Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

May 8, 2014

A lasting footprint on Baker's Meadow

AVIS to dedicate trail in Retelles' honor

AVIS — the Andover Village Improvement Society — will honor the memory of Baker’s Meadow co-warden Al Retelle this weekend by naming the trail around the property after him as well as his wife, Evelyn.

The ceremony will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Retelle family home at 64 Reservation Road in Andover, overlooking the pond at Baker’s Meadow, within the Indian Ridge Reservation. Al Retelle’s beloved flower garden is expected to be in full bloom for the ceremony.

After the program, everyone is invited to join a walk around the pond on the Retelle Trail. The rain date is Sunday, also at 10 a.m.

The Merrimack Valley Bird Club, of which Al Retelle was president for 45 years, will also host its annual Baker’s Meadow bird walk Saturday morning. The walk will be led by Evelyn Retelle, who continues as co-warden of the property. Club members will be available to lead bird-oriented walks on the Retelle Trail following the ceremony.

Al Retelle, who passed away in February at age 83, was an avid outdoorsman and lifetime birder who traveled the world with his wife. He spearheaded land conservation efforts in Andover as the first chairman of the Andover Conservation Commission and as president of AVIS for five years. He remained active with AVIS as the warden of Baker’s Meadow Reservation, essentially a pond, until his death.

This past Monday night, Al Retelle was honored posthumously with the Virginia Cole Community Service Award. The longtime award, presented at the Annual Town Meeting, was accepted by his wife.

Saturday’s dedication ceremony is open to the public. Parking is not allowed on Reservation Road, a very narrow street, so people are asked to park on nearby Pilgrim or Mayflower drives.

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