New England News Releases

USACE hosts open house August 1 in Oxford, Mass., for Hodges Village Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house August 1, 2024, in Oxford, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 1976 Hodges Village Dam Master Plan for the Hodges...
USACE hosts open house July 31 in Monson, Mass., for Conant Brook Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house July 31, 2024, in Monson, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 1998 Conant Brook Dam Master Plan for the Conant...
USACE hosts open house July 30 in Uxbridge, Mass., for West Hill Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house July 30, 2024, in Uxbridge, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 2011 West Hill Dam Master Plan for the West Hill...

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

USACE Ranger promotes water safety at White Oak Elementary
5/24/2024
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Stephen Cahn, a seasoned expert in water safety, recently visited White Oak Elementary School. His purpose was to read the new Bobber Water Safety book to...
Norfolk District invites public to virtual change of command ceremony July 12
6/27/2024
NORFOLK, Va. – Col. Sonny B. Avichal will assume command of the Norfolk District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in a change of command ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. July 12 at the Norfolk Waterside...
U.S. Army’s premier engineer award presented posthumously to Medal of Honor recipient
5/17/2024 UPDATED
SAVANNAH. Ga. -- U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher A. Celiz was posthumously presented the Gold Order of the de Fleury Medal, the highest honor in the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment, during a ceremony...

Feature Stories

Sand castle contest a hit at West Hill Dam

USACE, New England District
Published Sept. 14, 2015
Two young sand castle contestants stand proudly next to their creations.

Two young sand castle contestants stand proudly next to their creations.

Nothing says summer like a good old fashioned sand castle contest.  West Hill Dam, partnering with the Friends of Beginning Bridges of Northbridge and Uxbridge, hosted such an event at the recreational site’s beach area August 12.

Nearly 90 people from very small children to bigger kids 12 and over participated in the event.  There were no age limitations to make a sand castle.  “The rules were very simple – bring your own tools, creativity,” said Park Ranger Viola Bramel, West Hill Dam.  “No live decorations and no spray paint for color.  Everyone had about 90 minutes to make their creations.”

The contest broke the sand castles down to three categories:  Largest, Most Unusual and Most Creative.  Beginning Bridges provided the prizes.  The Largest Castle winner received a book entitled, “Money Matters for Youth,” and a youth press and decorate wall map.

In addition to the sand castle contest, Bramel provided a Water Safety race and demonstration with life jackets.  Everyone who attended received a Water Safety Flying Ring and Bobber Dog coloring book.  Although West Hill Dam holds an annual sand castle contest early in July, this  was the first time they co-hosted an event with the Friends of Beginning Bridges. 

According to BrainBuildingIProgress.org, The Brain Building in Progress campaign is a public/private partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and a growing community of early education and child care providers, academic researchers, business leaders and individuals.

West Hill Dam and Park remain open year round. West Hill Park is where the West River widens to form a large, natural swimming hole, known locally as Harrington Pool. Tables and grills are available for picnicking in two areas of the park, one near a beach and one under a grove of pines. The park also offers two sandy beaches, a change house and modern rest rooms. Two picnic shelters on a wooded knoll, with electric are available to groups for a small fee. A sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits and accessible playground are nearby. From the parking lot, a 1/2 mile, self-guided nature trail runs down along the river and loops back through the woods.

About two miles of hiking trails meander through the woodlands and provide secluded views of the river. Anglers will find trout in the main river channel and bass, pickerel and horned pout in the pools. Hunting for deer, small game and upland birds is permitted in accordance with state laws. Trout and pheasant are stocked by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

For more information on the many recreational opportunities at West Hill Dam please go to:  http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/Recreation/WHD/AnnualEventsCalendar2015.pdf


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