The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is involved with the administration and oversight for design, permitting and construction of complex projects. Ensuring the protection of important natural and cultural resources, and ongoing coordination and communication with partners and stakeholders are key components of this project management responsibility.
Selection of Current Projects
- DCR Multi-Use Trail Repair and Restoration Program
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) owns and manages over 3,300 miles of forest roads and trails across the Commonwealth, including over 250 miles of improved surface rail trails and multi-use pathways.
DCR Recreational Facilities Planning group has been working to assess, prioritize, repair and restore high priority trails in poor condition or that pose safety concerns. Restoration work may include re-paving, patching, drainage improvements, boardwalks, treadway improvements, trail closures and new trail connections.
- Esplanade Riverfront Pavilion
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has initiated a planning and design process to reimagine the Lee Pool as a multi-purpose pavilion. Working with its partners, the Esplanade Association and Hill House, DCR has hired a project team led by Maryann Thompson Architects, who will examine the existing buildings and site, develop conceptual design alternatives, and develop a final schematic design.
- Greylock Glen Multi-Use Trail System Plan
Greylock Glen, 1,000 acres in the shadow of Mount Greylock, overlooking the Berkshire town of Adams, is in the process of being developed by the town and the Commonwealth as a model for outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, and education.
As its nearly $3 million commitment to the Glen, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has been working for many years to plan, permit, and now develop a multi-use trail system that will support the recreation, conservation, and educational values of the Glen.
- LED Conversion of DCR-Owned Outdoor Lighting
DCR has undertaken a multi-phase project to replace high-density (HID) lamp-type lighting fixtures within DCR properties across the Commonwealth to light emitting diode (LED) light-type, with the goals of enhancing public safety, improving energy efficiency, and achieving cost savings. DCR has partnered with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to support the conversion. Phase I of the project, to begin in the spring of 2015, will include the retrofitting of 2,059 cobra heads and shoebox fixtures, as well as infrastructure improvements and pole rewiring, as necessary, with 30 cities and towns in 10 counties. The total cost of Phase I of the LED street lighting project is $2.2 million, and it is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015. Planning for Phase II is currently underway.
- Mass Central Rail Trail – Wayside
DCR envisions a 10-foot wide multi-use path along this entire corridor, and is seeking to work in partnership with the local municipalities to design, develop and manage this path. The corridor passes through Berlin, Hudson, Sudbury, Wayland, Weston, Waltham and short sections of Bolton and Stowe.
- MCRT - Norwottuck Branch Rail Trail Rehabilitation Project
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Highway Division are working together to rehabilitate of the oldest sections of the 10.6 mile Norwottuck Rail Trail, which extends from Northampton to Belchertown, MA. Design funding has been provided through a state and federal partnership between DCR, MassDOT, and the Federal Highway Administration.
- Memorial Drive Demonstration Project, Phase II
This project is the second phase of DCR’s planned rehabilitation and restoration of 1.5 miles of Memorial Drive between the BU Boathouse and the Longfellow Bridge, as recommended by the Master Plan for the Charles River Basin of 2002. The goal of the project is to reestablish the parkland atmosphere for pedestrians and motorists to enjoy, honoring the intent of the original Olmsted design, and to provide safety upgrades, in accordance with current standards.
- Morrissey Boulevard Redesign for Reconstruction
DCR is undertaking a multi-phase project to completely reconstruct Morrissey Boulevard between Mt. Vernon Street and Neponset Circle. The main goals of the project are to provide more effective drainage and flood control; increase safety for all users; restore the historic character of the Parkway through implementation of landscape and urban design elements; improve accommodations for cyclists and pedestrians; improve access to abutting DCR parks and recreational properties; and maintain sufficient capacity for regional traffic. The project will incorporate a number of sustainable environmental features and is intended to make this critical corridor resilient to climate-driven impacts for the next 50 years or more
- Mount Auburn Street Corridor Study
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is conducting this study to develop short- and long-term recommendations for the improvement of Mount Auburn Street and portions of the adjoining roadways. The objectives of the project are to identify improvements to create safe and welcoming conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians, particularly between the Charles River and abutting neighborhoods, improve operations for transit riders, and maintain vehicular access, particularly to local businesses and Mount Auburn Hospital. The study area includes the Mount Auburn Street corridor, from Belmont Street in Watertown to Traill Street in Cambridge, including the Parkway Corridor (Fresh Pond Parkway/Greenough Boulevard) from Huron Avenue to the Eliot Bridge.
