With true local New England flavor, the Greater Gardner area boasts a wealth of community, cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities for fun, enrichment, and friendly involvement with neighbors and residents. Choices range from such passive pursuits, such as enjoying the historic atmosphere and beautiful New England landscape, to more strenuous endeavors, such as contra dancing or an outing in the great outdoors, a favorite for many.
Our seven community region contains 25 lakes, two alpine ski areas, a state forest, state park, two enclosed ice skating rinks, and five 18-hole golf courses. A day visit to Dunn State Park, for example, will provide a great variety of activities year-round including swimming, fishing, kayaking, skating, hiking, and many enriching educational activities for children of all ages Plenty of other locations in our region offer similar outdoor opportunities as well as places to ski, snowmobile, play golf or tennis, ride bicycles, and more.
For a taste of culture, one can take in a lecture, attend a class, or enjoy some of the best local theater around by attending a performance at the “Theater At the Mount” housed at our own Mount Wachusett Community College. The immediate area also includes five historical museums and several local historical societies that are rich resources of area history and artifacts. The warmer months are chock full of enjoyable activities such as town wide yard sales, fireworks, fishing derbies, street fairs, golf tournaments, and band concerts on the green in one of our historic downtowns. All are invited to purchase local produce at one of our many farm stands or farmers’ markets and join the fun at one of our hometown – style celebrations throughout the year. Where else can you celebrate “Oktoberfest” by watching, or even participating in our own unique Annual Gardner Chair Lugé & Oktoberfest ?
More than 1,300 businesses, financial institutions, and professionals are established in this area, providing a sturdy economic base. The Greater Gardner area offers over 1,100 affordable rooms for overnight accommodations and conference facilities for over 600. Centrally located along many major roads; Routes 2, 202, 68, and 101 all converge in Gardner. Other major routes pass through our townships, allowing residents to easily access the broad range of destinations throughout all of New England. We are within an hour’s drive to Boston and 30 minutes to Worcester. The MART bus system provides local transportation within the city, as well as into area towns including a line to Fitchburg where the MBTA line to Boston is located.
We are proud to be part of this vital region and believe that ours is a community deserving of strong consideration as a location for new and expanded business as well as a wonderful place to visit, explore, and to call home.
Greater Gardner Chamber Includes:
Cable Access Station: AWCATV Channel 8
The Town of Ashburnham is a quintessential New England Community. The residents are proud of the town’s heritage and reputation as a vacation paradise. With over 20 lakes and many miles of hiking trails; some with breathtaking scenic vistas, visitors, vacationers, and part-time residents are drawn to the town from all parts of the Northeast. During summer the population balloons from 5,000 to 10,000. Conservationists work to preserve hundreds of acres of protected land that boast high quality wetlands and abundant wildlife. In addition to its natural beauty, Ashburnham is known for its historical piano concerts and is the home of the prestigious preparatory school, Cushing Academy, which draws students from all over the world.
Charter Communications Cable: Channels 11 & 13
The town of Barre is a small rural community located almost exactly in the center of the state. Although originally it had many operating farms, they have become fewer in recent years, leaving many fields unsown. There are however, nearly one hundred operating farms in town, both large and small. Residents and visitors agree that theirs is one of the loveliest town commons in Central Massachusetts, where locals and visitors can enjoy band concerts that are held throughout the summer. An active year round theater attracts actors and theater goers from all around the region. Barre is particularly picturesque during the summer and fall months, as many residents and visitors to the community will attest.
Cable Access Station: WGET Channel 8
The city of Gardner, known as the “Chair City” and “The Furniture Capital of New England”, due to its long history in furniture production, is a true city in size and government, but is more “town”-like in attitude and friendliness. A small city of approximately 18,000 residents, it is compact; most residents live within two miles of downtown. One can find all the trappings of contemporary America from industrial parks to shopping centers, yet is a city whose heritage has not been overwhelmed by the bland uniformity of present-day changes. Retention of flavor from the past, complemented with the development of modern day amenities, create an inviting quality of life. Within the city, rolling hills, numerous lakes, and abundant open space maintain the feel of the country. In addition, tree-lined streets, a wealth of historic buildings and architecturally distinctive neighborhoods create an attractive environment for people and business. It is a place filled with surprising gems tucked into the center of Massachusetts. Enhancing Gardner’s livability are its quality educational resources, medical facilities and services, recreational opportunities, and active social environment. It is a family oriented community, where adults and children feel safe.
Many businesses and citizens and are invested in promoting and enhancing the downtown district of our city, hence the formation of Gardner Square Two, Inc. in the mid 1980’s. This all-volunteer organization hosts several enjoyable and creative downtown events, sponsors the downtown beautification program, and works to encourage local shopping. Gardner Square Two works in concert with the Chamber, the City, and other organizations to advance and support Gardner as a” safe and accessible, culturally diverse, and economically viable” city”. (Quote is from Square 2 website)
Charter Communications Cable: Channels 11 & 12
Hubbardston is a small rural town whose early economy was based on agriculture and small-scale chair and shoe manufacturing. Residents today are proud of their heritage and the town’s ambiance as a family-friendly close knit community. Townsfolk and visitors enjoy their annual town wide field day or parades and often gather on their well-used sports fields for different events. Hubbardston welcomes a variety of visitors from flea market enthusiasts to customers who value unique local farm products. It is home to hundreds of acres of state forest, providing a playground for a wide array of recreational activities.
Cable Access Station: AWCATV Channel 8
The Town of Westminster can be characterized as a rural community boasting suburban development on attractive lakeside sites and in sections of town with views of nearby Wachusett Mountain. The mountain and surrounding area are part of a large state reservation where opportunities for a wide scope of nature study and recreational activities abound. There is a privately owned ski area on the mountain as well. The center of Westminster has the character of a small New England village and throughout the town there are many older farms and homes with rich historic appeal.
Cable Access Station: Channel 8
The Town of Templeton is a rural community with significant historical architecture surrounding the centers of its four villages: Templeton, East Templeton, Baldwinville, & Otter River. Residents take pride in the town’s rich history which is captured and displayed in one of the finest Historical Society Museums, located at the Town Common, designated as a National Register Historical District. Rich in farmland, there is a strong sense of community throughout. You can move to any corner of the town to find rivers, lakes, a golf course, and woodlands for a wide variety of outdoor activities. Quaint antique shops in each village offer items from the past set in some of the oldest buildings in the area, and many small businesses offer dining and shopping and all the services a small town needs.
Cable Access Station: Channel 8
The Town of Winchendon is an industrial and residential community located on the upper portion of Millers River and bordering on New Hampshire. Rich in manufacturing history, it became known worldwide for its fine craftsmanship of toys during the First World War, hence its nickname “Toy Town”. Today it is an active suburban community with nearly 10,000 residents. With thousands of acres of land set aside for recreational uses, including a State campground, the town offers a vast array of outdoor activities as well as the often frequented YMCA located in the downtown area.
Area State Parks and Forests