Friends of Upton State Forest
In May 2005 Ellen Arnold and Bill Johnston asked the Upton Historical Commission to sponsor the buildings at Upton State Forest for the Preservation Mass “2005 List of Ten Most Endangered Historic Resources in Massachusetts.” The successful nomination has added legitimacy to the preservation efforts.
Recognizing the importance of Upton State Forest to the quality of life in Central Massachusetts four people started meeting to talk about the possibility of starting a Friend’s group. Cofounders Ellen Arnold, Bill Johnston and Joan Shanahan of Upton and Frank Evans, CCC alumnus from Marlboro organized a meeting in June of 2005 at Upton Town Hall to gauge interest in the idea. Attended by 41 people who encouraged them to continue the Friends of Upton State Forest was born. Since that meeting we have grown to over 100 members.
In the fall of 2005 the Friends of Upton State Forest and the DCR CCC Committee held a ceremony to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the opening of Camp SP25 unveiling a wayside panel in honor of the men that built our state park. Attended by over 70 people it was a tribute to the past and a preview of the future.
In 2006 at the request of the Friends of Upton State Forest, DCR funded a feasibility study to assess the buildings and adaptive reuse possibilities. At the present time we await a decision from officials as the results of that study are evaluated. The Friends addressed a letter to the Department thanking them for doing the study and outlining our thoughts about the possible uses suggested by the study.
In addition to their interest in the buildings the Friends of Upton State Forest have a strong interest in trail maintenance and protecting the natural resources of the land. Our goals include encouraging respect and understanding among the diverse group of users as well as educating young people and the public about the history, wildlife and recreational opportunities of Upton State Forest. We remain vigilant to any threat to the integrity of the park.
For more information about the Preservation Mass award or the Friend’s efforts you may contact the Friends of Upton State Forest at PO Box 258, Upton, MA 01568-0258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.