Donations are being accepted for the Neil G. Ramsden Academic Achievement Award — a memorial award given by the teachers of Essex Elementary School to Essex high school seniors who graduated from EES, and are enrolling in at least a two-year program of study. The award is based on academic achievement, citizenship and service. Donations may be made to Essex Elementary School with “Achievement Award” on the memo line, c/o Susan Hardy, Essex Elementary School, 12 Story St., Essex, MA 01929.
Rain barrel program
The town of Essex, in partnership with the Great American Rain Barrel Company, is offering rain barrels to residents at a discount ($69 vs. $119 retail) to help conserve water and save money. Each UV protected polyethylene barrel is made in the USA from a 39x24-inch recycled shipping drum weighing 20 pounds empty with a wall thickness of 3⁄16 inch, resulting in a rigid, heavy duty, long-lasting rain barrel, complete with overflow fittings, drain plug, screw-on cover, a threaded spigot with a choice of two ports to use with either a watering or gardening can, and instructions for easy installation. Visit www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com.
Blood pressure clinics
The Essex Council on Aging holds a blood pressure clinic the third Thursday of each month, 10:30 a.m., at the Senior Center, 17 Pickering St.
Burning season open
Burning season for homeowners is open from now until May 1. Permits are $20, $10 for those over 60, and may be purchased online at www.essexma.org, or at the Essex Police Fire Dispatch (make checks payable to “Town of Essex”). No cash. Permit holders should call 978-768-6511 or check online daily to activate their permit on a desirable day. Permits will be issued to homeowners only; not to businesses or for commercial land clearing (landscapers or contractors). Burning may be conducted only between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (no permits will be issued on those days after noon). All fires must be completely extinguished by 4 p.m. If conditions become suddenly hazardous, permits can be canceled. Those conducting illegal burning, or whose fire gets out of control, may be held liable for extinguishing costs and fined. Call 978-580-4429.