Rau Stepping Down as Haverhill Brightside Director

Christine Rau, the soon-to-be-former Director of the Haverhill Brightside program, addressing an award ceremony held by the program alongside City Council President John A. Michitson and Vice President Thomas J. Sullivan last April. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News.)

After five years as the director of Haverhill’s Brightside program, Christine Rau is stepping down from the position next year.

During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Rau announced her resignation from the citywide beautification effort, which is dedicated to preserving parks and adding plant life throughout the city. Rau and fellow officers Christine Hardiman, Sharon Parker, Jennifer Couture, have all decided to vacate their leadership duties in June 2019, but plan to continue as volunteers. Haverhill resident Lynda Brown takes over Rau’s role—to the program director’s delight.

“She is a wonderful young woman with lots of promise and loves Brightside and what it stands for. She will make a good director. And it is my hope that you will be in generous support of her as you have been with me,” Rau said.

Rau also used her time in front of the council to offer an update on what the program has accomplished in her time as director. After spending her first year as director working to get the Brightside program up and running again, Rau saw the number of participants in the Adopt-a-Park Garden Site program increase to 71. Thirty-four participants also signed on for the Adopt-a-Planter program, where sponsored planters are placed throughout Haverhill, including around Lafayette Square, Bradford Square and Currier Square.

Four landscaping companies have partnered with Brightside to maintain parks around the city, with a fifth being sought to maintain a park near the intersection of Main and Primrose Streets. Volunteers have already completed work on the city’s Global Peace Memorial and First Landing Park, with Riverfront Park receiving an upgrade in the spring.

The council thanked Rau for her work, with Council Vice President Thomas J. Sullivan commending her for her accomplishments, despite working on a limited budget.

“You do an amazing amount of work with a little money. We don’t give you much. And what you do and what you are able to accomplish is really amazing,” Sullivan said.