from the DCR
The Patrick-Murray Administration announced the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will hold a public meeting on October 27, 2010, to discuss the proposed design for a new bathhouse and walkway at Houghton’s Pond in the Blue Hills Reservation.
The new bathhouse will be fully accessible, and the project will improve access to many sites, including the beach and picnic areas, in accordance with federal ADA requirements. A new walkway along Marigold Marsh will be constructed for all users of the facility.
“Houghton’s Pond is an extremely popular recreation area just south of Boston,” said DCR Commissioner Richard K. Sullivan Jr. “Even in these difficult economic times, Governor Patrick is committed to ensuring the safety and enjoyment of recreation facilities across the Commonwealth. These will be wonderful improvements at Houghton’s Pond, enhancing the experience of all visitors.”
The public meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Trailside Museum, 1904 Canton Ave., Milton.
DCR hopes to start construction on the $2.9 million project in early 2011. Construction of the walkway is expected to be complete in June 2011 and the bathhouse in June 2012.
“Even in a challenging economy, we have continued to make significant investments in the Blue Hills Reservation, which is used and enjoyed by thousands of families in my district and throughout the state,” said State Senator Brian A. Joyce, a leading advocate for improvements to and protection of the Blue Hills Reservation. “These latest improvements will further enhance that enjoyment by all residents and visitors, including those with physical challenges.”
The bathhouse will contain two family changing areas and rest rooms, 20 toilets, a manager’s office, first aid room, lifeguard break room and lifeguard lockers, secure storage, and a lobby designed for three-season use. A terraced overlook is also part of the preliminary design to eliminate the giant concrete wall between the existing bathhouse and beach.
The preliminary design also includes outdoor rinse stations and changing stalls. The building is intended to be compatible with the historic structures nearby and the natural surroundings.
The wooden walkway will begin from the main arrival point at the pond and will offer park visitors a stunning view over Marigold Marsh. Several overlooks along the walkway will have educational panels describing the wetland habitats, animals one is likely to see in the area, and the history of the site.
Accessible mats will facilitate access to the water’s edge, and the bathhouse will continue to have two beach wheel chairs available to the public.
The walkway has been approved by the Milton Conservation Commission, the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, the Architectural Access Board, and the Massachusetts Historic Commission.