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$10,000 gift from The Village Bank sparks Farlow Park groundbreaking

For more than a decade, the Friends of Farlow Park have worked tirelessly to return Newton Corner’s historically significant Farlow Park to its original grandeur. Today, thanks to a $10,000 donation from The Village Bank, the Friends have reached, and even exceeded, the first milestone dollar goal necessary to begin work on the project.

According to Friends’ President Keith Jones, the Bank’s gift is significant in the restoration of Farlow Park. “Given the Park’s history and once-beautiful centerpiece, our collective efforts will make this gem shine once again,” Jones said. “The Bank’s generosity has put the initial phase of our fundraising efforts over the top, paving the way for the project to begin. We expect the groundbreaking to take place late next spring or in early summer, signaling the beginning of restoration efforts that will include construction of a beautiful new bridge, restoration of the original reflective pond, and a new irrigation system for the adjoining Underwood School playground.”

Located within the Farlow-Kenrick Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, Farlow Park was designed in 1880 by George Frederick Meacham, famous for his design of Boston Public Gardens. The Park, built on open farmland donated to the City by John Farlow, was officially opened in 1888 and soon became a popular attraction that helped Newton earn its reputation as “The Garden City.”

“With its $10,000 gift, The Village Bank has proven itself once again to be a leader in philanthropy. This magnanimous spirit exemplifies how businesses can give back to the community that supports them. The Friends of Farlow Park are grateful that The Village Bank recognizes how the restoration of our community’s first public park will benefit the entire city and help renew Newton’s commitment to being the Garden City.”

“We are pleased to play a significant role in the restoration of Farlow Park,” said Joseph De Vito, president and CEO of The Village Bank. “We’re proud of our own history in Newton, and equally proud of those early landmarks that made our city so inviting.”

At the urging of local groups including the Newton Parks and Recreation Department and the Community Preservation Committee, Newton’s Board of Alderman voted unanimously last year to allocate more than $476,000 in Community Preservation Act funding for the Farlow Park restoration project. The Friends were charged with securing the remaining funds required before the work could begin, and to also raise additional reserve funds to cover any contingencies, according to Jones.

The group’s goal now is to raise an additional $23,000 in order to reach the reserve total, he said. Donations to the Friends of Farlow Park, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, are tax deductible, and a 2:1 challenge grant has been issued by an anonymous donor. More information is available at

A Walk in the Park - Representatives of the Friends of Farlow Park joined The Village Bank at the historic park in Newton Corner to celebrate the Bank’s $10,000 donation to help restore the site to its original grandeur. Present for the occasion were (l to r): Front - Susan Paley, The Village Bank vice president and community relations officer; Joseph De Vito, The Village Bank president and CEO; and Carol Connolly, Friends of Farlow Park board member. Rear - Friends board members Keith Jones, president; Jay Walter, vice president; Janet Sterman; and Karnig Boyajian.