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Friends of Myles Standish State Forest Meetup Group The Friends of Myles Standish State Forest Meetup.com listings are the best place to find up-to-date info on all our upcoming hikes, birding events and other activities in Myles Standish State Forest.

The Friends' 2017 Family Take Me Fishin' Festival is coming up on September 30th.

Fishing Derby signs

We need a few good volunteers to help us. Please sign up to volunteer on Meetup. We promise you won't have to touch any worms. family fishing festival flyer fishing derby awards fishing action in MSSF

Need to get to Fearing Pond? Follow the signs in the park to Fearing Pond and Camp Squanto. The Fishing Derby is at the Fearing Pond day use area which is on Fearing Pond Road in Plymouth. (MAP)

Friends 2017 Photo Contest is open until Wednesday September 20th!

Entries are now being sought for our 2017 contest. Rules will be the same as in previous years. Up to 3 entries may be submitted by an individual. Categories are historic, landscape, flora, fauna, recreation and memorable event. All images must be taken in MSSF. Submit photos electronically to photos@friendsmssf.com on or before 9/20/2017. Awards will be announced at the Friend's Fishing Derby on September 30th. View previous winners View contest rules. 2017 MSSF photo contest flyer

bluebird

Native Bird Support- Bluebird totals were up again in 2017.

40 bluebird boxes went in on March 18th this year. Here are the bird box totals for Myles Standish for 2017: We had:
  • 21 Bluebirds,
  • 97 Tree Swallows,
  • 6 Chickadees, and
  • 38 House Wrens (probably more).

We had 16 Bluebirds last year so this is great news that they are increasing and spreading out to areas they haven't been before like the Headquarter's field. They still seem to love the East Entrance and Smokey the Bear fields! We almost had them in Cutter Field and Curlew Pond Field, but they never laid eggs. Maybe next year! Our Tree Swallows were up by 2 birds this year, Chickadees were down by 1 bird and the House Wrens were down quite a bit by 28 birds from last year (not sure why...could be food source related). Overall it was a good year, despite a few missing eggs due to snakes in Barrett's Pond and a few dead hatchlings at Curlew Pond.

All the boxes have been reported closed on Cornell's Nestwatch and our bluebird box coordinator Melissa wants to thank Laura, Bill, Roz, Pat, Claire, Clara and Donna for your help again this year. The Cutter Field boxes were taken down last weekend are being stored in my garage. We had 7 volunteers this year monitoring from May- August. Rest up this fall/winter and I'll see you in the spring for another year of adventures! See more pictures and the reports from prior years on our Native Bird Support page.

If you want to help the nestwatching group next spring, write an email to birds@friendsmssf.com for more info.

What's going on in Myles Standish State Forest?

Friends of Myles Standish State Forest Meetup Group

The Friends host a lot of hikes, bird walks, stargazing nights and other activities in the forest. The Friends of Myles Standish State Forest Meetup.com listings are the best place to find up-to-date info on all our upcoming volunteer-led hikes, birding events and other activities in Myles Standish State Forest.

Find DCR events in Myles Standish State Forest with their new DCR event listings search.

Friends 2017 Photo Contest is open!

Entries are now being sought for our 2017 contest. Rules will be the same as in previous years. Up to 3 entries may be submitted by an individual. Categories are historic, landscape, flora, fauna, recreation and memorable event. All images must be taken in MSSF. Submit photos electronically to photos@friendsmssf.com on or before 9/20/2017. Awards will be announced at the Friend's Fishing Derby on September 30th. View previous winners View contest rules.

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frog in a log
Hello there! Photo by Kathleen O'Donnell.
Winner-Fauna
eagle with fish
Eagle with Dinner. Photo by Steve Nikola.
Winner-Fauna

The bluebird boxes went up in March. Multiple broods have hatched already! Friends-led hikes are going into the forest most Thursdays and Sundays. (Check our Meetup page for the full listings and latest details.)

The new map mural was put on display next to the Park's Interpretive Center.MSSF map mural The map was commissioned by the Friends and the DCR from local artist Laura Anzalone.

Camping started on May 25th

It runs through October 8th. Curlew Pond campsites 1-25 are temporarily closed while a bathroom is replaced. Get your Myles Standish State Forest campground reservations now at Reserve America. Camping is $17 per night.

