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, ABCWUA sign new water storage agreement for Abiquiu Reservoir
6/27/2024
The Albuquerque District signed a new water storage agreement for Abiquiu Reservoir with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, June 26...
USACE, Pueblo of Isleta sign Tribal partnership agreement for Pottery Mound cultural preservation study
6/28/2024
The Albuquerque District and the Pueblo of Isleta entered a partnership agreement to begin a cultural preservation study for the historic Pottery Mound site, June 26, 2024...
Force multipliers: 51 Charlies benefit both USACE and U.S. Army
6/21/2024
Behind almost every project at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is at least one contracting action. Depending on the size of the project, there could be dozens. Behind every contract is a dedicated...

Feature Stories

West Hill holds fun STEM activities for young visitors

USACE, New England District
Published Sept. 30, 2016
Park Ranger Viola Bramel holds up a tree branch and identifies it to her audience during the  Beginning Bridges Five Senses and Solar Power Day at West Hill Dam in Massachusetts on July 20, 2016.

Park Ranger Viola Bramel holds up a tree branch and identifies it to her audience during the Beginning Bridges Five Senses and Solar Power Day at West Hill Dam in Massachusetts on July 20, 2016.

Park Ranger Sally Carullo operates an auger to dig through soil layers during the  Beginning Bridges Five Senses and Solar Power Day held on July 20, 2016 at West Hill Dam in Massachusetts.

Park Ranger Sally Carullo operates an auger to dig through soil layers during the Beginning Bridges Five Senses and Solar Power Day held on July 20, 2016 at West Hill Dam in Massachusetts.

Park Ranger Viola Bramel and Level 1 Junior Rangers during the Nocturnal Animal Tracking presentation held at West Hill Dam in Massachusetts on July 22, 2016

Park Ranger Viola Bramel and Level 1 Junior Rangers during the Nocturnal Animal Tracking presentation held at West Hill Dam in Massachusetts on July 22, 2016

West Hill Dam hosted back-to back-events July 20 that focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). 

The first event, Beginning Bridges Five Senses and Solar Power Day took place on July 20.  The second event, for Junior Rangers only, featured Professor Brandi VanRoos from Framingham State University.

About 56 children and their families participated in the Beginning Bridges Event.  Activities included building dams, learning the soil layers with Summer Park Ranger Sally Carullo who operated the auger to get down to the different layers, as well as building a solar shower and building and cooking in a solar oven. 

“The kids made coffee for their parents, solar tea for the Park Rangers, waffles, toast and popcorn,” said Viola Bramel, Park Ranger at West Hill Dam and the event coordinator.  

The final activity for the Beginning Bridges event was identifying and aging trees.  The participants sampled flavors from trees such as sassafras, birch soda and more. 

Although this is the first time Bramel and Beginning Bridges coordinator Emily Murray brought the Five Senses and Solar Cooking event to West Hill, it is not the first time that the two agencies have worked together.  Last year Bramel and Murray held a sand castle event at the project. 

Later that evening Professor VanRoos showed Level 1 Junior Rangers how to track animals using technology during her Techniques for Observing Nocturnal Animals presentation.

The session was one of five required sessions the Junior Rangers needed to earn their badges.

During the activity, the children pretended to be animals such as deer, mice and bears for about 40 minutes as Professor VanRoos tracked the “animals” using a camera and a mounted trip plate.  She took the SIM card and downloaded the video and loaded it onto her laptop to show the children how she tracked them.

These two events were just a sampling of the interpretive programs that West Hill Dam hosts year round.  For more information on upcoming programs, please go to:  http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/Recreation/WHD/West_Hill_Events_2016.pdf

West Hill Dam hosted back-to back-events July 20 that focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). 

The first event, Beginning Bridges Five Senses and Solar Power Day took place on July 20.  The second event, for Junior Rangers only, featured Professor Brandi VanRoos from Framingham State University.

About 56 children and their families participated in the Beginning Bridges Event.  Activities included building dams, learning the soil layers with Summer Park Ranger Sally Carullo who operated the auger to get down to the different layers, as well as building a solar shower and building and cooking in a solar oven. 

“The kids made coffee for their parents, solar tea for the Park Rangers, waffles, toast and popcorn,” said Viola Bramel, Park Ranger at West Hill Dam and the event coordinator.  

The final activity for the Beginning Bridges event was identifying and aging trees.  The participants sampled flavors from trees such as sassafras, birch soda and more. 

Although this is the first time Bramel and Beginning Bridges coordinator Emily Murray brought the Five Senses and Solar Cooking event to West Hill, it is not the first time that the two agencies have worked together.  Last year Bramel and Murray held a sand castle event at the project. 

Later that evening Professor VanRoos showed Level 1 Junior Rangers how to track animals using technology during her Techniques for Observing Nocturnal Animals presentation.

The session was one of five required sessions the Junior Rangers needed to earn their badges.

During the activity, the children pretended to be animals such as deer, mice and bears for about 40 minutes as Professor VanRoos tracked the “animals” using a camera and a mounted trip plate.  She took the SIM card and downloaded the video and loaded it onto her laptop to show the children how she tracked them.

These two events were just a sampling of the interpretive programs that West Hill Dam hosts year round.  For more information on upcoming programs, please go to:  http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/Recreation/WHD/West_Hill_Events_2016.pdf


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