The Pink House will meet its 100th birthday in a year - 2025. Our goal now is to see it lovingly restored, and once again utilized, cared for, smoke curling out of the chimney, twinkle lights around holiday time, and no longer under threat, to inspire and welcome generations to come.
We have completed all the steps FWS asked of us to prepare the house and its acre to trade... using your, and our own, funds. 40 professionals donated their time and talents probono to help it happen, because they believe in the project that much. All that's needed is for FWS to find and approve land. There's been a local Restoration Partner waiting to pay someone for their land, then trade that for The Pink House in order to restore it according to our perpetual preservation restriction, which would go on the deed as it leaves FWS hands. That PR will deem The Pink House always remain as it is - no development or demo possible!
While we the people are now doing our best to spread FWS's land criteria, talking to local select boards, town planners, smaller land trusts, scouring maps, calling individuals... This really is the job of the FWS Realty department! In fact, FWS Realty called us in Sept 2020, arranged by Congressman Moulton's office, to say THEY would look for and vet the land because "that is what we do all day, and because this trade would be so beneficial to our mission."
We have written to the Realty chiefs who proposed this to us, asking them to resume their search since they are now open again for a short time to fulfill their part of the agreement we made. That would make perfect sense, as nothing about the benefits they extolled have changed. We keep asking for Congressman Moulton to please come back to the table to help, and so far have heard nothing - PLEASE KEEP WRITING and calling Congressman Moulton to ask him to come back You can leave a message at his DC office at (202) 225-8020.
We listed ways you could help on a prior article on December 13. That was geared toward calling and writing elected officials, and getting the word out about land. Those are still the current TOP TWO ways you can help. Repeated calls to elected officials asking them to come back to the table and help us all, working with Support The Pink House, is very important!
But there are also many other ways to help. Pick one, pick three, do a little each day! Now is the time, as the threat of demolition is still on the table for Mid-Feb unless something changes. Your voice already produced changes - FWS is now considering land swap options - so you are powerful!
Joining together we can make the difference! Thank you for your efforts!
WRITE TO FISH and WILDLIFE
The 30 day comment period may be over, but FWS needs know this is so meaningful to so many, that they should delay demolition until land is found. Tell them.
Let them know that 30 days and through the major holidays of the year is not fair time to spread the word, for people to hear about it, understand the criteria, and come forth with land options.
Tell FWS to promote the land criteria more on their own social media. They put up only ONE dedicated post with clear criteria on December 1st. It is buried by new posts, and no one new is seeing it.
Tell them you are committed and will NOT forget. Tell them if they truly want to win the hearts of this area they have bought up and changed so much, they need to do the right thing here.
Matt Hillman, Parker River Wildlife Refuge Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Porter, US FWS Realty Chief, Hadley MA email@example.com
(Yes, the FWS has a Realty Division, staffed by several people, whose salary your tax dollars pay, whose job is to look for land to obtain).
SEND IN LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Your letter can keep the conversation going! And that is very valuable.
FILL OUT THE VOLUNTEER SECTION ON OUR WEBSITE CONTACT PAGE
Scroll down to let us know your interests and skills. We need everything from admin, data entry, letter writing, and accounting to chairing an event or being on a committee to an extra pair of hands.
FOLLOW US ON:
FACEBOOK: (we have 2 pages)
SHARE OUR POSTS, pls!
From our social media but especially the articles (like this one) in our News section on our website. Attach them to your social media posts, DM, text and email them to friends and family, people in high places, lawyers, preservationists, land owners and trusts. The more people are informed the better chance this has.
KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST NEWS
The Refuge's 30 day comment period ended on 11/30, but the fight to save The Pink House has just begun - on a new level! Everyone joined together makes the cause - and effect - much more powerful... in fact, impossible to ignore.
The GOOD NEWS is: Your voice has been heard and is making a difference. But WE ALL need to KEEP SPEAKING UP and TAKING ACTION to keep the momentum going (even through the holidays).
Because the BAD NEWS IS: DEMOLISHING THE PINK HOUSE is STILL in FWS's plans... to start as early as end of January or early February, unless something substantial happens to change that. One of the ways is if they have land they are pursuing. We asked them to make criteria more visible and to keep putting it out there. We ourselves are doing all we can to spread the word and criteria, and those who share our posts have helped. Another is that we continue to ask for an extension of demolition, so we need to keep the word circulating, and help to find it.
YOUR VOICE MADE A DIFFERENCE because FWS went from saying all options had been exhausted to Matt Hillman, Refuge Manager, saying he'd rather there be a land swap, and putting out increasingly clear criteria, at our request.
The anticipation of a huge response from you forced a public meeting, which Senator Tarr took the reins to plan... and transparency and face to face meetings with the public must continue.
