Thursday, October 2, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;55.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/ovc.png;2014-10-02 08:27:35
Sunday, July 27, 2014

Busy families around Conant Road in Nashua

EDITOR’S NOTE: Neighborhoods by the Numbers is a six-day series profiling Nashua neighborhoods by digging into economic data. To read previous installments, visit nashuatelegraph.com. Coming Monday: Nashua Country Club/Rivier University.

On a warm summer evening, Evan Chapman raced around his grassy front yard before crouching by a tree and admiring a bug on his hand. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

EDITOR’S NOTE: Neighborhoods by the Numbers is a six-day series profiling Nashua neighborhoods by digging into economic data. To read previous installments, visit nashuatelegraph.com. Coming Monday: Nashua Country Club/Rivier University.

On a warm summer evening, Evan Chapman raced around his grassy front yard before crouching by a tree and admiring a bug on his hand.

The 2-year-old’s parents, Peter and Laura, kept a close eye on him, but they didn’t stress out when he ventured near the street, a looping horseshoe that only has local traffic. The neighborhood is a good one for a young child, Laura said.

“Lots of kids, lots of dogs,” she said. “It’s safe enough, and the neighbors are nice.”

Laura knows the neighborhood especially well because she’s there at all hours of the day. Her employer, Philips Medical of Andover, Mass., lets her work from home. She started taking advantage of a pilot program experimenting with the family-friendly policy when Evan was a baby, and he has become used to letting Mom work and leaving her computer alone.

A baby sitter helps out three days a week, and other days, Laura juggles child care and work, sometimes heading to her own mother’s house in Lowell, Mass., if it gets to be too much of a struggle.

This part of South Nashua, Census Tract 114.02, which centers on Conant Road and stretches from the F.E. Everett Turnpike down to Buckmeadow Road, between Main Dunstable and Searles roads, is home to a lot of experts in work-life balance. More than 44 percent of households here include children, by far the highest percentage of any tract in Nashua. It’s also one of the parts of the city where adults are most likely to be working – 73 percent are employed, a percentage second only to Tract 111.01, the area around Roby Park, which is dominated by apartment-dwelling, childless young adults.

That makes the area ground zero in Nashua for the crunch that working parents across the country feel on their time and their budgets. A Pew Research Center survey last year found that 56 percent of working moms and 50 percent of working dads find it “very” or “somewhat” difficult to balance work and family lives.

There’s no doubt that families in the Conant Road area are working hard to fit their various responsibilities into each day while still finding time to play.

While the Chapmans were watching Evan play in the yard, Jay Williams and his family were not far away, at a playground that his neighborhood association put up on Burgundy Drive. Williams said neither he nor his wife has a lot of flexibility in their jobs, but they do what they have to so they can spend enough time together with their two daughters.

“You get used to a routine,” he said.

Like much of the area, Burgundy Drive is a looping residential street without a lot of traffic. In fact, Williams said that even though he has lived in Nashua all his life, he had never seen the neighborhood until the family started house hunting.

The street is home to
lots of kids, Williams said. It’s the kind of place children from other areas come to on Halloween because it’s safe for walkers and all of the families give out candy.

“It’s an awesome neighborhood,” he said. “Everybody respects each other, we all know each other. It’s just an awesome place to be.”

Kristen Silva, who lives on Jennifer Drive, echoed that sentiment about her neighborhood. She’d never want to move from the house simply because she gets along so well with the neighbors.

In particular, she said, she’s thrilled that she’s friends with a family child care provider who lives right down the street. The woman has cared for her 7-year-old son for four years.

Silva, who was eight months pregnant on the June day she spoke with The Telegraph, said she’ll happily send the new baby there, as well – something she wouldn’t be willing to do if she didn’t know the caregiver well.

“If I didn’t have my day care provider, I’d have to stay home,” she said.

Silva would rather not stay home. She likes her job as the assistant to a dean at Middlesex Community College.

“I don’t think I could not work,” she said. “I’d get too bored.”