August 30, 2013
Friends Groups Helping to Preserve Cultural and Historical Resources
Photo by Tim Mallis
"Last week Linda and I took a ride out to Freetown [State Forest] to check out the bridge for the book. While I was crawling around under it I noticed what appeared to be shipping instructions for the corrugated steel underside parts. What I can make out is "Frank R. (something) Supt. Camp SP1."
Tim Mallis, Assonet, Mass
Documenting Cultural Resources
As advocates for forest and park lands, documenting the cultural as well as the natural resources of a state property can be a rewarding and important mission of a Friends group. If you have special places within your parks, you can help The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) by documenting them:
- Keep a file with the pictures and any information pertinent to them
- Take pictures and label them with the date and location, use GPS if possible
- Share the information with your DCR staff if you feel they are not aware of them
- Do not disturb artifacts
- Take pictures, document the location
- Make a diagram sketch of the place where the item is located
- Conduct interviews with people who might be able to share memories, period photos and documents about the resource
- Share the information you gather with your park staff, local historical society and keep copies for your own records
- Check with DCR officials before publicly posting any information that might reveal the whereabouts of a sensitive area or one that contains rare or endangered plants and animals.
- Insist that DCR develop a Resource Management Plan for each property before allowing any changes to the landscape.
Sharing Historical Resources
√ If you have historic resources within your park and would like to share photos of them with others, send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them to the MFPFN web site. Please tell us a little bit about them and if they are endangered tell us what the problems are.
√ Without public advocacy many of the places that are part of our heritage will be lost. If you have a web site add a page, with photos, about your historic resources and let us know how to link to it at email@example.com
Historic Landscape Preservation Initiative
Historic Landscape Preservation Initiative (HLPI) Historic Landscape Preservation Initiative sponsors special initiatives and provides technical assistance and training to support the preservation of historically significant landscapes throughout the Commonwealth.
Terra Firma - Free HLPI publication to help citizens and communities understand and preserve historical landscapes. Available by mail or PDF files..
Civilian Conservation Corps in Massachusetts
Photo: Ellen Arnold, Friends of Upton State Forest
South Barn at Upton State Forest, built in 1935 as part of SP-25 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), collapsed from snow load and neglect in 2003.
The CCC camp at Upton State Forest was listed under the 2005 Ten Most Endangered Historic Resources in Massachusetts.
CCC Camp Howe Park at Spencer State Forest
Photos: Mike Toomey
Howe family homestead marker at Howe State Park.
Letter to DCR regarding the proposed timber harvest at Freetown-Fall River State Forest