Friends Groups Soar Through Summer!

The Massachusetts Forest and Park
Friends Network

...connecting volunteers serving Massachusetts' forests and parklands

Dear Friend,

The Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network (MFPFN) is still going strong. Our goal is to connect and support the Friends Group volunteers who give so much time and energy to helping parks stay healthy and beautiful through the good work they do and by encouraging sustainable recreational activities. 

We've seen how effective it is when volunteers come together around issues that affect all parks. The MFPFN facilitators are already at work planning the 5th Annual MFPFN Conference—designed to give you the opportunity to discuss what's important to your park with other park advocates. 

We are proud to have
Priscilla Geigis, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) State Parks and Recreation Director/Assistant Commissioner and the newly elected President of the National Association of State Park Directors, as the MFPFN 2012 Conference Keynote Speaker. We've asked Director Geigis to talk about the recent DCR Unification. But please let us know if you have a topic you'd like addressed at the Conference and we'll pass your suggestion along.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Conference!
The Friends Network Facilitators

Save The Date!

The Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network Conference
Saturday, November 17
, 2012
9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) Conference Room
Union Station
2 Washington Square - 2nd Floor
Worcester, MA

Download Friends Network Conference Registration Form

More about the Conference:
We hope to see every Friends group in Massachusetts represented at the Conference. Your group may submit photos of volunteers in action for inclusion in the Friends Network slide show presentation or your group may reserve a 5-minute slot for an individual presentation. All groups (you don't have to be in a Friends group to be part of the action) will have room to display materials.
The Conference is open to the public and all are welcome!

For more information or questions about the MFPFN 2012 Conference, email us at

Conference Registration Form

Many thanks to our friends, Lawrence Adams and Trish Settles, at CMRPC for hosting the Conference. It's a wonderful place to hold an event and we couldn't do it without them!

Friends Groups Receive DCR Partnership Matching Funds Grants

Congratulations to all of the Friends Groups and volunteers whose projects were selected by the DCR Partnership Matching Funds Grant Awards for improvement projects that benefit their special parks. When they win, we all win!

Below are the 24 Partnership Matching Funds Grant recipients for 2012. It's great to visit these sites to find out what else these groups are doing:
More information:
Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Award of $1  awards more than $1 Million in Partnership Matching Funds Grants

Partnerships Matching Funds Program

MFPFN DCR 'Friend' of the Year!
—Award nominations due by October 15, 2012

This year the Friends Network will honor a Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) person who has shown exemplary efforts on behalf of forests, parks or Friends groups. Any DCR employee is eligible for this award.

Please submit a written narrative describing any combination of excellence in the following areas:
  • Work Performance
  • Judgment
  • Initiative
  • Integrity
  • Support for Friends Groups
  • Citizen/Community Relations
Nominations close October 15, 2012. A list of nominees will be sent out through the Network for voting. Winners as well as nominees will be recognized at the Friends Network Conference on November 17. Send submissions to Thank you.
Tim Rayworth receives Friends Network award
Mr. Tim Rayworth, DCR Education Coordinator Northeast Region, shown receiving the MFPFN Certificate of Appreciation from MFPFN Facilitator and Friends of Upton State Forest member Ellen Arnold at the Friends Network conference in 2011.

MFPFN Volunteer of the Year Award Nominations due 10/15/2012

Who do you know who deserves recognition? Your help is needed to identify a volunteer who has benefited Massachusetts forests parklands in an extraordinary way. Nominees will be submitted to the Friends Network at large for a vote. The winner and nominees will be recognized at the MFPFN conference on November 17, 2012.

Please submit the name of an outstanding public lands volunteer, a brief description of the person's accomplishments, and supportive materials by October 15, 2012 to:
Friends Network Volunteer of the Year Award 2011
Friends of Scusset Beach Reservation Vice President Paul Loiselle (3rd from left) is awarded the Friends Network Volunteer of the Year Award at the MFPFN 5th Annual Conference in Worcester, October 22. 2011. DCR Commissioner Edward Lambert (2nd from left) and Partnership Director Conrad Crawford (far left) assisted in presenting the award. From the center to the right: FSBR members Linda Loiselle, Linda Porazzo, and MFPFN facilitators Sharl Heller and Ellen Arnold.
Cool Upcoming DCR/Friends Groups Events
—that will make you want to get out and explore other parks!

