For over 12 years, Green Newton has been most fortunate to have Margaret Ford as the volunteer coordinator of our Students for a Greener World (SGW) program and the manager of our Farmers Market booth. To show our appreciation, a special celebration was held on July 29 for friends to bid a fond farewell to Margaret and her husband Tom Boyd, as they prepare to move to their new home in Oregon.

Mayor Fuller (left) and Margaret Ford (right)

At this celebration in Wellington Park in West Newton, Mayor Fuller read a proclamation to honor Margaret for her exceptional community service activities. Others acknowledged her lively sense of humor, her good nature and a steadfast commitment to ensure the success of Green Newton programs, projects and events.

Among her many successes, Margaret brought together dozens of young students, who were made to feel a real sense of belonging as members of Green Newton’s Students for a Greener World, an often rowdy group also known as The Wild Boars. Under Margaret’s caring guidance, the group would meet monthly, at first, to eat her scrumptious homemade cookies; and then second, to make plans for NewtonSERVES and other projects. She also coordinated our Student Environmental Art Contest, and invited students from several Newton schools to plan and produce what proved to be some of the most impressive programs ever featured in Green Newton’s Environmental Speaker Series at the Newton Free Library.

As the Manager of Green Newton’s booth at the Farmers Market, Margaret made the tremendous twice weekly time commitment for 17 seasons (the last 10 as a volunteer). Just think of all the work she has done to store, deliver and set up supplies to showcase a unique environmental booth featuring furry polar bears, the Caterpillar Club with live creatures to see and touch, origami butterflies, good books to read, The Magic Energy Bike that demonstrated how much human energy was needed to light up an electric light bulb, a cork recycling collection basket, water “for good dogs,” Silly Hat Day, and a whole lot of other fun other activities. Margaret rarely missed a Farmers Market day from July – October year after year for over six hours on Tuesdays and over three hours on Saturdays. We calculate that she has been there in all kinds of weather for at least 600+ Farmers Market days!

Margaret is an expert on creating really good times for people of all ages as they learn the basics of what they can do to increase the environmental sustainability of our community. When the month of March rolled around, Margaret produced an event called Spring In My Backyard. Only Margaret could have successfully arranged permission to offer live chicken races inside the Library auditorium as one of the nature activities!

Tom and Margaret Ford (right foreground)

Margaret’s husband Tom also helped Green Newton as a volunteer for several years as Green Newton’s first web manager and our all-round go-to tech guy. Tom especially deserves credit for allowing his garage to be the storage zone for tons of stuff that Margaret needed to have on hand for Green Newton.

 

It is an understatement to say how much we appreciate the exceptional work that Margaret and Tom have done in Newton through the years! As they venture off to their new digs in Oregon, we wish them and Sunny (their dog) all the very best in the years to come.

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