With the help of generous donations, Easton Legacy Fund aims to help Easton not-for-profits support and give back to the town through various projects.
Below, we highlight not-for-profits who are currently making a difference in Easton and who we feel are strong considerations for Legacy Fund grants in the future.
Easton Community Access Television
50 Oliver Street, North Easton | Visit Site
Founded in 2010, Easton Community Access Television (ECAT) is a non-profit, multi-channel media organization with television production facilities located at 50 Oliver Street, Suite 201A in North Easton, Massachusetts.
ECAT is an educational resource and provider of community programming that helps residents, government, schools, and community organizations of Easton produce and share their stories and events with the worldwide Easton community.
ECAT’s mission is to develop and produce educational, cultural, and informational community programs for the Town of Easton and to provide an electronic forum for the free exchange of information and ideas that reflect the talents, interests, concerns, and diversity of its residents.
Moreover, ECAT produces a weekly half-hour news program, livestreams the town’s government boards and committees, covers many local events, and livestreams most home high school varsity sports games.
Easton residents and business owners are encouraged to create their own television programs and have their voices heard. Programs can be developed without the requirement of any technical skills.
ECAT provides free one-on-one training in all aspects of media production for all ages and provides week-long workshops on filmmaking for middle school students during school breaks.
ECAT holds two annual film festivals in our efforts to encourage creativity and to inspire an interest in media. The high school competition, the Hockomock Film Festival, encourages students to be creative, have fun, and work collaboratively to create unique films. After a panel of judges reviews the films and determines the winners, ECAT holds an awards ceremony featuring the winning films and their creators who receive cash prizes supplied by cultural councils and supportive individuals and businesses.
ECAT’s “Film Sprint” allows participants of all ages to work together to create films in the space of 48 hours with a randomly selected theme and prop. It is followed by a public gathering for a screening to celebrate the creativity of the Easton community.
ECAT’s programming is shared on four channels. Community events, concerts, and residents’ programs can be viewed on our Public Channel, Comcast 9, and Verizon 22. School events, concerts, sports, and the Oliver Ames High School News can be viewed on their Education Channel, Comcast 97, and Verizon 23. Live-streamed government board and committee meetings, live-streamed Town Meetings, and information relating to town government are on the Government Channel, Comcast 98, and Verizon 22. The Essentials Channel on Comcast 1072 and Verizon 2122 includes the highlights of our recent programs as well as original programs which the leadership believes are essential viewing.
Furthermore, all of ECAT’s channels can also be viewed live on their website, eastoncat.org. In addition, all of their programs are available on demand on eastoncat.org and YouTube.
ECAT is funded through cable franchise fees paid by Easton’s cable subscribers. Because each year more cable subscribers are canceling their subscriptions, ECAT is increasingly in need of community donations and financial support for its programs.
In the future ECAT’s vision is to modernize its main studio and podcast studio as well as government meeting sites to better facilitate productions that are both in-person and remote.
ECAT has seen increased demand for its programs especially with the changing media landscape post Covid.
The Ames Free Library
53 Main Street, North Easton | Visit Site
The Ames Free Library is one of Oliver Ames, Jr.’s lasting gifts to the people of Easton. Established by a gift from Ames in 1877, built by the renowned H.H. Richardson, and opened in 1883, the Library has been a landmark site on Main Street for nearly 150 years. In addition to
providing standard (and some innovative!) library services to our community, the building represents a historical and architectural destination for people from throughout New England and beyond. The library has twice been recognized as a finalist for the “Best Small Library in
America,” a national award designated to showcase outstanding service to populations of 25,000 or less.
The William Hadwen Ames Memorial Room was opened as the children’s room in 1931, which was quite forward-thinking at a time when children were only beginning to be welcomed into libraries. The bright and spacious room still serves as home to our Youth Services department, serving families and children from birth through the early teen years. Also part of our library campus, the Queset House (1854) and Queset Garden provide extra space, indoor and out, for library programming, community meetings and events, and anyone seeking a leisurely place to read, study, or chat. Over 60,000 patrons visited the library last year, with another 21,000 stopping by the Queset House.
The Ames Free Library’s motto is: Where the Community Connects. We provide materials and services to help the residents of Easton obtain information to meet their personal, educational, professional, and recreational needs. Emphasis is placed upon supporting students of all ages, particularly stimulating younger children’s interest and appreciation for reading and learning. The library serves as a learning and educational center for all residents of the community. Increasingly, these community needs are met using our computers, wi-fi connection, and online resources.