Boston Harbor Island Alliance
Free Fun Friday Aug 24, 2012 - Take the ferry to Georges or Spectacle Island for FREE!

Citizens for the Protection of Waquoit Bay Waquoit Day Celebration Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friends of Belle Isle Marsh Reservation Ceremony New Addition Formal Opening Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Friends of Borderland Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit through August 31, 2012

Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, Art of the Fells - through the eyes of 23 artists Friday, Sept. 7, 2012

Mystic River Watershed Association Meet Me at the Mystic Saturday, September 8, 2012

Friends of Willard Brook Celebrate the Nashua River Rail Trail Sunday, September 9, 2012. 

Friends of Myles Standish State Forest/Mass Wildlife/DCR Take Me Fishin' Free Family Fishihg Derby

Charles River Conservancy presents the 4th Annual Sunday Parkland Games through September 30, 2012

Boston Natural Areas Network presents the 7th Annual Harvest Festival & Perennial Divide Saturday, October 13, 2012

Are you in the Network?
Find out if your Friends group is networking for Massachusetts forests and parks
August 22, 2012

in this issue:

Congratulations and Thank You to MEP Sgt. John Girvalakis
    Sgt. Girvalakis received a Certificate of Recognition from Secretary Sullivan through the Commonwealth’s Performance Recognition Program

Why, you ask?

    Sgt. John Girvalakis of the Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP), applied for and received over $4,266,000 in federal grant funding based on his research efforts, grant writing skills, and methodical determination. As a result, during difficult financial times, the Massachusetts Environmental Police have been able to procure needed safety and law enforcement equipment, which would otherwise have come out of the operating budget. This has lead to greater environmental law enforcement efforts, saved jobs, and increased morale within the department.

    The MFPFN has had the greatest esteem for  Sgt. Gervalakis since he attended the Friends Network Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Management forum on October 3, 2010. At that time, new legislation had recently passed strengthening the laws governing the use of OHVs and Sgt. Gervalakis shared how the MEP were working to incorporate the changes in the law and information into education and training for their officers and other enforcement agencies.

    We were honored to have 
Sgt. Gervalakis' involvement at a meeting called by volunteers concerned about the destruction to our natural resources caused by illegal and irresponsible OHV riding. At the 2010 meeting, Sgt. Gervalakis stated that there were about 90 MEP officers working in the field. And now, according to Major Wil Gray's report at the June 20, 2012 Mass Fish and Wildlife board meeting, under 80 MEP officers in the field. That's quite drop from 2005, when the state employed 125 MEP officers.

    We encourage Friends groups statewide to advocate for greater support for the MEP in the State's 2014 Operating Budget. Let that be our way of showing appreciation to Sgt. Gervalakis and all of the  MEP officers

    Read more about the Commonwealth's Outstanding Performance Recognition Awards Program and review the list of state employees  recognized for their excellent work in 2012:

Commonwealth’s Performance Recognition Program

Massachusetts OHV Advisory Committee Updates
    The MFPFN has, by an act of law, a representative serving on the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs OHV (off-highway vehicle) Advisory Committee. You can keep up with OHV issues and information by reading the Minutes of previous meetings and the Agendas for upcoming meetings. The meetings are open to the public.

OHV Advisory Committee Meetings

Outsmart Invasive Species Project
    UMass Amherst, DCR and others and need your help to "outsmart" invasive species in MA.

Join the Outsmart Invasive Species in MA Project

Fun Promo Video

* Promote Networking.—please forward this message to a Friend!

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MA Forest and Park Friends Network
P.O. Box 1199
Plymouth, Massachusetts 02362