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Captain John Ogonowski Memorial Preservation Farmland (Dracut)
Dedicated to: Captain John Ogonowski
Type of Memorial: Open Space
Address: Rt 113 West, 1/8 mile from Memorial Square
Country: United States
Open to Public: No
This site consists of 33 acres of preserved farm land in honor of Captain John Ogonowski in his boyhood home of Dracut, MA. John was a dedicated conservationist and preservationist, with Peg Ogonowski noting, "this is what he was all about. He flew airplanes, he loved flying, and that provided all the money, but this is what he lived for. He was a very lucky man, he had both a vocation and an avocation and he loved them both." This open space will honor John's memory as a legacy to his passion in the town where he grew up.
Reason site was selected:
This was a parcel of land that John had previously been working on preserving from residential development, as one of the founders of the Dracut Land Trust. John's sister approached Congressman Meehan and Senator Kennedy with the idea, who then supported the process and helped to get the $700,000 of funding necessary to procure the easement and bring the land into the trust.
Events planned for site:
"There's not much to see in terms of monuments here, but its monumental to preserve this amount of land from housing," said Peg Ogonowski. Currently it is open space that will eventually be farmed both as hayfields and perhaps in partnership with the USDA and Tufts University's "New Entry" program. John participated in this program on his own 150 acre farm, which consisted of mentoring Cambodian immigrants as farmers on small 1-2 acre parcels on his land.
Do you believe your memorial is a sacred place?:
"I don't know if I'd call them sacred, they're definitely very special. They are a wonderful tribute to John, but we would all really rather have John back and leave all these wonderful things behind," said Peg Ogonowski of the memorials. In terms of the preservation land, "John had a saying that once a field grows a building it never grows anything else again, so this will never grow any buildings," she added.
Web Site: www.ma.nrcs.usda.gov/news/newsogonowski.html