AMHERST – The Amherst Farmers’ Market returns to downtown Amherst this month and, in its 51st year, will once again be set on the grass of Town Common.

But unlike the past two years when social distancing and other precautions were in place and vendors were scattered, the market will only take up about half of the green spaces when it starts on April 23 at 7:30 a.m.

City Council recently granted the market exclusive use of this section of downtown until 1:30 p.m. each Saturday, along with 15 spaces in the Spring Street car park, six parking spaces on Boltwood Avenue and five seats on South Pleasant Street.

The market will have a maximum of 40 vendors, with a variety of goods including meat, cheese, fruit and vegetables, honey, nuts, mushrooms, bread, prepared meals and cut flowers.

After more than half a century, the weekly market remains an attraction in the spring, summer and autumn, with city manager Paul Bockelman empowered to implement any changes to the market’s use of the common , noting in a note to advisers that on July 10, the market had 2,400 visitors.

The Amherst Farmers Market will again use grants from organizations such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Peoples Bank and Cooley Dickinson Hospital to support income-eligible shoppers. In addition, the market accepts food aid provided through programs such as WIC, SNAP and HIP.

November 19 will be the last market of the 2022 season.

youth heroes

Nominations are expected this week for the Human Rights Youth Heroism Awards, which will be presented by the Amherst Human Rights Commission for the 16th time next month.

The commission hopes to identify young people who exemplify the ability to love and care for one another, and achieve the commission’s goals of promoting a community of mutual respect and honoring Amherst’s diversity.

Youth nominees must have demonstrated acts of kindness, helpfulness, social courage, and/or community service within their family, school, or community.

The Human Rights Commission, in conjunction with the Julius Ford Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Community, will celebrate the winners with a community picnic at Mill River Recreation Area on May 7.

To make a nomination, go to

mental health check

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is hosting a “Fresh Check Day” on April 19 that will serve as a mental health checkup for students.

Held at the Campus Center Auditorium from 2-5 p.m., the expo-like event, with interactive exhibits featuring peer-to-peer messaging, prizes and food, is a concept created by the Jordan Porco Foundation.

Music and entertainment will also take place during the event.

Boston Marathoner

An Amherst resident will support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute by running the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Chaz Adams will be part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team at the 126th event.

Joining more than 500 Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge teammates from the United States and around the world, Adams will run from Hopkinton to Boston in hopes of collectively raising $5.5 million for cancer research.

affordable housing

Applications for affordable apartments in Aspen Heights, for rent to households with an income at or below 80% of the area median income, are being accepted on a rolling basis.

Located at 408 Northampton Road, the former site of the Amherst Motel, Aspen Heights features 88 units, each with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Residents also have access to a 24-hour fitness center, club room, and computer lounge with private meeting spaces.

For more information, call 617-782-6900 ext. 1. For an application, go to

Editor Scott Merzbach can be reached at [email protected]