Affiliate Organizations

Andover Community Paths Committee

The Community Paths Committee is a pedestrian advocacy group whose focus includes creating neighborhood walking paths, installing cross-walks on busy streets, and otherwise promoting safe walking and biking. The Community Paths group's philosophy is that as Andover creates more pedestrian-friendly routes we will decrease our reliance on automobiles and increase our enjoyment of our town.

Since 1994, approximately 20 Community Paths have been created and labeled with the Community Path logo. Most community paths have been located on property under the care and control of the Conservation Commission. Other organizations, including the League of Women Voters of Andover/ North Andover, the Andover Trails Committee, AVIS, and the Bay Circuit Alliance, work with town planners, and local developers to identify and mark new local paths.

Andover Conservation Commission

The mission of the Conservation Division is to protect Andover's natural resources and to act as trustees in perpetuity of the Town's conservation land. Approximately 1,800 acres of Town-owned land are under the control and custody of the Conservation Commission which prepares and periodically revises Andover's Open Space and Outdoor Recreation Plan.

The Conservation Commission maintains the on-going delineation of wetland resources that are directly referenced in various Town By-Laws and regulations. The Commission administers a number of statutory Conservation Restrictions and Conservation Easements over privately owned property. Conservation Committee members are citizen volunteers appointed by the Town Manager. Meetings are on Tuesdays and are open to the public. Conservation Committee properties rely on volunteer overseers for maintenance.

Andover Committee of the Appalachian Mountain Club

Volunteers of the Andover Committee of the Appalachian Mountain Club lead guided walks open to the public on properties in this book and other interesting sites each weekend (usually Sunday afternoons) from September through June. For a list of walks and other events, 1) visit our website and/or 2) the Boston Chapter of the AMC. For more information about the national AMC: 5 Joy St., Boston MA 02108, 617-523-0636 p>

The Andover Village Improvement Society (AVIS)

AVIS (Andover Village Improvement Society) is the second oldest land preservation society in the country. Founded in 1894 by an initial group of determined citizens for the purpose of making Andover clean and beautiful, it has become a thriving organization dedicated to land conservation. Over the years AVIS has secured 25 reservations totaling over 1100 acres with 30 miles of trails to hike or ski, serpentine boardwalks and sturdy bridges to cross. All of these reservations have been acquired by gift, purchase or lease and are open to the public. As a non-profit society, AVIS depends greatly on volunteer help, map makers, bridge builders, and wardens who are the caretakers of each reservation. AVIS remains dedicated to its original purpose of preserving open space in its natural state for public enjoyment – a true legacy for the future.

Membership and meetings:

Membership in AVIS is open to all, both within and outside the borders of Andover. Currently there are approximately 1150 members. AVIS is led by a 15-member board of trustees. The members' annual meeting is held in March. Membership is $10 Student or Senior, $25 Individual, $40 Family, and $100 sustaining member, annually. To join AVIS and support land conservation, send your name, address, and check payable to AVIS to: AVIS P.O.Box 5097 Andover, or visit the AVIS website www.avisandover. org

Bay Circuit Alliance

The Bay Circuit Alliance is behind the marvelous Bay Circuit Trail, whose route passes through some of our most precious land. Extensive information about the Bay Circuit Trail's route in Andover can be found in the Trails Committee's Guidebook.

The Bay Circuit is patterned after Frederick Law Olmsted’s “Emerald Necklace,” a system of linked parks in downtown Boston. It was to be a 100 mile arc of green spaces, roads, and trails stretching from Plum Island in the north, west through Framingham, to Kingston Bay in the south.

First proposed by a government appointed committee in 1929, a detailed map and text plan for the Bay Circuit emerged in 1937 under the sponsorship of the Trustees of Reservations. Economic depression and world warfare stalled its implementation until the 1980s when legislation and funding revived the concept as a project for state environmental agencies. When economic conditions again stalled the project a grassroots coalition of private and public organizations was formed to turn the 60 year old concept to reality - a 200 mile recreational trail in greenway corridor of 57 towns.

Formally incorporated in May l992, the Bay Circuit Alliance has helped establish 180 miles of public trail in over 30 towns for foot travel and, where appropriate, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and mountain biking. Work continues to complete the remaining 20 miles - primarily on the property of large state agencies and corporations. As a greenway project, over 4000 acres of additional open space have been protected along the Bay Circuit Trail corridor. .

Merrimack River Watershed Council

The mission of the Merrimack River Watershed Council is the protection and restoration of the Merrimack River and its tributaries for the enjoyment of the public, the benefit of its communities, and the health of the watershed ecosystem. They've produced a recreational map, a canoe guide, their "River's Reach" periodical, and a video on Valley pollution issues. Write to: PO Box 1377, 56 Island St., Lawrence, MA 01842-2577 or e-mail [email protected].

Shawsheen River Watershed Association (SRWA)

SRWA This association is a non-profit all volunteer group that protects, restores, and promotes enjoyment of the Shawsheen River and its watershed. The group organizes river cleanups, canoe trips, and special presentations on watercraft technique and safety, and river wildlife. Its meetings are held monthly at the Tewksbury Public Library and are open to the public.

The Trustees of the Reservations

The Trustees of Reservations is the owner of the Ward Reservation, on and surrounding Holt Hill along the Andover-North Andover border. Founded in 1891 to preserve places of natural beauty and historic interest for the public good, the Trustees maintain 78 properties in Massachusetts, managing over 20,000 acres. The Trustees of Reservations relies on gifts and endowments for its support; membership lets individuals participate in its preservation efforts. Contact T.T.O.R., 572 Essex Street, Beverly, MA 01915-1530; 978-921-1944.

Andover Historical Society

The Andover Historical Society is an active center for local history, telling unique stories of Andover through a wide variety of programs, publications, collaborations, and online activities. By sharing local stories about this special place called Andover, the Society works to build connections to the town and inspire stewardship of Andover and its resources – historic, manmade, and natural. Exhibits feature objects and stories from Andover’s past. The research library and archives contain an extensive collection of books, maps, photographs, and genealogical and architectural files.