The Department of Conservation and Recreation announced last week that it will give $27,000 to the Town of Natick for the removal and prevention of invasive species at a pond in Cochituate State Park..
The department also is funding similar projects in Uxbridge and Wayland.
The funds are part of $1 million in the department's Partnership Matching Funds Grants, a program that offers a two-to-one match on contributions up to $25,000, and a one-to-one match for contributions above $25,000.
A total of $59,000 in matching grants was awarded to the three communities to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species.
The program will also support maintenance efforts in the Borderland State Park in Easton.
Natick received the state funds to manage the invasive Eurasian water milfoil in Middle Pond at Cochituate State Park.
The grant will fund the hiring of a Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting, or DASH, boat company to remove the milfoil from approximately five acres in the lake.
The Wayland Surface Water Quality Committee received $16,000 to also hire a DASH boat, redeploy the milfoil barrier net at the entrance to Cochituate State Park's North Pond, and spot-treat up to 15 acres of milfoil re-infestation with herbicides at the pond.
The Blackstone River Heritage State Park in Uxbridge also received $15,500 toward the purchase and rental of a mechanical harvester for water chestnut removal, and the Friends of Borderland State Park in Easton received $10,000 for the restoration and rehabilitation of the Ames Mansion’s historic rock garden.
“DCR has an on-going commitment to improving and enriching the natural, cultural and recreational opportunities available to state park users,” said department commissioner Ed Lambert. “These projects enhance visitors’ park experiences and improve quality of life for Massachusetts residents.”
At an afternoon event at Easton's Borderland State Park, DCR celebrated the plan to remove overgrown vegetation and stone dust from the garden path, returning the path to grass and widening it, as well as replacing plantings with low-maintenance species.
Projects completed within the funds matching program, now in its seventh year, have brought in more than $10 million in non-state funded improvements to state park property, according to the department.
The goal of the program is to create new models of stewardship to protect and sustain the natural, cultural, historical and recreational public resources of the commonwealth for future generations, said the department, which oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways in Massachusetts.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org