By Vanessa Kirchner-Leida
My husband and I bought our first home in Bedford right before our first child was born in the summer of 2002. What attracted us to Bedford then was the good schools, safe community, close proximity to Boston, and small-town feel. 15 years later—and now a family of five—we still love it here.
As soon as we moved in, our new neighbors made us feel welcome. They brought us homemade food, baby gifts, and told us to feel free to knock on their door if we ever needed anything. Coming from the city, this behavior was unexpected and greatly appreciated.
We were also happy to discover that we picked a truly kid-friendly neighborhood after we noticed it teeming with children! There is no through traffic, which makes it especially safe and easy for kids to play outside. Almost daily, we would see children meeting up for unsupervised play and mothers walking by with baby strollers.
After a couple of months, I joined a playgroup through the Bedford Family Connection, so my daughter and I could get out of the house and meet other moms beyond our neighborhood as well. We regularly met up at the town playground and Springs Brook Park on sunny days, and on rainy days, the playroom at First Parish or at each other’s houses.
Then when my first-born started Kindergarten, I knew she was in good hands at Davis Elementary, where I volunteered and got to know the teachers and staff members. I especially like how Davis is only for kids in grades K-2, so they can start friendships with anyone and everyone in their class starting at age five. Next came Lane Elementary for grades 3-5, and then the John Glen Middle School (JGMS). Now my oldest is a freshman at the Bedford High School!
All of the schools have been first-rate in academics, extra-curricular activities, and the sense of community they offer. The most recent play at the high school, Children of Eden, stands out in particular to me. It was one of the most powerful and best school productions I have ever seen, and I feel lucky that my daughter had the opportunity to be a part of this experience.
Becoming a member of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church has been another wonderful and supportive community for my family and me. The services are enlightening, witty, full of hope, and inspire me to take action in the name of social justice. The religious education programs have greatly benefitted my children, but it is the music and fellowship that I like best. Well…actually, watching my kids sing in the choir is my greatest pride and pleasure.
The Bedford Flag
Speaking of pride, let me not forget to mention the Bedford Flag—known as the oldest complete flag in the United States. Nathaniel Page, a Bedford Minuteman, carried it to the Concord Bridge on April 19, 1775, during the Revolutionary War. Today, the flag is on display at the Bedford Public Library and is available for viewing anytime the library is open.
More Bedford Gems
I can think of numerous additional benefits and reasons why I love living in Bedford. Here is a list of a few more of my personal favorites:
- Great library
- Convenient shopping
- Low crime
- Fiscally responsible
- Strong local government and social services
- Accessibility to public transportation
- Bike path that runs all the way into Cambridge
- Middlesex Community College
- VA hospital and Hanscom Air Force Base
Perhaps though, what I like most about Bedford is how small it is compared to most neighboring towns with only about 14,000 residents. Whenever I am out-and-about in town, I run into someone I know. We catch up on how things are going in one another’s lives.
For me, Bedford is a friendly, tight-knit, caring community that my family and I take pride in calling home. Go Bucs!
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