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Friday, February 26 2016

DCR Sponsoring Contests & Teacher Workshop

Adapted from several Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) press releases:

There are many ways for people to get involved with our state parks and historic properties.  Right now, the state DCR is looking for partners to come up with ideas to improve and restore facilities and, on March 12th, they are offering a workshop for preschool educators.

Workshop for Preschool Educators
Saturday, March 12th, 10AM to 1:30PM
Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls
Cost $15

Project Learning Tree is the environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation and is sponsored in Massachusetts by DCR with support from the Massachusetts Forest Alliance.  Project Learning Tree's Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood curriculum connects young learners with the natural world by building on what's already familiar to them, using multi-sensory teacher-led and self-guided experiences.  Thematic units are flexible for the teacher and follow typical pre-school routines.

During this workshop, you'll participate in and discuss activities in a collegial atmosphere, learn more about Project Learning Tree, and receive the curriculum guide and supporting materials.  There will also be plenty of time afterwards to explore the Discovery Center's life-size, life-like dioramas of habitats in the Connecticut River watershed, from Long Island to the Canadian border.

For questions, or to pre-register by March 5th, please contact Gini.Traub@state.ma.us or call (413) 584-6788.

Matching Funds Program

MA DCR is now accepting applications for the FY17 Partnerships Matching Funds Program, which will allocate up to $1.5 million in matching funds to assist in financing capital projects proposed by park advocacy groups, civic and community organizations, institutions, businesses, municipal governments, and dedicated individuals with an interest in improving the Commonwealth's natural, cultural, and recreational resources.  Past projects have included the design and construction of new playgrounds, the clearing of invasive plant species from waterways, the installation of interpretive signage, the construction of trail and path enhancements, and the planting of trees and other landscape improvements.

Though DCR's Partnerships Matching Funds Program provides a dollar-for-dollar match to successful applicants, select projects will be considered for a two-to-one dollar match.  In addition, the agency will consider projects that may require more than one year to plan and complete.  If you have an idea to help our state parks, conceptual applications are due by March 19, 2016. Project Concept Forms can be completed online and applicants may attach documents to the online application. For additional information, please contact Lisa Barstow at (617) 626-4954 or Lisa.Barstow@state.ma.us.

Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to Revive Historic Properties

MA DCR has announced a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for four historic properties located across the Commonwealth, including the c. 1800 Farmhouse and Barn at Lake Wyola State Park in Shutesbury, that have been made available as part of the agency's Historic Curatorship Program.  The program offers the unique opportunity for private entities seeking to partner with the state to rehabilitate, reuse, and maintain a historic property in exchange for a permit or long term lease.

DCR is not calling for formal proposals at this time, but is issuing an RFEI to present the four properties and the program to the general public, gauge general interest in the potential opportunity, and collect information to guide the development of formal Requests for Proposals. DCR looks to use this solicitation to identify creative reuses that will provide, first and foremost, for the preservation of the historic resource, but also encourage creative ideas that balance practical concerns with historic preservation standards. While the program requires public access to the property twice a year, DCR encourages reuse ideas that include other public benefits beyond the twice annual requirement.  Responses to the RFEI are due on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, by 3:00PM.

The Federal-inspired Farmhouse and Barn at Lake Wyola served travelers and guests as a nineteenth century inn, and later as a vacation resort.  The RFEI describes the submission requirements and provides information on the properties and the program, including an estimate of rehabilitation costs that would fall under the responsibility of a future user. Responses to the RFEI should briefly describe the respondent's proposed reuse concept, experience, and feasibility plan. Respondents will be added to the mailing list in anticipation of the release of a formal Request for Proposals.

For electronic copies of the RFEI, as well as more details on the Historic Curatorship Program, visit DCR's website. For hard copies of the documents or more information on the program, send an e-mail to HCP.Requests@state.ma.us, call (617) 626-1361, or write to Historic Curatorship Program, Department of Conservation and Recreation, 7th floor, 251 Causeway St., Boston, MA 02114.

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The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Leo Roy, the agency's mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at mass.parks@state.ma.us.

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251 Causeway Street, Suite 600, Boston, MA 02114  (617) 626-1250 office / (617) 626-1351 (fax)

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