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How This Project Started

A Brief History of the Burial Site

The Latest on the Project

Our Feature Article:

How You Can Help

Resources, References, & Links

The Latest on the Project

Our latest news is that we and the City of Northampton have just applyed for a state grant to fund the memorial efforts at the Northampton State Hospital burial site. This is the Historic Landscape Preservation Grant. We are requesting funds to provide for landscape designing of the site and for the construction of a meaningful physical memorial to the people buried there.

As part of these plans we are looking for landscape planners who would be interested in working together with the Anchor House to design the memorial. Anchor House is an arts community and art gallery that is associated with people who have been involved with the mental health system. The project will include developing written plans for the landscaping of the site and designing a memorial that will convey a meaningful message for those that were buried there. Preference will be given to consumers, ex-patients, and survivors-but all interested are encouraged to contact us by email, or by calling Rebecca Macauley at (413) 585-8012.

We are very excited to have gone to the Statehouse in Boston recently, to the hearing on S. 1401. This bill would set aside funds from the sale of former state hospital land to properly restore and memorialize cemeteries for all current and former public facilities in Massachusetts. Although our bill was one of a few bills for review by the committee, ours had an extraordinarily large turnout. Consumers and members of similar memorial commiittees from around the state turned out. Our own Rebecca, among many others, gave powerful (and mostly spontaneous) testimony to the visibly moved committee. Senator Wilkerson remarked that she hadn't expected to be so impressed with the public response for this bill. Although careful not to promise anything, she and other committee members expressed their sympathy for the bill and the meaning behind it, with important amendments. They seemed to "get it!" We all need to keep on this as the bill goes to the legislature. Call, write, or email your representatives to support the bill.

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Last update: 5/27/99