, Gloucester, MA


April 22, 2013

Letter: Rebuilding 'Digital Dogtown' project

To the editor:

As reported in the Times (News story, April 9, editorial April 10), the recently vandalized “Digital Dogtown” posts, with QR codes and trail maps, were part of my son’s Eagle Scout leadership/service project.

They were meant to welcome hikers and visitors with information about Dogtown’s historical, cultural and ecological significance. These posts are now the community’s common property, and they are meant to be an invitation to any Dogtown visitors, whether Cape Ann residents or guests, to share a bit of knowledge and appreciation of our Common’s wilderness and history.

There has been an encouraging outpouring of supportive messages sent to us at, and a number of offers of assistance from a few Gloucester businesses and individuals. This support is heartwarming, and it shows the widespread sense of community ownership of the Commons.

We again have the backing of the city’s Open Space and Recreation Commission to proceed with the repair and replacement of the damaged posts. We will begin this work as soon as we have sufficient funds for the materials. Anyone who wishes to offer financial donations can write a tax-deductible check made out to “The Gloucester Fund” (a non-profit, 501c organization, with information online at ) with a note on the memo line “for Digital Dogtown”, and mail it to 2 Goodwin Road, Gloucester, MA 01930.

Again, a big thank you to all the letters and messages of support expressing outrage at the vandalism of the Digital Dogtown posts. I hope you will now take the opportunity to stake your claim to our Commons in Dogtown by helping out with the effort to repair what has been vandalized.

The best way to preserve and protect our wilderness areas is to understand and appreciate them.



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