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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers updates preventative measures in place for COVID-19 at Buffumville Lake and Hodges Village Dam

Published May 8, 2020

Charlton/Oxford, Mass. – In accordance with the most recent Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Stay-At-Home and Safe Practices Advisory, the following COVID-19 measures continue at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffumville Lake in Charlton, Mass and Hodges Village Dam in Oxford, Mass.


  • The Buffumville Lake Park and Beach will NOT be opening May 16, 2020 and will remain closed to the public until further notice.
  • The Buffumville Lake Disc Golf Course will remain closed to the public until further notice.
  • The Hodges Village Disc Golf Course will remain closed to the public until further notice.
  • Recreation facilities, including public restrooms and trash receptacles, will remain closed to the public until further notice.
  • The Buffumville Lake Office and Thames River Basin Office remains closed to the public, access is limited to mission essential employees, shipping companies, contractors and essential service personnel.
  • All USACE sponsored events, on-site interpretive programming and volunteer activities are cancelled until further notice.
  • No new special event or activity permits will be issued until further notice; those permits that have already been issued will be considered for revocation based upon latest Public Health guidelines.


The boat ramp at Buffumville Lake will remain open for use by boats being launched by vehicles registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please remember to wear a life jacket. Hiking, dirt bike and mountain bike trails remain open and accessible to the public, AS ALLOWED WITHIN COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS ORDERS AND ADVISORIES, should individuals and their families wish to get outside for healthy, outdoor recreational activity. For this measure to continue, and for the health and safety of all, visitors must adhere to the following guidelines:


  • Stay home if feeling sick.
  • Practice social distancing of at least six feet between individuals.
  • Avoid activities where individuals will come in close contact with one another and/or gathering in groups of ten or more.
  • Should crowds begin to form at various locations, visitors are asked to leave that area, choose a different location or return at a later date/time.
  • Practice healthy personal hygiene, such as hand washing for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others including, but not limited to, benches, picnic tables, railings and signs. These surfaces are NOT being cleaned. Sanitize your hands if you do.
  • Leave no trace. Take all trash, including pet waste, with you when you leave the property. Violators are subject to fine.

Additional closures may occur at Buffumville Lake and Hodges Village Dam based on Federal, State or local health and safety directives. Updates will be posted on https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Buffumville-Lake/ and https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Hodges-Village-Dam/ www.facebook.com/BuffumvilleLake.


These measures are necessary to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), ensure and protect the health and well-being of our visitors, employees, contractors and volunteers, and safeguard our ability to continue our critical Flood Risk Management Operations.


The health of our team and the community is our top priority. We urge all visitors follow the CDC’s guidelines and remain diligent regarding hygiene and social distancing. CDC guidelines and more information can be found at www.conoravirus.gov.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 20-039