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Friends Network 2013 Annual Conference
Focus on Friends!

Dear Friend,

Join your Friends at the 6th Annual Friends Network Conference where we will Focus on Friends!

Come share your successes and challenges as a volunteer for Massachusetts' forests, parks, beaches and trails with other volunteers like you. You'll find the appreciation you deserve and the support you need to continue the good works you are doing to benefit our State parklands. Friends from around the Commonwealth will come together to discuss what's happening in our parks now and identify new initiatives to move our forests and parks forward.

Focus on Friends promises to be our most dynamic conference yet and you are on the agenda! You spend many hours volunteering to make our parks better and it's you we want to feature. Speak up for your favorite forest, park, beach or trail at the Focus on Friends Conference!

View the draft Agenda (some details still to come)
Find out more and register today at the Friends Network website.
The Friends Network 6th Annual Conference
will Focus on Friends!

Saturday, December 7
9:00 AM to 2:30 PM
VFW Post 5594
15 Milford Street
Upton, MA 01568
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Nominations Due for the Friends Network  DCR Friend of the Year
Ron Clough AwardEach year, the Friends Network honors DCR employees who exhibits exemplary efforts on behalf of forests, parks and Friends or other volunteer groups. Show your appreciation for the DCR person or agency that you think deserves special recognition through your nomination.

Please submit a brief narrative describing any combination of excellence in the following areas:
Work Performance, Judgment, Initiative, Integrity, Support for Friends Groups, Citizen/Community Relations, Other?

All DCR employees are eligible for this award. Nominations are due by November 17. Award winners will be recognized at the Friends Network Annual Conference on December 7, 2013.

Please submit nominations using the official Friends Network 2013 DCR Friend of the Year Nomination Form

Photo Above: DCR Ron Clough receives 2012 DCR Friend of the Year Award.

Ellen Mass AwardNominations Due for the Friends Network Volunteer of the Year

Each year the Friends Network recognizes volunteers who have benefited State parklands in an extraordinary way. If you know of a volunteer who deserves thanks and recognition for the good work they do on behalf of state parklands, please submit a nomination form. The official nomination(s) are due by November 17. We have created an online nomination form to streamline the nomination applications.

All volunteers are eligible. Award winners will be recognized at the Friends Network Annual Conference on December 7, 2013.

Friends Network 2013 Volunteer of the Year Nomination Form

Photo Above: Ellen Mass, Friends of the Alewife Reservation, receives 2012 Friend of the Year Award.

DCR Stewardship Council Meeting

November 1, 2013, 1 pm - 3 pm
Myles Standish State Forest

The DCR Stewardship Council is a thirteen member citizen board appointed by the Governor to oversee DCR polices and programs.

Members of the public are allowed a few minutes to make comments at each meeting. The Stewardship Council holds its monthly meetings at various parks across the state to encourage public participation.

Take the opportunity to introduce your Friends group to the Stewardship Council when the meeting is held in your area. If you go, please send a brief report to


Review the DCR Draft Volunteer Policy and the Draft Parks & Recreation Rules & Regulations. Attend one of the public meetings in your area where DCR will present both of the drafts at the same meeting!

√  Read the Draft Volunteers in Parks Program Guide.

The document establishes guidelines for extending liability protections to volunteers and nonprofit organizations engaged in activities that support and promote DCR's mission and our parks system.

√  Read the Draft Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations.

Adoption of these regulations will consolidate existing regulations of predecessor agencies to DCR and will define and comprehensively regulate parks and recreational facilities, and their use by the public, under DCR's care and control.

  Attend a public meeting in your area.
DCR staff will present both the Volunteers in Parks Program Guide AND the DCR revised draft of DCR's Volunteers in Parks Program Guide.

Public Meeting Schedule

Featured Friends Group
Friends of the Blue Hills Reservation

fbhFriends of the Blue Hills (FBH) has been caring for the Blue Hills Reservation in Eastern Massachusetts for over 35 years. All Friends groups can learn a little something from FBH. Their website features their volunteers, preservation initiatives, regularly scheduled events and current news articles that keep the group fresh in the minds of local citizens and officials. The group was actively involved in the recent Blue Hills Reservation Resource Management Plan process, organizing over 100 people to take part in supportive workshops. They have begun the Healthy Forests; Healthy People campaign, raising awareness about how human health is linked to the health of forests.

Congratulations FBH!

Check out the FBH website

Networking Friends

Arborway Coalition

Bay State Trail Riders Association

Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

Cochituate State Park Advisory Committee

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee

Grand Trunk Trail Blazers

Green Futures

Mass Audubon

Mt. Tom Citizens Advocacy Committee

New England Mountain Bike Association

Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance

Friends of:

Alewife Reservation

Blue Hills Reservation

Buckland State Forest

Dighton Rock Museum

Douglas, Howe Park and Spencer State Forest

Fall River Freetown State Forest

Hawksnest State Park

Harold Parker State Park

Middlesex Fells Reservation

Myles Standish State Forest

Mystic River

Nickerson State Park

Quabbin and Ware River

Robinson State Park

Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc.

Scusset Beach Reservation, Inc.

Shawme-Crowell State Forest

Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT)

Springside Park

Upton State Forest

Wachusetts Mountain

Waquoit Bay Reserve

Western Greenway

Willard Brook

Wompatuck State Park

If your group is not on this list and should be, send and email to

Help Distribute The Massachusetts Off-Highway Vehicle Handbook

The Mass Environmental Police (MEP) has produced an excellent booklet, The Handbook of Massachusetts Off-Highway Vehicle Laws and Safe Operating Procedures for OHVs.

Hard copies of the Handbook are available for distribution by contacting OHV.SafetyCourse@Massmail.State.MA.US. Please help the MEP distribute the Handbooks. Thanks for your help!

Join Friends group leader Michael Toomey on LinkedIn for discussions relevant to Friends groups: Mass State Forests & Parks
Friends Network


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