News Stories

West Hill Dam Rangers host young and old on Animal Trek

USACE, New England District
Published Feb. 28, 2018
Animal Trekkers prepare to head out to find some animal tracks.

Animal Trekkers prepare to head out to find some animal tracks.

Several families, Scouts from Douglas, Massachusetts, advanced Junior Rangers and volunteers joined the West Hill Dam team for an animal trek held at the project site in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, Jan. 14.  The Animal Trek is one of West Hill Dam’s many interpretive programs the team holds throughout the year.

Participants young and old grabbed their rulers and footprint charts and headed out with Park Rangers for a family friendly hike to find animal tracks.  “We located deer and dog tracks mostly,” said Park Ranger Viola Bramel.  “There were no birds near the open water on the West River.  We found several scat piles (animal excrement) on our track."

One little girl, Natalie, brought her field journal with her and kept notes for the group, according to Bramel.  “She recorded the weather with symbols she drew in her journal,” said Bramel.  “For example, she drew a sun to signify it was sunny out.”

As they walked, the Park Rangers discussed the importance of ice safety.  “It was eye opening when some of the kids jumped on an ice-covered puddle to measure the ice,” said Bramel.  “They measured the thickness, which was only half an inch.”

Bramel said the Park Rangers told the trek participants that ice had to be at least 4-inches thick for a person to walk on it safely.  “They took out their rulers and visualized the safe measurements for ice,” said Bramel.

To continue with the ice theme, as trekkers took measurements of the animal tracks they found, Park Ranger Mark Larson discussed the weekend operations at the Woonsocket and West Hill Dams due to ice jams and other related weather conditions.  Andy LaBonte, a Park Ranger now working in Human Resources, and Corps Volunteer Linda Martin assisted with the event.

West Hill Dam has recreational opportunities and free family-friendly events year-round.  For a copy of the 2018 special events calendar, please go to

The Pawcatuck River Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study

   This proposed plan is presented  to facilitate public involvement in the review and commenting on the remedy selection process for the Nantucket Memorial Airport (NMA) Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS.) 
    The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a No Action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act for the Munitions Response Site-1, Project Number D01MA049901 at NMA located on Nantucket Island, MA.  The proposal was prepared using the Guide to Preparing Superfund Proposed Plans, Records of Decision, and Other Remedy Selection Decision Documents (USEPA, 1999).
    The final decision for NMA Site-1 site will be made after reviewing and considering all information submitted during the public comment period. The proposed decision may be modified based on new information or public comments. The public is encouraged to review and comment on the proposed plan.
    The FUDS program addresses the potential explosives safety, health, and environmental issues resulting from past munitions use at former defense sites under the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Munitions Response Program, established by the U.S. Congress under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program.  
    FUDS only applies to properties that transferred from DoD before October 17, 1986 and the first priority of USACE is the protection of human health, safety, and the environment. 
    The Army is the executive agent for the FUDS Program, and USACE is the lead agency for investigation/reporting and remedial decision-making at this munitions site with regulatory support provided by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

Updated: 05 December 2016