New England News Releases

City of New Haven seeks USACE permit for proposed work in waters of New Haven Harbor
2/27/2024
 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District received a permit application to conduct work in waters of the United States from the City of New Haven Engineering Department for proposed work...
USACE seeks comments on proposed work in Prospect Reservoir in Prospect, Connecticut
2/27/2024
 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District received a permit application to conduct work in waters of the United States from the South-Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority for...
Town of Temple seeks permit for proposed work in Henry Mitchell Brook off Mitchell Brook Road in Maine
2/15/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District received a permit application to conduct work in waters of the United States from the Town of Temple for proposed work in Henry Mitchell Brook...

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

Galveston District celebrates 144 years
2/27/2024 UPDATED
On February 25, 1880, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) established its first engineer district in Texas on an island off the Gulf Coast. One hundred forty-four years, 52 district commanders,...
Louisville District announces official closure of Lock and Dam 53
1/16/2024 UPDATED
After being in service for nearly 90 years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District announced the official closure of the Lock and Dam 53 project, Jan. 16, 2024. This is a historic...
Managing water in the Nashville District
2/20/2024
What is Water Management? Here in the Nashville District, crisscrossed by the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, water management is a constant and ever-changing balancing act...

Feature Stories

District, volunteers celebrate National Public Lands Day

USACE, New England District
Published Oct. 31, 2016
Girl Scout Troop 64058 of Thomaston, Connecticut assisted NRB Environmental Specialist Marissa Wright winterize the Black Rock Dam's butterfly garden during National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24, 2016.

Girl Scout Troop 64058 of Thomaston, Connecticut assisted NRB Environmental Specialist Marissa Wright winterize the Black Rock Dam's butterfly garden during National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24, 2016.

Eagle Candidate Nathan Tougas of Troop 2 from Douglas, Massachusetts, stands with his Blue Bird habitat upgrade for 19 sites at West Hill Dam during National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on September 24, 2016.

Eagle Candidate Nathan Tougas of Troop 2 from Douglas, Massachusetts, stands with his Blue Bird habitat upgrade for 19 sites at West Hill Dam during National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on September 24, 2016.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States, and New England citizens did an incredible job at this year’s events.  Connecticut’s Black Rock Dam hosted their NPLD clean-up on September 17, while three Massachusetts sites, West Hill Dam, Buffumville Lake and Hodges Village Dam, hosted their National Public Lands Day events on Sept. 24.

On Sept. 17, Black Rock Dam and NRB Environmental Protection Specialist Marissa Wright welcomed three Girl Scout volunteers from Thomaston Troop 64058 and one Scout Leader to join forces for the day’s activities. Together, they worked hard and plugged away at improving and winterizing the butterfly garden and walking path.

“The Scouts worked diligently as they pulled weeds, deadheaded plants and prepared the garden for winter,” said Wright. “The girls had a blast and are now in their sixth year in a row of maintaining the native butterfly garden.”

A week later, Buffumville Lake and Hodges Village Dam hosted their 25th annual NPLD.  Volunteers and six park rangers arrived bright and early with sleeves rolled-up ready for action. At Hodges Village, volunteers spread stones in rutted trail areas, upgraded picnic tables, installed improvements to the disc golf course, and removed exotic plants. At Buffumville Lake, volunteers anchored the pond slope with rip-rap to prevent erosion, and conducted conservation activities. At Buffumville Park, volunteers cut back vegetation, spray-painted all the grills, installed a picket fence, painted the main staircase, and added shade plants to the garden.

At West Hill Dam, volunteers arrived early to get to work. Ranger Ron Woodall headed up the Woodland Trail maintenance crew to apply sealant to decks and benches, as well as clear five miles of the trail to prepare for snow and runoff. Eagle Candidate Lucas Horan and Troop #1122 Uxbridge, Massachusetts brought kayaks and tools to clear five miles of the West River Kayak trail, update trail markers and install a new entrance pad.

Ranger Mark  Larson headed up the Long Beach crew with 20 Cub Scouts to refresh the wheelchair accessible fishing platform and apply sealant. Eagle Candidate Matthew Keith and Troop #1122 volunteers installed three benches on Long Beach.

Ranger Viola Bramel headed up the Short Beach Crew to seal the garden fence and military memorial benches, and secure the Life Jacket Loan Station. Her crew joined Larson to finish the annual upgrade to the Pollinator Garden.