New Treatment Facility for Addicts opened at site of former MCI Plymouth

In early May, patients were transferred in to a new treatment facility for substance abusers and alcoholics at the site of the former MCI Plymouth, which is located within the state forest off Circuit Drive. MASAC Plymouth at Myles Standish State ForestIt is called MASAC (Massachusetts Alcoholic and Substance Abuse Center) at Plymouth. Some of them (17 at last count) have been leaving the facility without permission and have had to be returned by law enforcement. The patients have been committed by the Courts to the facility under Section 35, which explains that those committed to the facility are judged by a Court to have a subtance abuse problem which is causing them to pose a danger to themselves or others. MCI Plymouth existed for about 75 years in the forest using the same facilities and had no escape problems that we were ever aware of. Friends President Bill Vickstrom spoke to the media about the Friends' concerns.

We hosted the Deputy Commissioner from the Corrections Department at both our June and July meetings. In June, he apologized for the problem and explained how "elopements" from other substance abuse facilities are handled around the state. He told the assembled group about the State's reaction to the "elopements" and how an 8 foot fence topped with barbed wire will be in place around the residential area by the end of June with additional fencing in place by the end of August around the recreational areas. He said that a tactical team is now available for rapid recapture. Many attendees demanded that the State provide better notification of escapes through the use of the reverse 911 systems available in Carver and Plymouth and asked that the State provide better cell coverage in the forest so that users of the forest would be aware when a problem occurs. They also asked that if these are "patients" and not convicted criminals, the response be moderated and stated that the state's SWAT team response with assault rifles drawn and dogs and helicopters had made park users feel threatened.

As of June 30th, the new fencing is visible, as is the enhanced security around the site. The Deputy Commissioner provided an update at our July meeting. Fencing is now complete around two of the residential buildings. Guards continue to be stationed around the perimeter. There were no additional "elopements" in June. We reiterated our requests for an improved notification system, suggesting that temporary cell tower might provide the ability to notify park users who are currently off the grid while in the forest.

The Friends Annual Meeting took place on Thursday May 18th at the Carver Sportsmens Club. This year we had Doug Lowry, a teacher and naturalist with Audubon and Senior Staff at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) as our guest speaker. Karl Pastore from the DCR also addressed attendees. Two new members were elected to the Friends' Board- Christie Lawyer and Derek Welch. Two other members were reeelected to new two year terms- Thom Gifford and Jim Nelson. John Bescherer was recognized as "Volunteer of the Year".

The Friends have had several days working on the trails already this year- In particular, we worked along the Pine Barrens Path (a north-south trail running all the way from Charge Pond to the East Entrance). Signs have been going up trail sign MSSF About a mile of the Pine Barrens Path trail has been brushed back with equipment authorized by the DCR.

  • 4th Annual Pinefest sponsored by the Pine Barrens Alliance took place on Saturday May 20th. Another great day was had by all.

    • The 10th Anniversary Meeting of the Friends took place on May 3rd. Read a news report about the initial meeting. About a dozen people managed to join us and talk with us about the Friends accomplishments over the last 10 years and help us think about our goals going forward, in spite of the closing of the forest that night owed to unforeseen circumstances.

    • Park Serve Day took place on Saturday April 29th. Park Serve Day is DCR's annual day inviting the public to help beautify the park we love so much. About 35 people joined us for a morning of work. A group of students from Rising Tides Charter cleaned up around headquarters while other Friends cleared the Charge Pond Pavilion and beach. Then all returned to the headquarters for a cookout sponsored by the Friends.

      Park Serve Day 2017
    • Park Visitor Services Supervisor Dan Byrnes has returned.dan byrnes leads He will soon have a list of park-sponsored events posted on the state's DCR events site.

