Resource Management Plan

Boston Skyline from  Buck Hill

 

The Blue Hills Complex is a collection of parks, forests, reservations, and other DCR properties located south of Boston. There are twelve major properties in the Complex, they are:

Blue Hills Reservation*
Borderland State Park
• Bridgewater State Forest
Bristol Blake State Reservation
Cutler Park Reservation (including the Honorable Marie-Louise Kehoe Park)
F. Gilbert Hills State Forest (including Barton State Park)
• Franklin State Forest
Neponset River Reservation (upstream of Paul’s Bridge; including Fowl Meadow and the Lt Arthur E. Farnham, Jr., and TSgt Thomas M. Connolly, Jr. Memorial Park)
Rehoboth State Forest
• West Bridgewater State Forest
Wilson Mountain Reservation
• Wrentham State Forest

Also included in the Complex are historic parkways, fire observation towers, ice rinks, swimming pools, Angle Tree Monument Reservation, and flood control properties.

* The chapter on the Blue Hills Reservation updates, rather than replaces, the 2011 RMP for the Blue Hills Planning Unit. Applicable recommendations contained in the previous plan remain valid unless otherwise indicated.

These properties provide a variety of recreation opportunities and resources; some are common throughout the Complex while others are less common at both the Complex and Statewide levels. Dog walking, fishing, picnicking, hiking, hunting, ice skating, nature study, and mountain biking are among the common recreation activities. In contrast, disc golf, rock climbing, and the authorized use of OHVs take place at only one, or a few, of the parks. Cultural resources document the region’s human history and include such things as a formal estate with mansion, buildings that tell the story of Massachusetts’s Metropolitan Park System, the remnants of municipal water works that supplied drinking water to an expanding Greater Boston, and a boundary marker that identifies a bend in the dividing line between the Massachusetts and Plymouth Bay Colonies.  Every park protects Massachusetts natural resources; several provide habitat for some of the Commonwealth’s rarest species. Finally, two of the properties are designated Woodlands; these working forests continue to produce forest products, while allowing for recreation and protecting cultural and natural resources.

Resource Management Plans (RMPs) are working documents that consider the past, present, and future of a property.  They provide an inventory and assessment of existing conditions and activities, enabling the DCR to establish guidelines for future management. RMPs also guide the short- and long-term management of DCR properties; identify priorities for capital and operating budgets; and facilitate transparency with the public by stating how the DCR manages public resources.

Public input is an integral component of the RMP process, and provides a forum within the RMP to enhance communication and cooperation with park visitors, partners, and surrounding communities. On October 28, 2015, DCR hosted a public meeting at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum to solicit input regarding recreation, stewardship of resources, and park facilities.  A 30-day comment period followed. An additional public input period will follow the release of the draft Resource Management Plan.

Comments regarding this RMP may be sent to dcr.updates@state.ma.us (please note “Blue Hills Complex RMP” in the subject line) or by U.S. mail to the Office of Public Outreach, Department of Conservation and Recreation, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA  02114.  Please note that public comments received by DCR will be posted in their entirety on the DCR website, and that no content, including personal information, will be redacted.  Questions about the RMP may be directed to the above-mentioned e-mail or mailing address or to the DCR Updates phone line at 617-626-4974.

Check DCR’s website Public Meeting Information and Materials for updates and materials concerning the Blue Hills Complex planning process.