We are a direct result of a survey sent to the entire town in 1993, designed to find out what Brookfield’s citizens liked and disliked about their town, and what the needs of the community were. One of the most consistent items of contention was the lack of town-wide communication. Our first task, therefore, was to remedy it, and so founded The Brookfield Citizen, a 16-page monthly newsletter written and edited entirely by volunteers and mailed free of charge to every household in Brookfield as a forum for airing the “good news” in town.
Enhancing the natural beauty of our community has always been one of our goals. To that end, we surveyed the Twitchell Grove and caves area with an eye toward rehabilitating it to a park, with nature trails and flora and fauna identification for use by the entire community, as it was intended. A cleanup program was developed and executed to remove trash and detritus, and trails were marked for future development. Some of the existing trees were identified. A picnic bench was installed near the elementary school end of the park. For a while, a Program Manager was available to keep tabs on the area, monitoring its use, and notifying the police of unlawful activities, but that volunteer developed health problems, and was unable to continue. Re-activating that project would be a great idea but needs another volunteer to head it up. (All are welcome!)
Another beautification project was the George Washington Highway Trees Project, spearheaded by one of our board members. Over a course of three years, over 80 flowering Kwaisan Cherry trees were planted along the highway from the West Brookfield to the East Brookfield line. The trees were funded through grants and donations, and preparation and installation conducted by volunteers throughout the town. During the past year, grants provided funding for flower plantings at the base of the trees. We continue to maintain these trees, but some have been lost due to disease. A replacement tree project will be undertaken soon, and donations and volunteers will be solicited.
In the Spring of 1995, A.P.P.L.E. Seed organized its first Operation Clean Sweep, which each year since has cleaned up the highways and byways of Brookfield. On or about Earth Day, residents are urged to remove trash and litter from the streets adjacent to their properties, and in areas that they see needing sprucing up as they pass through.
A.P.P.L.E. Seed has also assisted with the cultural and educational activities of other likeminded local nonprofits, such as the annual Apple Country Fair, held by the Brookfield Community Club on the town’s historic Common each Columbus Day weekend, and which draws busloads of visitors from all over New England.
A.P.P.L.E. Seed’s latest project is Apple Country Radio, a low-powered, volunteer-run broadcast radio station broadcasting local news, music and more from the heart of Brookfield’s village at 98.1 FM. Our inaugural broadcast is scheduled for late 2016 or early 2017. Go to the station website for information on how to be a part of this exciting new community-building venture!
We believe in the power of ordinary citizens working together to create and nurture that intangible quality known as “community,” as expressed in our slogan, “Average People Promoting a Loving Environment.” We welcome suggestions and ideas from the community! Anyone wishing to join our organization can contact President Phil Peirce at (508) 867-9553, or speak to any one of the Board members listed at right for more information.