- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Media Contact for Private/public partnership results in enhanced access to Three Mile Pond
Marion Larson, MassWildlife
Sheffield — Public access at a popular recreation site in Sheffield got a facelift this year. An existing boat access site at Three Mile Pond was improved and a new gravel parking lot and additional boat access site were created in an old roadway at the upper end of the pond. Both boat access sites are suitable for launching a canoe, kayak, or other small boat; they function primarily as car-top access sites. In addition, two new signs were installed noting the public access locations and available opportunities for waterfowl hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
Financial support for the project came from Ducks Unlimited (DU) with matching funds provided by the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation. Technical expertise and implementation was directed by the Office of Fishing and Boating Access with assistance from MassWildlife’s Western District Office.
The 160-acre pond and adjacent wetlands are part of the 1000+-acre Three Mile Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA) managed by MassWildlife for wildlife, habitat, and wildlife-related recreation. The WMA is stocked with pheasants in the fall and mowed annually to maintain field and shrubland habitat for many kinds of wildlife.
Officials from collaborating groups gathered in mid-October to celebrate the project—each praising the many recreational benefits that come with enhanced access. “The Foundation is excited to enhance access to Three Mile Pond for hunters, paddlers, wildlife enthusiasts, and most importantly future generations of outdoorspeople—an activity which aligns with the Foundation’s mission,” said MOHF board member and former Secretary of Environmental Affairs Bob Durand. “It was great to partner with DU and MassWildlife on this important project.”
“We truly appreciate the commitment of Ducks Unlimited and the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation who provided the funds to make this project a reality,” said MassWildlife Director Mark Tisa. “Access to the outdoors is in high demand in Massachusetts and this project helps address the outdoor community’s needs.”
“The Department of Fish and Game is happy to see the partnerships with NGOs such as the Outdoor Heritage Foundation and Ducks Unlimited continue to grow,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon. “Anytime we can help with access projects to support outdoor recreation, our engineering staff from the Office of Fishing and Boating Access is pleased to contribute.”
“DU would like to thank the partners for advancing such a great access project,” said Sarah Fleming, DU’s Manager of Conservation Programs in the North Atlantic. “We are pleased to be able to support our partners, volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts by helping increased access to public recreational areas that all users can enjoy. We look forward to continuing to work with the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation and MassWildlife on other projects that will not only benefit waterfowl and other wetlands wildlife, but will also benefit people.”