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Independent Volunteer Organization Actively Works to Improve Haverhill Arts, Community and Environment

By Kelly Church

Volunteer group Team Haverhill joins people of all ages from Haverhill, Mass to make the city a better place to live. Founded in 2006, the independent volunteer organization focuses on three core areas, according to President Alice Mann: the arts, community and environment.

Some of the group's biggest accomplishments include revitalizing the Haverhill Farmers' Market, cleaning and renovating public facilities, commissioning about 50 murals and sculptures around the community, and creating River Ruckus, an annual downtown festival.

"Team Haverhill marshals the energy of its own volunteers and the community as a whole to organize hands-on projects that contribute to the city's revitalization," Mann said. "Each year we convene a community conversation called Possible Dreams, where 250 residents, community leaders and business owners share their hopes for our community and listen for that next dream that Haverhill might be able to realize with community energy behind it."

Among their many other initiatives, Team Haverhill is proud of Possible Dreams, which the team calls a community visioning event. The idea is to gather members of the community for an upbeat community conversation and dive deep into what the residents want for their Haverhill friends, family and neighbors. Conversations are held at small café tables, giving each person an opportunity to talk about what they love about Haverhill and what they hope to see in the future. This year's event was held on March 6 with the theme Haverhill Treasures: Old, New, Next.

Team Haverhill has put great effort into preserving the community environment over the years. One of their early projects in 2008 and 2009 was establishing the single stream recycling program, which in turn saved the city money and established the volunteer organization as an advocate for the environment. Team Haverhill also participated in, promoted and helped plan Clean River Day in 2011, a one-day event that brought volunteers together to clean up the Merrimack River. The organization donated $10,000 to the event to make up for a lack of funds available from the City of Haverhill to participate.

Anyone can volunteer with or become a member of Team Haverhill. An online form at can be filled out for prospective volunteers, letting the organization know exactly what you're interested in so they can match you with a great project. Some volunteers also choose to become Team Haverhill members, which involves attending monthly meetings and helping to plan or implement at least one project. For those who want to support Team Haverhill without the time commitment, monetary donations can also be made on the organization's website.

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