Let’s show Concord cares about protecting its historic sites

May 9, 2024

On May 1, over 250 people gathered at the Old Manse to hear the National Trust for Historic Preservation designate Minute Man National Historical Park, Walden, and nearby landmarks as one of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.” This endangered listing is due to plans to expand Hanscom Airport’s footprint and develop 522,000 square feet (the area of 36 football fields) of infrastructure for luxury private jets. The investment banker behind this massive development is aiming to break ground in 2025, the year we celebrate the 250th Anniversary of April 19th, 1775. The project threatens to double the private jet flights over the historic sites and cancel out all our communities’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Thirty-eight thousand private jet flights emanating from Hanscom Airport annually already negatively impact the sites that define Concord as one of the most nationally, and internationally, historically significant towns in America. A doubling of that impact over these treasured resources is unconscionable, and the fact that private jet travel is the most climate-destructive form of travel per passenger mile makes this project simply indefensible.

Ashley Judd, UN Population Fund Goodwill Ambassador, actor, and activist spoke in emphatic opposition to the proposed airport expansion and addressed the crowd at the endangered announcement saying, “I have learned in twenty years as an advocate: we can pretend to care, but we cannot pretend to show up. Thank you for showing up.”

Only a few hundred of us could fit under the tent at the Manse last week, but all of Concord, over 18,000 of us, have the opportunity to show up and show we care. Let’s all do our part to stop this expansion and save these irreplaceable sites.

Denise Haartz
Williams Road