A small and hearty crowd turned out on a cool, cloudy, blustery Saturday to celebrate the culmination of three years of working through the details of the development and conservation elements of 149 County Road, the Residences at Riverbend project. The outcome is a win-win for all! The Ipswich River Watershed Association (IRWA) had 4.2 acres of land, including approximately 440 feet of river frontage, donated to it by the developers, Congress Companies and LCB Corporation. Five and a half acres of land were permanently protected from development through a conservation restriction granted to the Essex County Greenbelt Association. A public trail easement along the riverfront was granted to the Essex County Trails Association. An elderly residential assisted living facility and grounds were constructed to accommodate seventy-five residents. And the Town was granted a public access easement and roadway to reach the riverfront area and IRWA's dock for launching non-motorized watercraft. The roadway for vehicles and dock will be open for use seasonally from May through October, and the Town and IRWA will share responsibility for maintaining the public access. The trails and roadway, which are reached by entering the IRWA driveway entrance at 143 County Road, then taking an immediate left through the gate, will be open all season long for pedestrians and horses. Thanks to Wayne Castonguay, Executive Director at IRWA, Bill Callahan, Ipswich Waterways Advisory Committee, Ed Rauscher, Ipswich Board of Selectmen, and Maria Reid, LCB Residences at Riverbend, for speaking at the Opening. Newbury Kayak and Canoe was generous enough to provide free standup paddle boards for demos at the event, so thanks to them as well. Thanks also to all the project constituencies for their roles in helping this project come to fruition. Photos from the event can be seen by clicking the link below, and thanks to Tess O'Connor for photographing the celebration.