DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

August 8, 2013

Londonderry residents stage apple tree rally

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — They are hoping to save some trees.

Clutching handmade signs, supporters of the former apple orchards staged a peaceful rally Sunday near the Woodmont Orchards land, property now earmarked for a potential 600-acre, multi-use development known as Woodmont Commons.

Mary Tetreau and Jack Falvey organized the rally to bring attention to the fact that 1,000 apple trees may be lost to make way for the Woodmont project.

They hope to save 609 of those trees and turn the land they grow on into a park. The group Save Woodmont Apple Trees was formed to get the word out, Tetreau said.

About two dozen community supporters gathered Sunday at the corner of Gilcreast and Pillsbury Roads to show solidarity.

People stood on nearby Mack’s Apples land as no-trespassing signs were posted all along the former Woodmont orchard property last week.

Londonderry police kept watch over the rally and followed supporters as they walked down Gilcreast Road to the area where the proposed 19-acre park could be located.

“This event is primarily to give attention to our cause,” Tetreau said. “We need to get the word out.”

Tetreau said Woodmont Commons is probably the biggest thing to come to town in 50 years, along with Interstate 93.

“Woodmont is huge,” she said.

Falvey said having a public park as part of the Woodmont project could help secure some of the town’s most valuable land, while keeping the integrity and rural character intact.

“Do we really want this orchard paved over to become nothing but roofs and roads?” Falvey asked supporters. “Is this want we want for Londonderry?”

He said having Apple Tree Park as part of Woodmont would secure some of the town’s most valuable land, while keeping the integrity and rural character intact.

Pillsbury Realty Development purchased the Woodmont Orchards property two years ago for $7 million. The project, as proposed, would be completed in phases over 20 years.