CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct visitor surveys this summer at the West Hill Dam recreation area in Uxbridge, 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:
West Hill Dam in Uxbridge, Mass.; Westville Lake in Sturbridge, Mass.; Buffumville Lake in Charlton, Mass.; West Thompson Lake in Thompson, Conn.; and Mansfield Hollow Lake in Mansfield, Conn. Surveys at West Hill will be at the West Hill 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.
West Hill Dam is between Route 16 and Route 122 on East Hartford Avenue in Uxbridge. There are two miles of stream fishing along the trout-stocked West River. Bass, pickerel, and hornpout also can be found in the river. West Hill Dam offers a swimming beach, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, drinking water, hiking trails, mountain bike trail, wheelchair accessible playground, horseshoe pit, sandlot volleyball court and hunting. Two picnic shelters in West Hill Park, each having picnic tables and grills, may be reserved for a fee. A new shelter at the area near the dam with tables, grill and electric may be reserved for a fee. Electric service is available at all shelters.
Construction of the West Hill Dam, on the West River in Uxbridge, was completed in 1961 at a cost of $2.3 million. The 2,400-foot-long, 51-foot-high dam can impound a 12,400-acre-foot lake capable of storing four billion gallons of water. It has prevented damages of more than $96.6 million. More than 90,000 annual visitors enjoy picnicking, swimming, hiking, fishing and hunting at the 1,401-acre facility. For more information on West Hill Dam call (508) 278-2511 or visit the website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/recreati/whd/whdhome.htm.
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.