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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Today is the 150th celebration of Arbor Day. The purpose of the day is to encourage individuals and communities to plant trees! Ed Olsen, the Superintendent of Needham Parks and Forestry and his great staff helped Needham students to learn about how trees work to produce oxygen as well as protect the Earth from storm water runoffs. After learning and participating in planting a tree his charges marched off chanting “Plant more trees…plant more trees…” Later in the day, Ed and his staff joined the Needham Exchange Club in the planting of a “Liberty tree” at the Needham Heights Fire station. Today, Ed captured a quote attributed to many and the version I would like to share follows: “We did not inherit the Earth from our ancestors to do what we will… We have but borrowed it from our children and we must be careful to use it in their best interests as well as our own.” I hope that you all have a lovely weekend and “plant more trees!”
Yours in Service,

District Updates

Wednesday evening, Julie and Avi Ben-David (Needham Florist), Sandy Robinson (Needham Community Council), Barbara Jones (Hearthstone Home) and Liz Hay (Barre3) received honors at Needham Night, hosted by the Charles River Regional Chamber! You are truly important parts of our community and I congratulate you for all of your work.
  • In Needham, Dover, and Medfield, each community will be holding their Annual Town Meeting on Monday, May 2.
    • In Needham, Town Meeting will begin at 7:30 PM in Powers Hall at Town Hall. For further information, click here.
    • In Dover, Town Meeting will begin at 7:00 PM in the Mudge Auditorium at the Dover Sherborn School District Campus. For further information, click here.
    • In Medfield, Town Meeting will begin at 7:00 PM in the Medfield High School Gymnasium. For further information, click here.
  • In Needham, Dover, and Medfield, Prescription Drug Take back Day will be held on Saturday, April 30, from 10:00 Am to 2:00 PM. This is a dedicated day for community members to safely dispose of their unneeded medication to prevent misuse.
    • In Needham the collection site is at the Needham Police Department at 88 Chestnut St.
    • In Dover the collection site is at the Dover Police Department at 3 Walpole St.
    • In Medfield the collection site is at the Medfield Police Department at 112 North St.
  • For information on Prescription Drug Take Back Day, click here.
  • In Needham, on Sunday, May 1 the Becca Schmill foundation will be hosting a virtual mental health forum. This forum will include two panel discussions regarding the rise of social media use and its impact on adolescents mental health and the role schools are playing in this. This forum will be from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM via Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.
  • In Dover, there are free COVID-19 rapid tests available in the Board of Health office for Dover residents. Tests are available for pick up Monday-Thursday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. For up to date information on COVID-19 in Dover, click here.
  • In Medfield, Trinity Financial and the Medfield State Hospital Development Committee are holding several events leading up to the June Special Town Meeting. On May 18 Trinity Financial will present at the Council on Aging at 11:00 AM for Seniors and at 7:00 PM for the general public. Trinity will hold another presentation on June 9 at 7:00 PM and will hold office hours on June 18 at 9:00 PM. For more information on these events, click here. To submit comments or questions to the Medfield State Hospital Development Committee, click here.

Legislative Updates

  • This week the House of Representatives debated the $49.73 billion FY23 budget. This budget makes significant investments across the Commonwealth in education, workforce development, housing, developmental services and more. In education, the House is fully funding the Student Opportunity Act, which establishes more equitable funding for our most vulnerable students, and is funding a year-long extension of universal school meals. In workforce development, this budget makes large investments into job training and workforce equity including funding for adult education to support English Language Learners and funding for loan forgiveness for teachers through the Tomorrow’s Teachers program. The House also makes investments into the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) and Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) which support families in preserving their housing. Finally, the House invests funding in the Department of Developmental Services to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, including funding for community day and work programs and funding for supportive technology. This budget has now moved to the Senate, to follow along, click here.

Statewide Updates

  • Recently, the PFAS Interagency Task Force approved its final report, which provides a comprehensive review of PFAS in the Commonwealth and offers a statewide policy framework that addresses PFAS along their entire lifecycle and offers technical assistance to help homeowners and municipalities deal with the costly issue of contamination. You can read the report here.
  • The MetroWest Health Foundation will be holding a webinar for local organizations on “Understanding and Planning for the Next Phase of COVID” on Friday, May 13 at 9:00 AM. This webinar will focus on where we are in the pandemic and what the future course may look like. To register for the webinar, click here.
  • The Department of Public Health (DPH) has shared resources for protecting yourself, your family, and your community from COVID-19. The best protection against COVID-19 and getting vaccinated and staying up to date on your vaccine, DPH also recommends six other tools you can use for protection. To view this resource, click here.
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