In addition to providing free materials, free access to technology, and free spaces to gather, the library focuses heavily on community engagement in the form of events, programs, and workshops. Last year, the library hosted over 1,200 programs, attracting nearly 11,700 participants! We host year-round book clubs and storytimes, and feature seasonal programming for adults, teens, and children. The annual Summer Reading Program is our most impactful program; we challenge readers (and listeners) of all ages to continue reading and learning through the summer months, and patrons who participate are eligible for small incentive prizes and raffle items. We also bring in cultural programs and performances for all age groups throughout the year.
Functioning in historic buildings does come with its challenges. Both the Library and the Queset House are frequently in need of ongoing physical maintenance, large (leaky roofs) and small (outdoor light fixtures). Moving forward, we need to upgrade both buildings’ IT infrastructure. Additionally, we hope to continue providing the programs that our patrons enjoy each summer.
Easton Historical Society and Museum
80 Mechanic Street, North Easton | Visit Site
The Easton Historical Society and Museum was formed by a group of interested citizens at Frothingham Memorial Hall in 1948. However, it was dormant from 1953 until 1967, when 17 dedicated individuals led by Edwin C. White, Hazel L. Varella, Duncan B. Oliver, and Gustav Winroth, met at The Ames Free Library to breathe new life into the organization. Their successful efforts can still be seen today.
In 1969, John S. Ames, Jr., David Ames, Senator Oliver F. Ames, and William Parker purchased the Old Colony Railroad Station built by Henry Hobson Richardson in 1883 and gifted it to the Society. The first Curator was Robert “Bob” Carpenter. The Society continued to flourish making significant contributions to the community (eg. establishing the Easton Historical Commission).
Over time, local historians like Margaret McEntee, Edmund Hands, Jeffrey Nystrum, Duncan Oliver, Hazel Varella, and Robert Brown created programs and publications that are still enjoyed to this day. During the 1980s, the collection grew, programs flourished and Paul Berry joined the team as Curator.
The mission of the Society is to preserve, promote, and interpret Easton’s unique industrial, social, cultural, architectural, and environmental history. Its goal is to foster interest in Easton’s rich history through educational events, published materials, and informative public exhibits. Recently, the Society has been led by Presidents Kenneth Michel, Frank Meninno (Curator from 2006 to 2022), and Deborah MacPhee. Their efforts along with the Board of Directors have secured the Society’s goodwill within the community, excellent research materials, and many successful exhibitions and programs.
The Society hosts monthly Open Houses focusing on different cultural aspects of Easton through artifacts, photographs, and ephemera. Most materials are from the Society’s own collections, but some are loaned by interested members. Recent exhibits include the Easton Little League’s 70th anniversary, Ames Plow Company Farming implements, and the history of the NRT.
Currently, the 1899 Morse Car is on permanent exhibit at the railroad station. It is one of only two remaining of the original 48 cars that were manufactured in Easton.
The Society’s Chowder and Chatter event funded by the generosity of the Avery Lee Williams family, features a panel of speakers on a wide range of Easton-centric topics.
Many of the same subjects appear in Reminiscences, the Society’s annual review of Easton’s history. Copies of its 13 volumes are available at the Society’s gift shop, along with books and mementos.
The Society’s current goal is to arrange, catalog, and house its collections in an accessible manner, and is in the process of securing funding to create a climate controlled archival space at the railroad station. The Society welcomes volunteers willing to help with preservation, archival, and cataloging. As always, the community’s support is appreciated as the Society continues to work towards its goals.
Governor Ames Estate
A Property of the Trustees of Reservations
35 Oliver Street, North Easton | Visit Site
The Governor Ames Estate is one of the Trustees of Reservation’s newer properties. The Trustees which were founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, have an Easton connection as they were founded in the Boston offices of Frederick Lothrop Ames, the builder of Langwater. For more than 125 years, they have been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. Supported by members, friends and donors, The Trustees’ more than 120 reservations are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike., Each year, more than 2 million people visit its reservations, 250,000 people participate in more than 5,000 programs and events, and volunteers contribute over 50,000 hours of assistance in all aspects of their work. The Trustees purchased the Governor Oliver Ames Estate in 2012 from the David Ames family and Elizabeth Ames, with a significant contribution from The Easton Community Preservation Committee (some later reimbursed by the Commonwealth’s LAND program). Now, in the heart of the North Easton National Historic District, the cultural legacies of the Ames family live on at the 36-acre estate. The property was first home to Oliver Ames who served as Massachusetts’ governor from 1887–1890. Today, more than a century later, saplings planted by the Governor, his son Oakes, and later his nephew John, thrive as old specimen trees and pepper the property, which includes a 19th- century stone stable, farm fields, a brook and several garden ponds.
