Beach' which is costly for local emergency departments, Fire, Ambulance and Police.  Local COA is not doing their job to benefit our local senior citizens.

Lack of control of river and state lands that allow diverse groups to control access, creating a burden on town services and making the area undesirable for other people to bother.

I have only lived in Cummington 3 years, but in that time I have participated in town government and through that participation, recognized the importance of the scenic attractiveness of Cummington to her residents.  I am therefore surprised at the choice to use a flail type mower as a roadside pruning tool. As a horticulturist, I recognize it as a bad arboricultural practice, leaving wounds that can not heal and opening the forest edge to additional stress and potential pathogen infestation/infection.  In addition to the risk of inroads for pathogens, is the indisputable fact that it is not scenic, unsightly, ugly and looks like the butchery it is.

The Creamery is so good. One of the best things about Cummington lets help preserve that too.  Sound pollution, loud motorcycles, snowmobiles, and construction equipment bother me.  We are concerned about environmental damage and how regulations are enforced.  For example, our road has a junkyard on it run by Tom Marcoux.  He is dumping quite a few cars close to the wetlands and the stream.  I have nothing against the recycling of cars, only that it should be regulated.  The stream by the junkyard eventually joins the Westfield River, which now has protected status.  Encourage composting by selling composters at the landfill.

Bryant Free Library should be handicapped accessible - needs a bathroom.  Roadside slashing of trees and bushes should be halted.

If you overdevelop this town in the future, we will lose our identity as a hill town.  It is very difficult to find a place to park to fish the Westfield river, and it continues to get worse.  So many places I could park 20 years ago, now I will have a ticket on my vehicle or be asked to leave.  What goes on with all of those cars parked at the pull off area at the Westfield River in the summer?  My dad used to take me fishing there when I was a child. It was a great place to bring a kid.  I would never bring one there now.

Do not want to see the new fire department on Main St. Would prefer it to be near Highway Garage.  Do not think a cell tower is a bad thing in the right place.  Cummington's small town character is important.  We need to do all of the planning we can for growth.  Development left unchecked has ruined many other small towns in Western Mass.  Let's not let it happen here!

The town needs to develop a long-range plan to identify possible recreation land and determine the best use of this land.  These usages should benefit a wide range of activities for a diverse cross section of people, which may require thinking way outside the box.  This plan should also consider if any of these activities could be used to generate revenue for the town.

A town meeting scale gathering of town residents to review the results and discuss the issues raised in open forum should follow up this survey.  Publicity for the meeting should be extensive so that no one in town misses the opportunity to participate.  Don't let the concerns raised by this survey just end with dropping off our opinions in an anonymous box.

Cummington is a great place to live.  That is why we moved here.  It is a small, quiet town with privacy and many places to enjoy.

What we love about Cummington is the green space and diversity of/for such a small town.  We'd hate to see indiscriminate development.  My partner would not mind a pizza place and/or pub.

Snow Basin trail from the road at the top or middle to old skiways. Landowner? State or Private?  P.S. Ask the state to mow more than they are now.  Larger senior housing to accommodate couples.  Men are living longer and present units are for singles.  Also elevators for present units.  Include cluster housing in planning.  Acquire conservation areas particularly in the water shed.  Community house use is too restricted.  Build a fenced dog playground.

Plan is to buy.  Would donate land to land trust

Some old maples need to be removed and replaced.  Some stone walls need to be repaired.  Have not found people to be all that friendly.  Not much diversity of residents.