Coordinated by the Department of Parks Recreation & Beaches (PRB), Brooklawn Park History Society and the Wilks Public Library, with local historians, artists and naturalists.
Join us as we celebrate and commemorate Daniel Ricketson, a native New Bedford naturalist and former owner of Brooklawn Park. Ricketson wrote the first history of New Bedford, and held gatherings of notable contemporaries including Thoreau and Emerson at the Shanty. Activities during the day will include performances and interactive opportunities.
Guided nature walks throughout the day will include the opening of a new trail system at the park. Participants will learn to identify native plants and learn how native ecosystems support the bird population including the migrating birds traveling through our area now. Families can also participate in Nature Scavenger Hunts, and “Rural Calendar” counts by recording bird counts and bloom times continuing a Ricketson tradition. The Marion Institute is sponsoring a talk on proper pruning of fruit trees at the site of the newly planted orchard. Visit the Wilks Public Library to browse their collection of Ricketson related material and artifacts.
Live acoustic musicians will lead the crowd in a Sing Along Picnic featuring popular tunes of mid-nineteenth century and particular favorites of Ricketson who loved a sing along. “Shanty Play”, an original play by Carl Simmons, will be performed at the site of the original Shanty, briefly depicting Ricketson and his love of nature. The play features large masks worn by performers to represent Ricketson, Thoreau and other notable visitors to the Ricketson Shanty.
Guest speakers will give visitor’s more information on Brooklawn Park and Ricketson with ‘Ricketson- A New Bedford Naturalist’ and ‘A Brief History of Brooklawn Park’. The event will end with the Henry David Thoreau Dance Party. The Dance party is inspired by an actual event that occurred on site. Thoreau is said to have created a dance based on local Wampanoag dances and inspired by nature. We will invite participants to dance their own dance of nature.
1st Annual Daniel Ricketson’s Day Schedule
Brooklawn Park, Brooklawn Community Center and Wilk’s Library
All events start east of the soccer field unless otherwise noted
- 10:30–12:30pm: Guided trail walks – Scavenger Hunts – Rural Calendar participation — Contribute to Ricketson’s records of the natural ecology of Brooklawn Park — Count Birds, record bloom times
- 11am-11:15am: Opening ceremony for Brooklawn Trails at trail head
- 11:30am–12:00pm: Marion Institute presents Jonathan Koch on proper fruit tree pruning at the orchard
- 12:00pm–12:30pm: Sing along Picnic – Enjoy Ricketson’s Favorite Tunes of the 1850’s with our guest musicians
- 12:30pm–1:00pm: Shanty Play by Carl Simmons performed at the site of the shanty. Will give insight into the man, his circle of friends and the impact they had on American culture.
- 1:15-2:00pm: A New Bedford Naturalist—Bob Maker in the park
- 2:00–2:45pm: A History of Brooklawn Park –Carl Simmons walking tour in the park
- 2:45pm–3pm: Henry David Thoreau Dance Party We invite you to share in the fun and find your dance for nature.