Building Bridges and Partnerships
Annual Meeting Salutes Benfield Family
Alex Parra: 2005 Conservationist
Beth Clarke & Nick D'Arbeloff Elected
Vivian's Place
Malcolm Preserve

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CCF Directors

Alan Ankers
Barney Arnold
Liz Carpenter
Wayne Davis
Marjie Findlay
David Freedman
Peg Gladstone
Heidi Harring
Steve Hinton
Lori Jiménez
Jamie Klickstein
Lynn Knight
Jay Luby
Greg Peterson
Scott Simpson
Steve Spang
Sally Swift
Steve Tobin

P.O. Box 300
Carlisle, MA 01741




December 2005


Ben Benfield

Annual Meeting Salutes Benfield Family

On a warm June afternoon, CCF held their annual meeting in the Benfield Barn. It was an appropriate setting given that Ben Benfield was one of the original members of CCF, 133 acres of the Benfield land were permanently protected as open space in 2005 and the town had recently purchased the 45 acre Benfield Parcel A.

The meeting started with a walk on the hillside behind the current Benfield farmhouse and barn. Hearty souls immune to humidity and mosquitoes viewed the sight of some of the future house lots and hiked up to where the old ski hill used to be. The ski hill was used by hundreds of Carlisle children in the 60s for an after school lesson program. (This writer has fond memories of receiving ski lessons on the Benfield Hill from both Cynthia and her mother, Jill Reichenbach.)

Geprge Reichenbach & Jack Valentine reminise.

Following the walk, refreshments were served, and President Sally Swift opened the meeting with a special welcome to Ben Benfield, his two sons and his grandson, thanking them for their generosity to our town and commitment to conservation over the years. After Beth Clarke and Nick D'arbeloff were approved as new board members and the formal business of the Annual Meeting was taken care of, long-time Carlisle residents regaled us with stories of the past. Peter and Michael Benfield offered reminiscences about growing up in Carlisle on the family property and recalled some of their boyhood "adventures." Cynthia Borgesahni, who now lives in Rockport, described leading the ski lessons on the ski hill. Without lifts or machinery, all of the slopes were packed by side-stepping up and down the hill. George Reichenbach, the original secretary of CCF, read from minutes of the very first CCF meeting in 1960 and was happy to report that their early vision of protecting Carlisle's open spaces lives on in the current CCF board. "I had no money to donate at the time so I was asked to keep the minutes." Jack Valentine, another original CCF founder, described his beginnings as a farmer when, at his 40th birthday party, he was given animals by his guests. The cow part of his farm has survived, but pigs, chickens, ducks and rabbits swiftly found other homes. "I got some more cows because the one I had was lonely." The meeting adjourned in time to sample some of Greg Peterson's homemade ice cream.

-Heidi Harring

The Benfield Barn on West Street