Over the past quarter of a century the Chappaquiddick Community Center has grown to become the heart of the Chappy community. During the more recent half decade Slip Away Farm has also become an integral part of island life. They, along with The Trustees of Reservations, work in so many ways to bring neighbors together here on Chappy. I am inspired by the efforts of those who bring such vitality to these establishments.

The community center provides a wonderful setting for gatherings and celebrations of every kind. Weddings, memorial services, potlucks, holiday celebrations, Chappy Island Association meetings, CIA and TTOR committee meetings, the annual summer fair, movies, fundraisers, artisan shows, book signings, the calendar photo contest, tennis, sailing, lobster roll dinners, ice cream socials, concerts, nature lectures, exercise classes, meditation classes and free Wi-Fi on the porch are all a part of the activities that the CCC hosts.

Slip Away Farm has brought back food farming on Chappy of a variety and scale that has probably not been seen here since World War II, when Pimpney Mouse Farm dedicated a dozen acres to growing potatoes for the military. Along with providing locally-grown high quality nutrition to our neighborhood we are also treated to many other food related activities at Slip Away. The popularity of their Community Supported Agriculture program and the success of their fundraisers to keep the farm prosperous and expanding are evidence of the enthusiasm of Chappaquiddickers to support the purpose of the Slip Away farmers.

The Trustees of Reservations have been conscientious stewards of Chappy’s beaches, wild lands and Mytoi Garden for many decades. They have provided the opportunity for locals as well as visitors to experience and appreciate Chappy in ways that would not otherwise be available to all of us. Their excursions and education programs have delighted generations of Chappaquiddickers. TTOR has partnered with the Chappy Community Center to make it very convenient for kids and parents to participate.

Additionally, a great deal of effort by many has been put into conserving open space and providing wildlife preserves on Chappy. An island wide system of trails now exists thanks to our many acres of public lands and easements across private lands. When I was a kid we had to wait for winter to roam Chappy freely. Now anybody can hike around the island year -round without having to trespass.

These institutions individually and collectively make Chappy a neighborhood. They give us the chance to enjoy our surroundings and get together with our neighbors. I am grateful to the folks who created them and to those who carry on with their missions.

It isn’t too late to volunteer to help out with the Chappy Community Center holiday tea on Sunday, Dec. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. Joanne Brine has stepped forward to host the tea. However, she will need people before the event to make tea sandwiches and baked goods as well as helpers on Sunday to set up, serve tea and clean up. Please contact Lynn Martinka at the CCC office at 508-627-8222 to find out how you can help out.

Your help is also needed to make the CCC Christmas dinner come to life. First, we need a donation of a cut evergreen tree to decorate the community center. Then we need attendees to volunteer to bring the various courses of the dinner. If you would like to bring a specific dish or to find out what is needed call Lynn at the CCC. This year Christmas Eve is Saturday. Dinner is from 6 to 8 p.m. All are welcome.

I spoke too soon a couple of weeks ago about the completion of the dirt parking area project at the point. A couple of pallets of the wrong grid components had to be exchanged. So, again I dare to say that by the time you read this, cars will be parking on the finished gravel surface.

The Chappy Ferry will observe the age-old traditional Christmas Day schedule as follows. In the morning the ferry will operate only on the hour, that is 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 a.m., to take across any vehicles that are in line at that hour. Starting at noon the ferry will run the normal daily winter schedule, that is, continuously until 8 p.m., then 9 to 10 p.m. and finally 11 to 11:15 p.m.

Send Chappy news to peterchappyferry@gmail.com.