Kelley was a warrior for Haley Farm cause
John J. Kelley was an English teacher at Fitch Senior High School in 1964 when efforts began to save the Haley Farm property. He served on the board of the Groton Open Space Association (GOSA) from 1969 to 1983. He started a conservation club with his students from English class as well as the runners in the sports program.
Supporters held the big opening rally of the "Save the Haley Farm" campaign at Fitch. Members of the conservation club acted as guides to take people on tours of the farm property. They all knew it well, since most of them ran it in training sessions as well as in competitions held at Haley Farm. Kelley's articles in local papers supported GOSA's efforts.
With Johnny spurring them on, all involved did a fine job and their efforts, along with that of many individuals and other organizations, helped surpass the fundraising goal of $50,000 (a lot of money in 1969). The Haley Farm State Park was saved in 1970 with the state picking up the remainder of the tab.
The cross-country runners still have that beautiful park today due in large part to Johnny Kelley. Those who knew Johnny will miss a good friend who was quite the warrior.
Editor's note: The author was one of GOSA's founders and first president until 1982. She is now vice president.
Stories that may interest you
A letter, “Sabilia would lead Waterford down New London’s failed path,” (Oct. 9), opined that Beth Sabilia would make Waterford like New London. I...
I met Marty Olsen in 2004. I was introduced by Bob Grills through the service club New London Kiwanis. As I grew to know Marty over the next 15 years I learned that service was his middle name. Marty impressed me with his life experience and knowledge. I've always felt that the best...
Is it my understanding that Congress can't do two things at once? Is reviewing impeachment and addressing gun control and/or other legislation too much work for them and their large staffs? Perhaps it is the burden of raising funds for their next election and governing that is too much to...
I am writing to express my support for Regina Mosley’s re-election to the New London Board of Education. In her two years as Curriculum Committee chair, Regina was instrumental in ensuring the approval of a high school U.S. History Ethnic Studies Course and curriculum at New London High...