Project Manager Joe Zanca and Ranger Drew Labonte headed up the Grassland Annual Invasive and Restoration Crew, of Troop 1 Boy Scouts and their leaders from Blackstone, Massachusetts. Together they cleared six acres of invasive Box Elder shrubs from the West Hill facility while Labonte headed up the playground safety surfacing crew to aerate and install four inches of new Fibar. Other projects included ensuring the playground benches were sealed and the horseshoe pit area was updated with sealant to the split-rail safety fence. 

“There is nothing like people staying to enjoy their park,” said Viola Bramel.  Not to mention “all the socializing and networking that follows each year,” she added.

Public lands account for 30-percent of the United States, and they are the places where we live, learn, play, exercise, and relax.

NPLD is a fee-free day for all federal public lands and many state parks. Since 1994, thousands of volunteers support more than 80 USACE projects every year, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. On National Public Lands Day, people give back to their community and help ensure public lands continue to be beautiful places for all to enjoy. Community sponsors include Toyota and the Last Green Valley.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States, and New England citizens did an incredible job at this year’s events.  Connecticut’s Black Rock Dam hosted their NPLD clean-up on September 17, while three Massachusetts sites, West Hill Dam, Buffumville Lake and Hodges Village Dam, hosted their National Public Lands Day events on Sept. 24.

On Sept. 17, Black Rock Dam and NRB Environmental Protection Specialist Marissa Wright welcomed three Girl Scout volunteers from Thomaston Troop 64058 and one Scout Leader to join forces for the day’s activities. Together, they worked hard and plugged away at improving and winterizing the butterfly garden and walking path.

“The Scouts worked diligently as they pulled weeds, deadheaded plants and prepared the garden for winter,” said Wright. “The girls had a blast and are now in their sixth year in a row of maintaining the native butterfly garden.”

A week later, Buffumville Lake and Hodges Village Dam hosted their 25th annual NPLD.  Volunteers and six park rangers arrived bright and early with sleeves rolled-up ready for action. At Hodges Village, volunteers spread stones in rutted trail areas, upgraded picnic tables, installed improvements to the disc golf course, and removed exotic plants. At Buffumville Lake, volunteers anchored the pond slope with rip-rap to prevent erosion, and conducted conservation activities. At Buffumville Park, volunteers cut back vegetation, spray-painted all the grills, installed a picket fence, painted the main staircase, and added shade plants to the garden.

At West Hill Dam, volunteers arrived early to get to work. Ranger Ron Woodall headed up the Woodland Trail maintenance crew to apply sealant to decks and benches, as well as clear five miles of the trail to prepare for snow and runoff. Eagle Candidate Lucas Horan and Troop #1122 Uxbridge, Massachusetts brought kayaks and tools to clear five miles of the West River Kayak trail, update trail markers and install a new entrance pad.

Ranger Mark  Larson headed up the Long Beach crew with 20 Cub Scouts to refresh the wheelchair accessible fishing platform and apply sealant. Eagle Candidate Matthew Keith and Troop #1122 volunteers installed three benches on Long Beach.

Ranger Viola Bramel headed up the Short Beach Crew to seal the garden fence and military memorial benches, and secure the Life Jacket Loan Station. Her crew joined Larson to finish the annual upgrade to the Pollinator Garden.

Project Manager Joe Zanca and Ranger Drew Labonte headed up the Grassland Annual Invasive and Restoration Crew, of Troop 1 Boy Scouts and their leaders from Blackstone, Massachusetts. Together they cleared six acres of invasive Box Elder shrubs from the West Hill facility while Labonte headed up the playground safety surfacing crew to aerate and install four inches of new Fibar. Other projects included ensuring the playground benches were sealed and the horseshoe pit area was updated with sealant to the split-rail safety fence. 

“There is nothing like people staying to enjoy their park,” said Viola Bramel.  Not to mention “all the socializing and networking that follows each year,” she added.

Public lands account for 30-percent of the United States, and they are the places where we live, learn, play, exercise, and relax.

NPLD is a fee-free day for all federal public lands and many state parks. Since 1994, thousands of volunteers support more than 80 USACE projects every year, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. On National Public Lands Day, people give back to their community and help ensure public lands continue to be beautiful places for all to enjoy. Community sponsors include Toyota and the Last Green Valley.


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