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Corps of Engineers to conduct visitor surveys at the Buffumville Lake Recreation Areas this summer

Published June 13, 2012

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct visitor surveys this summer at two Buffumville Lake recreation areas in Charlton, Mass. This is part of a nationwide effort to survey visitors at more than 30 Corps-managed recreation areas. Visitors leaving these recreation areas will be asked about their length of stay and overall experience.


Participation in the survey is voluntary. Surveys at five New England sites in Massachusetts and Connecticut will be on various days and at various times between June 14, 2012 and Sept. 2, 2012: Buffumville Lake in Charlton, Mass.; Westville Lake in Sturbridge, Mass.; West Hill Dam in Uxbridge, Mass.; West Thompson Lake in Thompson, Conn.; and Mansfield Hollow Lake in Mansfield, Conn. Surveys at Buffumville will be at the boat ramp and the beach park.


These surveys will provide the Corps with baseline information to be used for budgeting and planning purposes. The Corps hopes to learn more about visitor recreation habits to better plan for new trends in the way leisure time is spent at Corps sites. Findings will help ensure that recreation facilities at Corps lakes are operating efficiently to maximize visitor outdoor opportunities and enjoyment.


Interns from the Student Conservation Association will conduct the short interviews (less than 3 minutes) with visitors. The survey has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The Corps routinely conducts visitor interviews at its lakes and river projects in an effort to gauge visitors’ experiences and concerns.


The Corps is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor recreation, managing more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 370 million visits per year. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas they provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages. For more information on the survey and Corps recreation sites nationwide, visit www.corpslakes.us/visitorsurvey.


Buffumville Lake is off Route 12 in Charlton. The 200-acre lake has a boat ramp and offers fishing for bass, pickerel, perch, and catfish. Buffumville Park offers picnicking, a swimming beach, restrooms, and a seven-mile hiking and mountain bike trail. There is a fee to use the park. A volleyball court, two horseshoe pits, as well as two picnic shelters, can be reserved by groups for a fee. At nearby Buffumville Dam, there is a free 27-hole disc golf course and a pond for ice skating in the winter. Hunting is allowed at Buffumville Lake outside developed areas.


Construction of the Buffumville Lake dam on the Little River in Charlton was completed in 1958 at a cost of $3 million. The 12,700 acre-feet of storage at Buffumville is equal to 3.9 billion gallons of water and is impounded by a 3,255-foot-long, 66-foot-high earthen dam. Buffumville Dam has prevented more than $128.6 million in cumulative damages. Picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, a 27-hole disc golf course, volleyball, horseshoes, two rental shelters and sight-seeing attracted 149,336 visitors in 2011. Portions of Buffumville Park are handicap accessible. For more information about Buffumville Lake go to the website at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/recreati/bvl/bvlhome.htm or call (508) 248-5697.


The link to the summer survey schedule with times and locations is at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Recreation/. For more information about Corps recreation sites in New England District go to the website at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2012-056