Anton Family Praises Fiorentini’s Passage of Haverhill Conservation Restriction: ‘Right Thing to Do’

Mayor James J. Fiorentini celebrated the Anton Family Farm along with Janice Anton and Barbara DiSalvo May 8, 2019 at Willow Spring Vineyards. (Courtesy photograph)

Two months after agreeing that the Anton family’s 26-acre farm property on West Lowell Avenue cannot be built upon, Mayor James J. Fiorentini further showed his support to Janice Anton and Barbara DiSalvo at a party thrown in their honor Wednesday night at Haverhill’s Willow Spring Vineyards.

The bash, put on by the Essex Greenbelt, celebrates the successful preservation of the parcel, which was donated by the Anton family to the Greenbelt land nonprofit. Echoing remarks made by Fiorentini at the event, Anton tells WHAV the conservation restriction—and the groundswell of neighbor support that came along with it—signifies a sense of balance in the City of Haverhill.

“We had interest from other parts of the city and I think that’s important that both our city administration and people across the city know that many of us are united in the same thing: Trying to keep Haverhill open and green as well as busy and productive. There’s room for both.”

Mayoral citations were issued to DiSalvo and Anton. (Courtesy photograph)

DiSalvo told WHAV Fiorentini sought her out at the event to admit he was not initially in favor of the restriction, but changed his mind because he believed it was the “right thing to do” because it fulfilled her grandfather’s immigrant dream.

DiSalvo’s sister-in-law Anton was pleased the city’s top leader helped preserve more than just land. The Anton family was the third family to start family to start farming on the property and once Revolutionary War soldier William Merrill build a home on the property in 1769, the family chose to maintain the farm as-is forevermore, Anton said.

“It was good to hear Mr. Fiorentini speak about Haverhill’s diversity and to have his support in preserving our piece of it. I feel like people have to listen to both sides of stories and very often they do not.”

Essex Greenbelt’s Assistant Director of Land Conservation Vanessa Johnson-Hall said Haverhill’s Conservation Commission and City Council were among those local groups to collaborate on the effort to help the city stay green at 996 West Lowell Ave.

Comments are closed.