Every forest and park 
needs Friends

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October 1, 2016

The Massachusetts Forest and Park
Friends Network

The Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network is a grassroots organization of volunteer Friends networking for greater advocacy, better protection and enhancement of Massachusetts’ forests, parks, beaches and trails. The Friends Network facilitates communication between Friends groups, all volunteers to state parklands and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Parklands thrive under the special care that Friends groups provide.

√ Join or start a friends group. Help Massachusetts achieve a Friends group for every state forest and park. If we can help, let us know.

Contact a Friends Network Facilitator

Connect with the Friends Network on Facebook

Links to Friends Groups via the DCR Website


Registration is now open for the 9th Annual Friends Network Gathering
Saturday, October 29, Upton, Massachusetts.

Send in your nominations for the Friends Network 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award and the The Friends Network 2016 DCR Friend of the Year Award! 

Tell us why your nominee/s deserve/s recognition by email to facilitator@networkingfriends.net.

The Friends Network Volunteer of the Year Award is bestowed upon an individual or group who deserves special recognition for extraordinary work on behalf of DCR forests, parks, beaches or trails. Qualifications for the Friends Network Volunteer of the Year Award may include: developed or maintained a program; maintained grounds/facilities; helped preserve cultural and/or natural resources/wildlife; recruited new volunteers; assisted in growing and developing the group's community profile; engaged new members and sponsors; demonstrated outstanding leadership.

The Friends Network DCR Friend of the Year Award is presented yearly to Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) employees or agencies that have demonstrated exemplary effort on behalf of Massachusetts' forests, parks, beaches and trails, or Friends groups. All DCR employees are eligible for this award. The award is based on excellence in the following areas: work performance; judgment; initiative; integrity; support for friends groups;  community relations.

Recap of the 8th Annual Friends Network Gathering What Are Friends For? Saturday, December 5, 2015

Friends Gathering 2015
Friends Network Gathering 2015

Friends Gathering 2015 having fun

Cathy Kristofferson, StopNEDCathy Kristofferson, StopNED


Everett Castro Friends Network Friend of the Year 2015Everett Castro

View 120 photos from the Friends Network Gathering - Slide Show (Courtesy Frank Mand)

Our thanks to Key Speaker - Whitney Hatch, Chairman, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Stewardship Council Mr. Hatch is currently serving his second seven-year term on the Stewardship Council and is the author of the May, 2015 Boston Globe Op Ed,  Massachusetts' parks are falling into ruin.

Whtiney Hatch

The Friends Network 2015 DCR Friends of the Year Awards

  • Rene Morin, Maintenance Supervisor, Western, Corridor,  Alewife Reservation
  • Mike Mitchell, Supervisor, Lawrence Heritage State Park
  • Jason Moriera, Park Interpreter, Harold Parker State Forest

The Friends Network 2015 Volunteers of the Year Awards

  • Everett Castro, Friends of Freetown State Forest
  • Ellen Arnold, Friends of Upton State Forest        
  • Jake Stout, Friends of Alewife Reservation    

Read the Nominations for all of the 2015 Award Recipients

View All Past Friends Network Award Recipients