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Environmental Committee
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 Undated photo - between 1906 and around 1912(ish)?

What is presumed to be the original construction of the Bear Hole Pumping Station,
water main pipe and filter beds / aerators. 
Everything in this photo was destroyed by the 1955 flood and rebuilt resulting
with the more modern buildings / structrues present in Bear Hole today.



 November 23, 1956

Construction of what is the current day Bear Hole Reservoir spillway. 

This construction project was a result of the devastation from the August 1955 flood.

The original dam, spillway, pumping station and filter beds were destroyed by the flood. 

All of Bear Hole's infrastructure had to be rebuilt. 


 Bear Hole Resort circa 1902 (photographed by Alphonse Massse)

   Massse brothers and families posting outside the bear's den. 

 Look closely, the bear is visible within the den.                  

            From left to right:  Clarinda, Nelida, child - Irene, Leotine, Simeon, child - Andrew, Arthur holding child -  
                             Herman, Emery, child - Ernest & right rear in white is Victoria holding Herman. 
                                      Photo courtesy of David T. Cousineau - Cape Neddick, Maine     

 If you know of anyone who possesses historical photos or info about Bear Hole
or what is now Mittineague Park, please contact the Environmental Committee.  
The committee and Town Historian would like to review any material. 

August 26, 2009

View of Bear Hole Reservoir from a woodland highpoint

Early morning of August 26, 2009
View of Bear Hole Reservoir from the reservoir's dam
August 26, 2009
Fern-Leaved False Foxglove

Morning of August 26, 2009
Environmental Committee member Charlie Rogers with two dog walkers on top of the reservoir's dam.

Morning of August 26, 2009
Town Historian Bernie Lally (gray shirt) with
Environmental Committee members Todd Steglinski (dark shirt) and Charlie Rogers (light blue) speaking with Bear Hole Pumping Station - DPW water treatment technician Darren Longo (orange shirt).
 September 12, 2009
Bear Hole Celebration Event
Stan Svec in period dress of the mid / late 1800s offering an interactive historical narrative to event attendees. 
Mr. Svec is a history teacher at the West Springfield High School.

September 12, 2009
Bear Hole Celebration Event
Town Historian Bernie Lally (left) speaking with Ted Hebert (right), a resident of West Springfield and owner of Teddy Bear Pools & Spas
October 17, 2009
Bear Hole Celebration Event
Attendees hiking around a large mud puddle on Millville Road.
 October 17, 2009 - Bear Hole Celebration Event
How daring can you get on Millville Road?
I liked his sense of adventure-- he called it following the road less traveled
Morning of October 17, 2009
A view from Lost Pond within the Bear Hole Watershed
 November 15, 2009 - Bear Hole recreational circuit hike
Front Row:  Fred Gawron, Amy Ramos, Donna Fleury, Sandy Ansara,
Cindy Dirico, Roger Rousseau
Back Row:  Jose Ramos, Todd Steglinski with his German Shepherd "Mara"
January 29, 2010
Dogs and their owners out for a winter stroll in Bear Hole on a cold & blustery day.
 April 6, 2010
West Springfield Middle School 7th & 8th grade Outdoor Club - 
Bear Hole hike.
This 3 hour outing was requested by West Spfld. Middle School teacher Jessica Greene.
Various hiking trails and natural resources were explored.
Posing on the reservoir's dam are club members as well as hike guide Todd Steglinski (red) and Diane Crowell (dark green), both of the Environmental Committee.  
In the front is German Shepherd "Mara", who was quite popular amongst the students. 
April 6, 2010
West Springfield Middle School "Outdoor Club" Bear Hole hike
Hikers traversing down a steep hill within Bear Hole's woods.
 April 6, 2010
View from within the glen of the old Bear Hole Resort.
Cascading waterfall of Paucatuck Brook and chimney of the old resort are visible.The chimney measures approximately 17 feet tall and 9 feet,11 inches wide at the base, the hearth is 6 feet wide.
Photo courtesy of Jack Farrell ~ West Springfield Record newspaper
November 13, 2010
Mittineague Park clean-up.  Debris located adjacent to the Westfield River within Mittineague Park.  This photo shows an abandoned party location containing large tarps, empty beverage bottles/cans, a beach umbrella, sleeping materials for camping and unopened cans of food, amongst other items.

May 16, 2009

Waterfall at the site of the old mills located along Millville Road.

Remnants of either a dam or building structure are visible.



August 26, 2009

Remains of the Bear's Den cage located at the site of den. 



August 26, 2009

A Green Darner (Anax junius) dragonfly resting on a roadside pylon in Bear Hole. 

Adult darners catch insects on the wing, including any soft-bodied flying insect such as 

mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, moths, mayflies and wasps.

This species is one of the largest dragonflies in existence and a common sighting in

Western Massachusetts. Adults can reach 3 inches long with a wingspan of 4.5 inches.


August 26, 2009

View of the Lane trap rock quarry.  A summit that is part of the Metacomet Ridge is visible through the haze in the far distance.

The quarry abuts the Bear Hole Watershed.


August 26, 2009

Lane trap rock quarry


August 26, 2009

Looking out at Bear Hole Reservoir from the dam. 

Wildflowers and the reservoir's spill-way in the foreground


August 26, 2009

Town Historian Bernie Lally (gray shirt & hat) on the M&M Trail in

Bear Hole offering insight about the trail's history to:

 DPW Water Superintendent Jeff Auer, Todd Steglinski (dark shirt),

DPW water treatment technician Darren Longo (orange) and

Charlie Rogers (blue)



 September 12, 2009

Bear Hole Celebration Event

People arriving for the day's event at the check-in area at the end of 

Bear Hole Road.


October 17, 2009

Bear Hole Celebration Event

Attendees waiting to complete event surveys at the check-in tent.

In the foreground is a 10 yr old canine -  a retired sled racing dog.


Morning of October 17, 2009

Celebrate Bear Hole Event

Attendees focused on Town Historian Bernie Lally providing insight about the history of Millville Road & vicinity.  Are you in this picture??


Morning of October 17, 2009 - Bear Hole Celebration Event

Vehicles & attendees arriving via Morgan Road. 

West Springfield High School teacher Tim Pitkin in the foreground

with his canine "Jackson".


November 21, 2009

Bear Hole / East Mountain / M&M trail circuit hike (6 miles)

Hike participants enjoying a view towards Hampton Ponds at the 

ridge of East Mountain along the M&M Trail

From left to right:  Norm Plante, Carole Dupont, Suzi Silver, Donna Fleury,

Sheila Croteau and 8yr old "Mara"

photographer & hike guide/ not in photo:  Todd Steglinski


 April 6, 2010

West Springfield Middle School "Outdoor Club" Bear Hole hike

Hike participants investigating a large cavity within a tree trunk that is the work of either a woodpecker or mammal searching for insects.


 Sunday, May 30th      Bear Hole bird walk participants

An interactive two hour bird walk within the Bear Hole Watershed.  
Janice Zepko of the Allen Bird Club was the walk's leader. 
10 people attended ranging from ages 18 to 70.
34 different types of birds were identified. 
See this list for what was seen & heard:   BH Bird Walk List.doc
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wild flowers in bloom at a Mittineague Park meadow.
This meadow is the proposed location of a regional dog park.
November 13, 2010
Susan Silver and Diane Crowell in good spirits while hauling out debris from the Mittineague Park peninsula during the Environmental Committee's park clean-up.  
 December 16, 2010    4:27pm
Sunset at a Mittineague Park meadow