2021 year in review: Northborough


NORTHBOROUGH – As 2021 winds down, the Community Advocate is taking a look back at major stories that shaped the past 12 months. 

From COVID-19, to sports triumphs, to complex discussions in local government meetings, 2021 has been an eventful year in local news. 

Read on for our recap of this year’s top Northborough stories and check back over the coming days for similar recaps of stories from other area communities…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Click each subheadline to see a collection of articles on each of this year’s top stories.

Algonquin considers mascot change

2021 year in review: Northborough
Photo/Tami White

A petition last year kicked off a conversation about the Algonquin Regional High School “Tomahawk” mascot that has continued throughout 2021.

The Regional School Committee voted in April to formally retire the mascot. Many in town have since objected to the School Committee’s vote, asking to preserve the Tomahawk mascot while arguing that their perspectives have not been heard or respected in this process.

That process continues, and it will now come to a close next month when students will vote on a list of new mascot options recently accepted by the School Committee. 

Northborough debates trucking, traffic development along Bartlett Street

2021 year in review: Northborough
Photo/Jesse Kucewicz

Discussions and debates continue about the level of truck traffic and commercial development along Bartlett Street in Northborough after many residents and town officials have voiced concerns.

This year, the town took action in multiple instances, including enacting a “safety zone” that would lower the speed limit at times of peak traffic around Algonquin Regional High School on Bartlett Street among a number of other things. 

Northborough mother, son complete Boston Marathon

2021 year in review: NorthboroughNorthborough’s Connie Cao ran the Boston Marathon this fall alongside her son, Enchee Xu, and a number of other Northborough residents.

The Community Advocate profiled Cao in June, discussing her journey alongside Enchee, who was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Together, the duo raised money to benefit the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.

Enchee and Connie then crossed the marathon finish line in downtown Boston together with official race times of 4:15:38 and 4:15:39 respectively.

COVID-19 continues to impact Northborough

2021 year in review: Northborough
Photo/Laura Hayes

COVID-19 continued to shape life in Northborough in 2021. As various coronavirus vaccines became available, though, the town helped lead a broader vaccination push throughout the region.

Northborough partnered with neighboring communities to set up a vaccination clinic at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westborough. More recently, the town has hosted booster clinics and clinics focused on vaccinating young children as they have become eligible for their coronavirus shots. 

Assabet Park closes for renovations

2021 year in review: Northborough
Photo/Tami White

Northborough closed the Assabet Park playground in September as crews got set to begin renovation work at the park.

The existing playground structure was more than 20 years old, according to Recreation Director Allison Lane. It was not accessible under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Lane told the Community Advocate.

The new playground will feature new equipment and a new rubberized surface to help keep guests safe.

Construction of the new playground is ongoing.

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