The Trustees mission is to preserve for public use and enjoyment places of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts. At the Governor Oliver Ames Estate on Oliver Street in North Easton visitors have the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll and explore sweeping arboretum-style lawns, an elegant 19th-century stone stable, an agricultural field, meadows, a brook, garden pond, and other features. Residence of Easton and visitors from across the Commonwealth and beyond are invited to unfurl a blanket for a picnic with friends, examine the centuries-old trees dotting the property, and extend the day with side trips to the many shops, eateries, and organizations the comprise the Shovel Town Cultural District within walking distance to the Estate.
The Trustees are especially proud of their connections within the local community, and they sponsor or support a variety of Easton events. The Governor Ames Estate hosts the annual Legacy Festival in North Easton, it is part of the course for the YMCA’s 5k race, and it provides volunteer and recreational opportunities for the Easton Public Schools.
The Trustees are always looking for opportunities to increase its partnerships with members of the Easton community in order to provide additional public offerings to our visitors. We welcome the opportunity to forge deeper connections with Easton residents, businesses, and organizations, especially those who are our neighbors in North Easton. We are continually seeking support for on-going maintenance needs at the estate and are looking to grow our volunteer base to help us keep the grounds beautiful and welcoming to the public.
Natural Resources Trust of Easton
307 Main Street, North Easton | Visit Site
It is the mission of the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT), located in North Easton, MA, to educate about significant natural and cultural resources and to acquire and preserve land of special character for the benefit of the public. The NRT promotes a land ethic in the community through educational programming and provides leadership, cooperation, and networking to others with similar missions. The NRT began in 1967 as a grassroots, citizen-led organization to protect land of special environmental, cultural, and community importance. Since then the NRT has grown into an organization which protects over 300 acres of land within Easton through direct ownership and oversight of formal conservation restrictions. NRT’s flagship public land is Sheep Pasture, a 154-acre conservation property that hosts NRT’s model farm, class buildings, offices, community gardens, and equipment and has been a critical resource for outdoor recreation within the Town of Easton for over 50 years.
The NRT operates its Sheep Pasture property with the primary goal of having the land available to all individuals on a daily basis, free of charge, to allow for personal health, family recreation, and emotional wellness. The public has access to Sheep Pasture’s extensive trail system, resident farm animals, wildlife, and open spaces throughout the year for jogging, hiking, biking, picnicking, birding, dog walking and other outdoor activities. Sheep Pasture is also the education site for over 6,000 students ranging from kindergarten through high school from Easton, Brockton, Stoughton, and other surrounding cities and towns, who come to participate in NRT’s high-quality environmental education programs. Education topics vary and include focuses in the life sciences,
ecology, biology, agriculture, geology and other related areas. Furthermore, NRT offers summer camp programs and dozens of other educational activities to families and individuals throughout the year. In addition to educational programs, NRT hosts special seasonal events at Sheep Pasture, such as the annual Harvest and Craft Fair and Spring Farm Festival, both of which draw thousands of visitors for wonderful outdoor celebrations of community. Sheep Pasture also features NRT’s Community Gardens, where individuals, families, and local community groups have been maintaining vegetable and flower gardens for over 40 years.
Looking ahead to the future, NRT’s goals are to enhance the Sheep Pasture visitor experience; increase accessibility for visitors and program participants; and provide the benefits of time spent outdoors to new, diverse audiences. To accomplish these goals and maintain the Sheep Pasture property as a critical outdoor community resource, NRT plans to continue making ongoing repairs and upgrades to its facilities and complete exciting new building projects. NRT will also look to adapt Sheep Pasture walking trails and other areas to increase accessibility for individuals of all abilities, ages, and comfort levels to better accommodate the needs of visitors and program participants. Lastly, NRT understands the importance and benefits of spending time in nature and would like to expand its outreach to continue bringing new and diverse audiences to the Sheep Pasture property.
Old Colony YMCA
Located in the heart of historic Easton since 1997, the Old Colony YMCA Easton branch serves nearly 5,000 members through a wide variety of services and programs. From membership, to swim lessons, health and wellness programming, and chronic disease management – to child care and programs addressing mental health and youth substance abuse prevention.
Old Colony YMCA is a charitable, non-profit Association committed to the development of a strong spirit, mind, and body, guided by Judeo-Christian principles, to enrich the quality of life for everyone in our communities. Guided by our core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility, the Y is dedicated to giving people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity.
This Y is far from just a “gym and swim.” They offer several vital programs and services to the Easton community including; Waterwise – a drowning prevention, water safety program provided to all 2nd graders in the Easton Public Schools. Livestrong program- for cancer survivors to help build their confidence and strength. Inclusion programming– providing opportunities for ALL, despite physical or developmental needs. The Easton Y also proudly serves 62 families in their child care center and 211 families in our before and after school program and Summer Fun Club Camp.
