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Environmental Committee
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This page highlights the latest news of the Environmental Committee


October 2016 to current (updated March 31, 2017)

* October 7th severe environmental destruction from ATVs was observed within the glen of Bear Hole’s historic restaurant.  ATVs gauged up the trail within the glen, then crossed a shallow area of the reservoir to a wetland grass island and rutted it up.  Trail maintenance volunteers repaired the trail damage.  

* October 15th the Environmental Committee hosted Bear Hole Event Day.  A day of free events for the public in Bear Hole ranging from historical and nature walks to photography.  This is the first time in years the Committee has hosted such an event.  Well attended with 80 to 100 attendees.  

* Fall of 2016 the Bear Hole Rd parking area received a mild overhaul by the DPW. Trees were removed so the parking lot could be enlarged, the lot's surface was graded with pavement millings from road resurfacing projects in town and a section of fence was removed and large stone blocks implemented to replace the fence as an effort to make the area have a more natural feel. Prior to the stone blocks, the DPW had the area wide open, unbarricaded and off-roaders were taking full advantage.

*  Continued ATV destruction in the glen of the restaurant throughout the fall of 2016.  Suspected the riders are entering from the Lane Quarry via an old trail.  ATVs and trucks are also navigating around the Old Holyoke Road gate and following the Pioneer Valley Railroad track into Bear Hole and navigating over shallow areas along Prospect in Bear Hole where the town implemented large stones to deter illegal vehicle access during this past summer. These illegal access points need to be beefed-up to deter illegal access. As of December 31, 2016 the DPW has been unreceptive to shoring-up the loose points along Prospect near Four Corners. Off-roading in Bear Hole is not a seasonal problem. It occurs all year long. The town needs to take notice and commit consistent resources to help control this activity.  

* The town reports a gate will be forthcoming for the intersection of Great Plains and Morgan Rd in Bear Hole to replace the cement jersey barriers.  The gate will be similar to what’s at Millville Road.  

* Fall sessions of the Environmental Committee’s SEEC (environmental program for W Spfld elementary students) were successful.  Without grant funding pursued by the Environmental Committee, this program would not exist.   

* November 8, 2016 a patron at Mittineague Park reported a possible "grave" and West Springfield Police responded. The situation was unfounded. The ground had been scalped due to a DPW mowing crew mowing too short and it looked like a grave site.

* November 12, 2016 a hiker encountered a white Jeep trespassing / off-roading in the glen of the Bear Hole Restaurant. Police were notified and responded. The hiker guided police to the location. The jeep was subsequently towed by Red's Towing, per police order. The Jeep's owner incurred $1,000 in towing fees and was issued a one year trespass order by the town. The offender was a female from West Street in Ludlow, MA.

* Late November the Environmental Committee submitted a $2,860 Rotary Grant application for a kiosk for the Bear Hole Rd parking area.

Manufacturer is Timber Homes of Vermont. The Committee expects to learn the outcome sometime in the spring of 2017. (grant awarded see below)

* Monday, January 2, 2017 a dog walker / hiker at Bear Hole encountered MA Environmental Police at the Bear Hole Rd parking area investigating bagged deer remains placed in the V of a tree. If more info is discovered it will be posted.

* February 24, 2017 the Environmental Committee received notification from the West Springfield Rotary Club of a $2,360 grant for a timber framed kiosk for the Bear Hole Rd parking area. The kiosk will be purchased from Timber Homes Vermont. The kiosk will help create an entry gateway for the watershed.

* Sunday, March 20, 2017 an Environmental Committee member encountered MA registration 813 VL2, 2004 Suzuki XL7 illegally off-roading around the immediate reservoir area beginning at approximately 6:30pm. Vehicle exited around the Morgan Rd @ Great Plains jersey barriers 6:55pm. Police and DPW notified. The DPW trespassed the offender, who was from Westfield.