Tag Archives: Northampton

Look Park (Florence, MA)

Date Of Visit: September 15, 2018

Location: 298 Main St, Florence (Northampton), MA

Hours: 7 a.m. until dusk

Cost:

January 1-March 31
No charge on weekdays; $5 on weekends

April 1-Columbus Day Weekend
$7 on weekdays; $9 on weekends, holidays

After Columbus Day Weekend-December 31
$3 on weekdays; $5 on weekends

Seasonal passes and bracelets can also be purchased

There are additional modest fees for riding the steam train, renting pavilions and playing mini golf.

Parking: There are several parking areas for about a couple hundred cars.

Park Size/Difficulty: 150 acres/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Look Memorial Park

Highlights:

tennis courts, waterfall, family friendly, train, athletic fields, pond, bridges, wildlife, trees, water spray park, flowers, zoo, playgrounds,mini golf course, garden house

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If you’re looking for a fun time look no further than Look Park in Florence (a village in Northampton), MA.

Although it has so much to offer from athletic fields to tennis courts to a train that carries visitors throughout the park, Look Park is one of the more overlooked parks in western MA.  OK, I’ll stop with the word play now.

One of the first things that will catch your eye is the water fountain at Look Park. The fountain which is located along the entrance to the park, has multicolored tiles in the background and Frank Newhall Look Memorial Park inscribed on the concrete wall.

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Frank Newhall Look, the person who the park is named after, was the chief executive of the Prophylactic Brush Company, Florence, from 1877 to 1911.  His wife, Fannie Burr Look, provided the land, money to develop the land and a trust fund for future upkeep and maintenance.  No tax payers money is used for the upkeep of the park.  Entry fees, donations and proceeds from their concession concessions enabl the Board of Trustees to keep the park open and ensure tax payer money is not used to keep the park running.

One of the treasures of the park are the trees and flowers.  Many of these trees like those shown below have tags or signs on or near them stating the name of the tree and some facts about them.

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This tree which seems to have two trees (stems) growing out of the same trunk (known as codominant stems), is a Paper Birch White Birch tree.  The sign on the tree states that native Americans used the birch from this type of tree which can grow to as much as 70 feet, to make their lightweight birchbark canoes.

In fact, there are beautiful plants and trees throughout the park.

Tall trees abound in the park.  To get some perspective of just how tall these trees are, take a look at this man walking by this tree.

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This tree was dedicated to Grace and Iris.

But, Look Park has much more than flowers and trees.  There is also a pond and a stream that runs through the park

Mill River runs parallel to the park.

There is also a variety of wildlife at the park.  Who knew geese knew how to read signs!

In addition to the animals you may see roaming the park, there are also animals in the Christenson Zoo.  Christenson Zoo is more of a sanctuary than a zoo.  All of the raptors in the zoo have been rescued and would not be able to survive in the wild due to their injuries.

One of my favorite parts of the park are the bridges.  The covered bridges.

Birdhouses that look like actual houses are located in the park.

Another one of the cool features at the park is the steamer train that takes passengers in a loop around the park.

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If you don’t like train rides, you can go on this train slide.

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Or, give the pedal boats a try.

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Pavilions can also be rented for large parties.

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One of the other family friendly attractions at the park, the water spray park, was not working during my visit possibly because it was late in the summer season.

There are historic reminders at the park.  A sign along one of the trails shows how high the waters crested to during the hurricane of 1938.  It’s hard to imagine the water being so high!

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Dogs are welcome at Look Park.  The level trails and open spaces at Look Park are sure to make any dog happy.  I met two of these happy dogs during my visit.

Beau is a 4 and a half year old Pyranese.

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Clyde is a 3 year old hound mix.

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Northampton Street Art (Northampton, MA)

hDate Of Visit: May 27, 2017

Locations: Main St & Pleasant St, Northampton, MA (about 30 minutes north of Springfield, MA and an hour and a half west of Boston, MA)

Parking: Metered street parking and 15 minute parking is available throughout the area but it is limited, particularly during the weekend.  Parking rules are strictly enforced in this area.  There is also a parking garage on Main St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, everywhere I visited during this trip was handicapped accessible

Highlights: bridge art, murals, architecture

One of the more culturally and artistically rich areas in Western Massachusetts (and there are a lot of them out there), Northampton is a great place to walk around and take in the street art.

This art is on Main St on a bridge along the Norwottuck Bike Trail in the heart of Northampton.

You can find art around just about any corner in Northampton.  This mural was located in an alley off Pleasant St.

This mural is on the side of Millennium Liquors, also on Pleasant St.  I noticed it on the drive into Northampton and I also noticed it is fading.  So, I wanted to photograph it while I still had the chance.

It was a beautiful day outside and Smith College was holding their commencement the day I was visiting so the city was bustling.   It always makes me smile when I see a new crop of students graduating.  To me, it seems liek it’s not officially summer until the graduations and weddings start. People were also enjoying the warm weather bt dining outside or sitting on a bench.

Dogs like to look at the street art, also.  Katama is a two and a half year old Samoyed.  This beautiful can be found on Instagram at katamadog,

 

 

 


Spring Bulb Show (The Botanic Garden of Smith College, Northampton, MA)

Dates Of Event: March 4 – March 19, 2017 (photos taken March 4)

Location: The Botanic Garden of Smith College, 16 College Lane, Northampton, MA

Hours: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday extended hours 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM (members get in earlier at 9 .a.m)

Cost: Free ( a $5 donation is suggested)

Parking: unmetered parking is available on College Lane and additional parking is available throughout Northampton

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, from their website: There is one designated handicapped parking space in front of the Lyman Plant House. Two of the three front entrances to the Lyman Plant House and Conservatory are wheelchair accessible and the restrooms are accessible. There is a lift in the front of the building that goes between the lower level Church Exhibition Gallery and the Reception area. All but one of the greenhouses (the Fern House) are accessible.

Highlights: Avariety of flowers such as crocuses, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies and tulips in full bloom or nearly in bloom at the Botanic garden of Smith College

Web Site: The Botanic Garden of Smith College

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Believe it or not, spring, for most if us, is right around the corner.  Soon enough, drab, colorless soil and grass and dead flowers and plant life will be replaced with the vibrant colors of spring and summer.

As an early celebration of the spring season, the Botanic Garden of Smith College is showcasing a colorful array of flowers as part of their Spring Bulb Show (which ironically ends the day before the Vernal Spring buds, get it?) .

There were a wide variety of flowers of display and I won’t even try to name or describe all of them, except to sayy they were very pretty.

The gaarden used works of art such as paintings and statues to highlight the beauty of the flowers.  It was very well done and it brought out the colors of the flowers.

The people at the Botanic garden were kind enough to open the rest of the garden to us which showcased an impressive field of flowers and trees.

I also spotted a frog, fish and some other mysterious faces at the garden.

 

We also saw Kaezli, a beautiful 4 year old Burnese Mountain Dog, outside the Botanic garden.

Below is a video of a plant that closes when it feels pressure or weight and a video of a waterfall at the garden.