      First Day Hike

      75 people started the year off on the right foot at our 5th annual First Day Hike on January 1st. On a beautiful and unseasonably warm day, everyone made it around the East Head Reservoir in record time. We enjoyed cocoa and snacks after the walk but fire danger kept us from having a warming fire this year. First Day Hike campfire

  • Blaze Orange Friends Shirts

    Blaze orange shirts perfect for your fall outdoors activities have been made up with the Friends logo on the front and "Escape to Myles Standish State Forest" on the back. Available in short and long sleeved sizes, they will be sold at the Friends Fishing Derby.

    blaze orange Friends shirts

    Membership

    Please consider becoming a member of the Friends. Your contribution helps the Friends pay for our free family fishing derby, trail maintenance, running this website and our Meetup activity scheduling site and the many other programs we run for the benefit of the Forest and its users.

    Annual membership is only $10 for an individual. More details about membership are available on our Membership page You can mail your contribution or use the PayPal Donate button below to join online.

    Newsletters

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    The Friends' next Board meeting will take place Wednesday October 4th at 7PM. (We usually meet the first Wednesday of every month in the "barn" up the road from forest headquarters.) All members are invited.

    Are you someone who regularly camps, bicycles, rides horses, skis or snowshoes or kayaks in the State Forest? Our group needs more input from all legitimate forest users. Currently, we have hikers, wildlife observers, hunters/fishers and cottage owners. We would love to have active campers, bicyclists and cross country skiers join us. You are welcome to attend our next Board meeting.(More info.)

    Last Update 9/13/2017

    Contact Us

    About Us

    2017 Photo Contest

    2016 Photo Contest Winners

    2015 Photo Contest Winners

    2014 Photo Contest Winners

    2013 Photo Contest Winners

    Order a Friends T-shirt

    Order a Friends embroidered logo hat

    Favorite Trails

    Camping in MSSF

    Cottage Program

    Native Bird Support Group

    Take Me Fishin Highlights 2007-2013

    Friends Membership Page- Join Us!

    Report Illegal Off Road Vehicle

    Local business sponsors

    Pine Barrens Community Initiative

    Native Plant ID Page

    MSSF Resource Management Plan

    Equestrian Page


    Friends of Myles Standish State Forest Meetup Group The Friends of Myles Standish State Forest Meetup.com listings are the best place to find up-to-date info on all our upcoming hikes, birding events and other activities in Myles Standish State Forest.

    Myles Standish SF photo contest

    New Myles Standish State Forest map available at headquarters.

    A beautiful new map of the forest has been published and is available for free at headquarters. Here is a scan of the map. MSSF trails map Download a printable PDF copy of the Myles Standish map.

    Check out some of our favorite trails!

    2017 Photo Contest is open!

    Entries are now being sought for our 2017 contest. Rules will be the same as in previous years. Up to 3 entries may be submitted by an individual. Categories are historic, landscape, flora, fauna, recreation and memorable event taken in Myles Standish State Forest. Submit photos electronically to photos@friendsmssf.com. Awards will be announced at the Friend's Fishing Derby on September 30th. 2017 Photo Contest rules

    Friends Hats

    Friends logo hat

    The Friends are selling caps with the Friends logo. You can purchase one of these hats at many Friends events. These hats are now also available for order online (Note: Blaze orange hats are now sold out but will be back in stock before the end of September and will be sold at the Fishing Derby.).

    According to this 2014 article from the Star Tribune (Minnesota) , "Massachusetts has nation's toughest ATV law." In a recent presentation to the DCR Stewardship Council by an Environmental Police Officer, Plymouth and Carver were shown to be the leading sources (#1 and #2) of calls to the Massachusetts Environmental Police with complaints about illegal riding. Your calls have been noticed and the many visits of EPO's to MSSF over the fall were credited to the calls. (Numbers for reporting OHV's in the park)

    It's tick season! (It's always tick season.) Find out more about ticks and what you can do to protect yourself and your pets at the University of Rhode Island's Tick Encounter Center You can:

    • Learn how to make your clothes tick repellent.
    • How to remove ticks.
    • How to treat your yard for ticks.
    • Get your ticks tested. A $50 mail-in test performed by UMass Amherst will quickly tell you if the ticks you find are infected.
    • Identify ticks.

    The 2016 Take Me Fishin' family fishing derby took place on September 24th. (The 2017 festival is coming up September 30, 2017!) In 2016, the water was too warm for trout to be stocked but more than 50 fish were caught during the day.

    fishing derby flyer fishing derby awards fishing action in MSSF

    Many more pictures on our Meetup site photo gallery.