Consider what inspires you, brings you joy, makes you grateful for your community? In these times of stress and uncertainty, what aspects of your hometown/ city help you gain strength?
Pick any of these suggestions and send us what you complete:
- Create a town/city acrostic for your community by listing the things you’re grateful for that begin with the letters that make up your community’s name:
Town Hall: newly renovated, this is a beautiful signature building in our village.
Open Space: From Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary to DCR’s Bradley-Palmer State Park Topsfield is overflowing with amazing public lands and trails to explore.
Prospect St. hill: makes you feel very accomplished after walking it!
Strawberry Festival: this gathering on Topsfield’s common brings the whole community together and helps us celebrate the coming summer months with delicious strawberry shortcake.
Fair: The Topsfield Fair has prize-winning animals, fruits, veggies and flowers; carnival rides; music; enormous amounts of fried food every fall.
Ipswich River: a major source of water for our area, this beautiful river meanders through town and serves as a habitat for many local creatures.
Elementary Schools: the schools are anchors of our community for families in town. Proctor and Steward help to engage the curiosity and inspire the next generation.
Library: a beautiful place and appreciate our library’s free in-person and online resources.
Downtown: You’re sure to bump into someone you know in the village downtown area, maybe at the Bakeshop, at the Art Room, or out for a stroll on the common.
Bring out your inner artist:
Make a photo collage of your favorite things about your community
Convert a favorite photo of your community into an outline drawing and add your own touches
Create a painting, drawing or other artistic piece that represents your community
Gather pieces of nature from your backyard or on a walk to create a nature collage
While you are (safely) outside in your community:
use the free iNaturalist app to investigate/identify/record anything in nature that you encounter. There is a Boston-area group that is recording data in our area. Help add to the data-base.
Try a Sit Spot: Stay in one place and be silent. Become aware of what you notice: Sounds, Sights, Smells, Feelings. Record these and make a poem from what you describe
Use an online map of your community to locate favorite places. Before you go out for a walk, use the map to make a plan of where you will go. Navigate where you will go based on the map.
Other ways to foster community gratitude:
- Using Essex Heritage’s Heritage at Home resources site, look up your town/city’s historical society/ local museum website:
- Create your own map of your community. Include favorite places, friends’ houses, your school, anything that is meaningful to your family.
- Write thank you notes or draw pictures for members of your community who you care about. Don’t forget senior citizens, teachers, healthcare workers, police, fire and other first responders, grocery store workers, post office employees and others who are working to keep us safe. Send your notes/ pictures to spread your gratitude!
- Interview everyone in your family, asking them what they love about your city/town. Create a video with their answers.