Discovery of Nesting Turtles Slows Down Landscaping at Haverhill’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial

One of two nesting turtles discovered at Haverhill’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (Courtesy photograph.)

It is not expected to have any impact on planned 9/11 ceremonies, but landscaping at Haverhill’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial is temporarily on hold as two turtles were discovered nesting there Friday.

Ralph T. Basiliere, chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ad Hoc Commission, said he is consulting with the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to determine if the turtles are a protected species.

“I was pulling weeds and planning for a large planting when I discovered a turtle. I conferred with the animal control officer, Michelle (Cannon). I learned the turtle is laying eggs. Then I discovered a second turtle. We’re taping off the area and suspending landscape improvements. We’ll also get an identification in the event they’re Endangered Species,” he said.

Last week, Basiliere announced the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Mill Brook Park would receive its long-delayed formal dedication in September on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The dedication ceremony subcommittee is being led by Commissioner Linda Gambino Baxter whose brother, Michael J. Gambino, was one of Haverhill’s 13 who made the ultimate sacrifice during the war. Haverhill City Council President Melinda E. Barrett, who will serve as master of ceremonies, and Commissioner Patrick Driscoll will also serve on the subcommittee.

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