- Mount Greylock Summit Improvements
Based on a thorough analysis of the structure by DHK Architects, Inc., DCR has initiated a major repair project at the tower. To address the water infiltration and related humidity problems, DCR will re-seal the exterior mortar joints, repair the ventilation fans, and install a new dehumidification system. DCR will also improve access to the tower interior by constructing ramps that will provide independent access to the memorial chamber for persons of all abilities for the very first time. Other work includes repairing interior finishes, installing energy-efficient light fixtures, and introducing new interpretation.
- Neponset River Greenway Blue Hill Ave to Central Ave (November 21 to December 2, 2016)
DCR received funding from MassDOT to complete missing segments of the Neponset River Greenway. The Neponset River Esplanade Extension Project – Segment 1 begins in from of the Stop & Shop Plaza and continues along Truman Parkway to the Neponset Valley Parkway. It includes installation of a bituminous concrete multi-use trail, relocation of the existing curb line to provide a buffer for the multi-use area, lawn restoration planting along the trail, and installation of a protective steel-backed wooden guardrail at the roadway interface.
- Roxbury Heritage State Park
The Roxbury Heritage State Park (RHSP) Signature Park Project is one of six urban park projects identified as a priority for rehabilitation. These projects help revitalize urban neighborhoods by opening up or upgrading green spaces for outdoor recreation and by rehabilitating historic community landmarks. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is working with state agencies, municipal governments, and local community leaders to implement these critical urban revitalization projects.
- Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) and Blackstone River Greenway Projects
The Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) is a recreational trail along a former railroad corridor that runs approximately 22 miles from the Franklin State Forest on the east, to the Douglas State Forest on the west. The Blackstone River Greenway is envisioned as a 50-mile greenway and paved multi-use pathway that will connect Providence, RI to Worcester, MA along the Blackstone River corridor. Both of these trails are being enhanced, re-constructed, and improved over time in segments.
- Speedway Administration Building Project
DCR has selected the Architectural Heritage Foundation in partnership with 243 Dutton Interest LLC as future Curators of the Historic Speedway Administration Building in the Charles River Reservation, Brighton. The selection is the culmination of a multi-year effort to identify a long term preservation solution for this endangered, but highly significant, 1899 landmark. This unique public-partnership will provide for the sustained protection of the historic building, while transforming this former administration, maintenance, and police headquarters into a vibrant community space - providing a unique gateway connecting the rapidly-changing neighborhood to its remarkable past.
- Walden Pond Visitor Center Project
Walden Pond State Reservation is an internationally famous National Historic Landmark, considered the birthplace of the modern Conservation Movement through its association with author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau. He lived and worked at Walden Pond from July 1845 to September 1847, and seven years later, published his iconic work Walden; Or, Life in the Woods.
The new Visitor Center serves as a gateway to the Reservation. This beautiful wood and glass building is truly interwoven with the landscape. It officially opened to the public with a ribbon-cutting event on September 27, 2016.
- Watertown Riverfront Park and Braille Trail Project
The Watertown Riverfront Park and Braille Trail Project is a two-phased effort to restore the mile-long Charles River Reservation multi-use Paths and parkland between Watertown Square and the Watertown Yacht Club along Charles River Road. The project area for Phase 1, currently underway, is a 3,200-foot-long, crescent-shaped swath of parkland along the north bank of the Charles River between Watertown Square and the Perkins School, encompassing 12 acres. It includes a Braille Trail and Sensory Garden and improvements to the site’s riverbank, pathways, and landscape. The two-phased project has been supported to date through a $1.38 million public/private partnership funding effort. DCR is exploring additional public and private funding for Phase 2 construction.
- Winthrop Beach Renourishment / Rumney Marsh Restoration
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is in the midst of undertaking a $25 million shore protection project at Winthrop Beach. As anyone who watches TV news weather reports knows, during major storms, Winthrop Beach is routinely subject to overtopping of the seawall and major flooding of Winthrop Shore Drive and surrounding roads and properties. DCR’s much-needed shore protection project is designed to better fortify Winthrop Beach against the full force of northeast storms and natural beach erosion.