That’s just the Easton Branch.
As an association, the Old Colony Y serves 31 communities in Massachusetts. In a typical year, they serve more than 140,000 individuals, and more than 70% of those are children. They are one of the largest human service providers in Southeastern Massachusetts and the largest childcare provider in the region. Over 50% of the programs and services provided to individuals and families are given due to the generosity of others. Just down the road from the Easton Y, they provide housing to 63 families experiencing homelessness including wrap-around services addressing food insecurity, mentoring program, mental health services, family stabilization and youth support programs- just to name a few.
Old Colony YMCA has been listening and responding to our communities most critical social needs since 1887. They continue to condemn systemic racism, bias, and discrimination of all kinds. When confronted with instances of injustice, they will address the root cause and commit to meaningful change. By building a culture of diversity, equality, and inclusion, they aim to ensure that our employees, our youth, our families, and our communities achieve equitable outcomes and live fulfilling, healthy lives. They know that when they work as one, they move people and communities forward.
Children’s Museum Easton
Children’s Museum Easton (CME) is a vibrant, educational, experiential, and cultural community asset. Our mission is to inspire young children, their families, and caregivers to become lifelong learners, no matter the economic circumstances of our visitors. We focus on early learning and discovery for children ages 1 – 7. The Museum is housed on three floors in a 117-year-old firehouse, with a safe, fenced outdoor learning space, offering affordable, high-quality exhibits, programs (STEAM), classes (music, science, art, yoga), field trips, and special events. CME designs programs to meet MA Curriculum Frameworks. We also offer in-person and virtual outreach programs to schools, libraries, and community centers.
Two programs that are the essence of learning at CME are our STEAM Lab and MakerSpace. STEAM education incorporates science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics when teaching and working with children. Although these topics seem advanced and complex, STEAM education provides early exposure to these subjects and helps build a strong foundation for future learning. OurMakerSpace is an invitation for young children to explore a variety of materials and to create something only they can imagine. Children have opportunities to take ownership of their learning and exploration. In Makerspace, they begin to see themselves as creators and inventors.
For young children, mastering language and analytical skills accompanies budding creativity to build pretend worlds in which they can engage each other. In our STEAM Lab and Makerspace, they use their words, movement, and imagination to solve problems, explain their ideas, and compromise. Young children are naturally curious, and as they are exposed to new things, they become more involved in learning experiences that excite them, expand their literacy, and develop a deeper understanding of how the world around them works.
In the future, we want to create an exhibit space that allows children to investigate the undersea landscape’s science, language, and art with its marvelous creatures and plant life. At CME, we never stop imagining how to inspire and motivate our young visitors.
15 Park Street, North Easton | Visit Site
From dawn to dusk, the 11 landscaped acres of Frothingham Park are open to all. Many do not realize that it is owned by a not-for-profit and not the Town, but it is.
Frothingham Park was built in 1930 and dedicated by Mary Frothingham to honor her late husband Louis A. Frothingham.
The Park is privately owned but open to all in the Town of Easton to utilize. There is a baseball field, walking track, basketball court, tennis court and children’s play area. Over the 91 years of its existence, it has served as a recreational facility for the townspeople of Easton or just a place to come and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Park.
For 92 years it has served the Town of Easton as a high school football field, competition track, baseball field for the high school and local baseball teams, basketball court, walking track, high school graduation facility, summer recreation facility for children, children’s play area, tennis courts with overlying pickle ball courts, civic events and events in conjunction with the Easton Recreation Commission and YMCA . There has been nothing constant about Frothingham Park except change to meet the everchanging needs of the townspeople of Easton. Arguably this is one of the important facilities in town that provides for all the townspeople and has had and continues to have a positive impact on the community at no cost to the Town of Easton.
The Park receives compliments on a regular basis for its beauty and condition. We are most proud of the up-to-date facilities. One of the most beautiful baseball fields and walking tracks along with a brand new basketball facility and two new tennis courts with overlying pickle ball courts allowing for two simultaneous tennis matches or four pickle ball matches. Our groundskeeper takes great pride in providing a clean and manicured facility.
Currently we are looking to provide a pavilion in the vicinity of the children’s play area that will allow shelter from sun or inclement weather and a place where parents and children could sit under cover and enjoy lunch or any number of activities on picnic tables under the roof of the pavilion. We are also looking to provide a smooth surfaced area for an outdoor work out facility with some equipment added.
Interested in making a donation? Click here to be taken to our donations page.
Stay tuned – more to come!