State grants go to Maudslay, Rock Pond groups

Courtesy photoDaniel Sieger, undersecretary of environmental affairs with the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, left, and Jim Montgomery, acting commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, present Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, garden committee director for the Maudslay State Park Association, with a certificate of recognition at the DCR Partnerships Matching Funds Program event at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

The state announced grants last week to help restore a retaining wall at Maudslay State Park and continue work to get rid of invasive aquatic species at Rock Pond in Georgetown, among 29 projects to improve state parks.

The local projects – $20,000 to the Maudslay State Park Association and $13,334 to the Rock Pond Association – were part of $876,000 in funds for municipalities, nonprofits and other entities in the Partnerships Matching Funds Program.

The program, which is administered by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, provides matching funds for projects “that improve or enhance the commonwealth’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources contained within state parks,” according to a DCR press release.

The grant to Maudslay is part of a multiyear project to restore the retaining wall at the state park. Phase I will focus on the design of the proposed retaining wall, according to DCR.

The award to the Rock Pond Association in Georgetown continues work to get rid of invasive species.

According to the proposal summary, “In an effort to maximize the success of recent invasive treatment, this project will continue the treatment on aquatic invasive species within Rock Pond.”

Among other projects funded in this round: The design and installation of interpretive signs at Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, which received $50,000; $11,666 to the Friends of Hood Pond in Ipswich for a multiyear initiative to treat aquatic invasive species in Hood Pond in Willowdale State Forest; and $10,000 to the Methuen Historical Society toward Phase I of a multiyear project to stabilize the Chateau at Greycourt State Park and develop a comprehensive plan for full restoration.

“Our parks and open spaces benefit not only from the focused stewardship of state government, but also the passionate and energized efforts of communities and organization such as friends groups,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester. “These important grants fuel the cost-effective partnerships that have developed between them.” 

In the release, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said, “We are incredibly grateful for all of the organizations who submitted applications seeking to partner with the state to enhance the commonwealth’s state parks system. Treating aquatic invasive species, enhancing tree canopies, and restoring shorelines are just some of the many projects that will improve the health of our open spaces and enhance our state parks.”

Proposed projects in the state parks system are reviewed by DCR staff and the commissioner. Once selected, the agency matches the private investment in the park.

All projects are managed by DCR to oversee the implementation of the project with in-depth consultation from contributing partners and other stakeholders.

DCR matches partner contributions of up to and including $25,000 at 2:1 and 1:1 for contributions above $25,000.

In thoroughly reviewed circumstances, DCR will consider a 2:1 match for contributions above $25,000, for example multiphase projects with the same partner. Partner matches are donated to the commonwealth’s Conservation Trust.

Richard K. Lodge is editor of The Daily News. Follow him on Twitter @RichardLodge_DN.

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