New England News Releases

USACE to hold public meetings to share details of Connecticut River hydrilla project
5/28/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District announced today it will be conducting a research and demonstration project to better understand and control the invasive aquatic plant hydrilla...
Hop Brook Lake in Middlebury closes swimming area following excessive rainfall
5/24/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District announced today that the swimming area at Hop Brook Lake in Middlebury, Conn., will be closed until further notice.The closure is a precautionary...
USACE reminds visitors to practice water safety
5/10/2024
As millions of Americans plan visits to our nation’s lakes and rivers, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District reminds visitors of the importance of practicing safe, sensible, and...

Top Rotator

Local bird watchers descended upon West Hill Dam armed with pen, paper and a few binoculars to participate in West Hill Dam’s annual Backyard Bird Count.
Construction of the System Management Engineering Facility (SMEF), the 40,000 square foot, 2-story addition, is well underway and progressing rapidly.
For vessels wanting to enter Plymouth waters, dredging to remove shoals from the Plymouth Harbor federal navigation project in Massachusetts is currently underway and on schedule.

News From Around the Corps

Full transparency: National Inventory of Dams a ‘powerful tool’ in emergency planning
5/7/2024
No news is good news. This common phrase can apply to countless scenarios but when it comes to dam safety, no news really is good news. Dam safety is something that most people probably don’t think...
Rockaway kicks off Beach Season as Work Resumes
5/23/2024
Rockaway has officially kicked off its beach season, coinciding with the resumption of significant beach work in the area. Contract 1, which included multiple beach improvements for Rockaway, is now...
USACE Biologist Embraces Adaptability and Passion in Her Role as Operations Liaison for the Key Bridge Response Team
4/30/2024 UPDATED
Ariel Poirier, a biologist with USACE Baltimore, applies her passion for nature and expertise as an operations liaison in response to the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse...

Feature Stories

Celebrating National Public Lands Day

Published Oct. 24, 2014
A volunteer plants flowers at West Hill Dam, Uxbridge, Mass., during a National Public Lands Day event on Sept. 20, 2014.

A volunteer plants flowers at West Hill Dam, Uxbridge, Mass., during a National Public Lands Day event on Sept. 20, 2014.

A young participant carries flowers for planting at West Hill Dam, Uxbridge, Mass., during a National Public Lands Day event.

A young participant carries flowers for planting at West Hill Dam, Uxbridge, Mass., during a National Public Lands Day event.

Volunteers paint the stairs at Buffumville Park, Charlton, Mass, for a National Public Lands Day event.

Volunteers paint the stairs at Buffumville Park, Charlton, Mass, for a National Public Lands Day event.

Citizen stewardship and volunteerism are two very important aspects in keeping New England District projects maintained and looking beautiful. Although this takes place many times throughout the year, it is most concentrated during National Public Lands Day. Every year a call goes out to local residents asking that they come help celebrate their local public lands by performing cleanup work and improvement projects. Every year the call is answered by hundreds of volunteers who aren't afraid to get a little dirty.

Several New England District Flood Risk Management projects celebrated National Public Lands Day -- West Hill, Hodges Village and Buffumville Dams in Massachusetts and Black Rock Lake in Connecticut. National Public Lands Day is the nation's single largest volunteer event that focuses on the care and stewardship of all public lands.

West Hill held its event on Sept. 20 -- the week before Buffumville and Hodges Village so the projects could share team leaders and equipment. Work this year at West Hill Park/Dam included a butterfly/pollinator garden upgrade at the dam site (main dike) with a bench; a fishing access pathway to the inlet channel and brush removal; spreading playground surface material, annual maintenance and aeration; Kestrel and bluebird boxes annual cleaning; brush removal grassland habitat; applying sealant to park bridge railings, planter boxes and benches at the park; annual maintenance of the beach glider swing; seal wood and replace stone dust beneath swings; upgrade the park butterfly garden; annual maintenance of the Woodland Trail; clear water bars, seal bridge deck and brush removal. About 183 volunteers came out for the West Hill event, saving the government approximately $24,540.

Buffumville Lake and Hodges Village Dam once again hosted a large scale event Sept. 27. This year marked Buffumville's 23rd anniversary hosting a National Public Lands Day event. Approximately 112 District team members and volunteers of all ages turned out to lend a hand in completing all scheduled projects for the day.

Projects included trail blazing and trash clean-up at Hodges Village; trash cleanup along Oxford Road at Buffumville; removing invasive species; painting the main stairs in Buffumville Park; wire brushing and painting grills in the park; Island work- fire pit and moving an outhouse at Buffumville Lake; building/installing privacy enclosure for a port-o-john; replacing stair tread and repairing fences at Buffumville Park. Efforts by participants resulted in a savings of $9,561.20 in labor costs.
Black Rock Lake hosted a Girl Scout Troop that came to do its annual maintenance of the butterfly garden.

According to the National Environmental Education Foundation, NPLD began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers. It proved to be a huge success and became a yearly tradition, typically held on the last Saturday in September. Since the first NPLD, the event has grown by leaps and bounds. The Foundation states that in 2013, about 175,000 volunteers worked at 2,237 sites in every state, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

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