The enormous outcry via social media and contacting ParkerRiver and our elected officials made this issue impossible to sweep under the rug... asking for our elected officials to join the conversation and make change must continue.
From your voices came substantial media coverage - which must continue!
WHY IS YOUR VOICE STILL NEEDED? Because UNLESS WE ALL KEEP IT UP THE PINK HOUSE WILL STILL BE DEMOLISHED.
Support The Pink House formed in response to so many locals and visitors desire to see The Pink House restored... and we have worked behind the scenes for years on your behalf, never giving up on solutions no matter how many road blocks and complications arose. We have never given up... and don't intend to now.
We have gotten new life because we've been joined by all of YOU! It takes everyone now.
TOGETHER WE'VE GOT THIS! Demolition needs to be stopped altogether until a solution can be found. That's why there's more work to do... SO what can YOU DO? See below and pass the word!
HOW YOU CAN STILL HELP SAVE THE PINK HOUSE
CALL ELECTED OFFICIALS
Ask: Where is THEIR voice for you?
Congressman Seth Moulton
Governor Maura Healy
Senator Bruce Tarr Bruce.Tarr@Mass.senate.gov (617) 772-1600
Thank him for calling the public meeting. Ask to keep the conversation transparent, as was his aim, and working to represent your concerns.
Rep Krisitn Kassner Kristin.Kassner@mahouse.gov (617) 722-2000
Rep Dawne Shand firstname.lastname@example.org (617) 722-2400
Ask them to get more involved, to be a voice for you. Tell them ho much this matters to our area, to tourism, to our economy and artists. While they take care of other issues, this is also important to you who voted for them -- and it's urgent.
HELP FIND LAND TO SWAP
GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT LAND CRITERIA!
We tried to make that as easy for you as possible. Click any link and it will immediately open up in an email for your convenience!
Want other ways to help? CLICK HERE to see other ways like writing letters to the papers, volunteering, following us on social media, etc..
Even if you only have one minute to do something like sharing this blog post, IT ALL helps! Together we are STRONGEST!
Stay tuned right here, and come back often to read all the updates! THANK YOU!
Work to save The Pink House has involved many many people. These are well respected, well known professionals in their field. Many have worked with or been hired by the parties we were working with themselves, including Fish and Wildlife's Parker River Wildlife Refuge.
Most are local and all did it because they understand why The Pink House matters so much.
These people pushed aside income producing work, and gave advice, services, resources and hours and hours of their time PRO BONO to help this get done on behalf of all of the people who want to see it remain.
If that's not a significant vote for The Pink House's importance to this region, we don't know what is!
This does not mention the elected officials and many other organizations who have been included in countless meetings, phone calls, and emails with us over the last 8 years. What will it take to make FWS Realty and Refuge managers understand the consequences for our community in which they have their Visitors Center, run programs, keep a large reduce and ask for donations and volunteer help if they demolish it.
The Parker River Refuges's comment period came to a close yesterday, November 30th. Many are asking, what did all that mean? That is a question for Matt Hillman, Refuge Manager.
A public comment period is a matter of process for an agency like The US Fish and Wildlife Service. It often is 60 days, but can be shorter or longer. Eight years of work on several solutions, with 2 different refuge managers, 1.5 years without one, FWS Realty personnel, conservation organizations, preservation agencies, municipal involvement, and just about every area elected official at the local, state and federal level, in addition to the materials FWS offered is a LOT for people to digest in only 30 days.
Senator Tarr stepped in to create one meeting on November 20, though held during the work day Thanksgiving week. All were grateful for it but felt it was not enough. Kathleen O'Connor Ives, former Sate Senator, attended and commented on this process, saying it is hardly enough time for the people to educate themselves fully, ask enough questions, and hear all sides.
But the comment period is now over. What now?
One misunderstanding is that if the Refuge got enough comments to keep The Pink House standing that it would make a difference in their plan to demolish it. People have written us asking was the comment period about voting to keep the house, put a platform on the footprint with up to 4 cars in the driveway, or to put nothing there at all? Was it just an exercise? Those are good questions that should be asked of Matt Hillman, who stated it is his decision.
The Refuge put out this statement: "Staff are currently reviewing all public comments submitted between November 1-30, 2023. It will likely take at least 1 month to analyze comments, draft responses, and edit the plan before a final draft is published some time in the New Year. While the public comment period has ended, anyone with potentially viable land exchange opportunities may still reach out to refuge staff at email@example.com (see this page for specific land exchange criteria)."
We the people don't have a 30 day limit. Support The Pink House has never given up and will continue to fight, now with all of you who also want to see this iconic landmark saved and restored for generations to come.
We THANK YOU for all you have done so far. And ask you to continue to make your voice heard!
Keep an eye out here and on our social media, for an article on next steps and what you can do to help!