The Department of Conservation and Recreation announced Friday that the summer recreational season begins this weekend in Massachusetts with the opening of waterfronts across the Commonwealth.
Lifeguards begin staffing inland and ocean beaches on weekends, while parks and campgrounds staff up for camping, interpretive and educational programming, boating, OHV and ATV use, sailing, golfing, summer concerts and movies at the Hatch Shell and more.
"Although DCR offers recreational opportunities year-round across the Commonwealth, Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the highly anticipated summer recreation season," DCR Commissioner Jack Murray said in a release. "DCR is ready to welcome everyone to the parks and beaches for a fun and safe summer season."
Spray decks facilities not attached to a larger full pool facility open at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday morning and will run until 7 p.m. daily until Sept 1.
Lifeguards will be staffing wading pools and early start beaches beginning at 12 p.m. this Saturday, May 24.
Most wading pools will be open weekends until Thursday, June 26, while all remaining wading pools and full-sized swimming pools open on Saturday, June 28, for use seven days a week.
Parking, water quality testing and restroom facilities open at many DCR beaches this weekend as well, and then expand to seven days a week on June 21 until September 1. Daily lifeguard coverage at Spectacle Island in the Boston Harbor begins on July 1.
Full-sized pools will open to the public on Saturday, June 28. For a full list of Massachusetts state beaches and pools and details for your local facility, please visit http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/recreational-activities/swimming.html .DCR continues to hire lifeguards for this summer season. To apply, please visit http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/inside-our-agency/employment/dcr-lifeguard-test-dates.html
DCR operates 29 campgrounds across the Commonwealth. Camping reservations can be made by calling 877-422- 6762 or using http://www.reserveamerica.com/. Walk-ins are welcome, but are not recommended, especially on weekends when campgrounds tend to be full. For a full list of DCR campgrounds, visit http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/recreational-activities/massparks-camping-info-generic.html
In addition to swimming and camping, the 450,000 acres of DCR parks and facilities offer many other activities, including hiking, cycling, rock-climbing, boating, fishing, bird watching, horseback riding and much more.
DCR offers a Massparks Annual Parking Pass, which covers parking fees at most Massachusetts State park facilities where parking fees are charged. For only $35 per year, Massachusetts residents can park at DCR facilities across the Commonwealth. The fee for out-of-state park pass is $45. To find out more information please visithttp://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/passes-and-fees/buy-parks-pass-dcr-generic.html
DCR welcomes visitors to the state's beaches and encourages everyone to take these simple steps to keep themselves and their families safe:
1. Swim within designated swimming areas only.
2. Be sure children are monitored by a parent or guardian at all times. Young children should be no more than an arm's reach away from a parent or other adult.
3. Learn how to swim. Parents as well as children should learn how to swim.
4. Read and obey all rules and educational signs.
5. Beware of getting too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, or too much strenuous activity when swimming.
6. Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first sign of bad weather.
7. Enter the water feet first.
8. Do not mix alcohol with swimming, diving, or boating. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, and coordination and diminishes your swimming skills. Alcohol is prohibited in all DCR properties.
9. Keep an adequate number of personal floatation devices in a boat at all times. Children in a boat under the age of 12 should wear a lifejacket at all times.
10. Know how to prevent, recognize, and respond to emergencies.
11. Practice sun safety as well as water safety: Always wear sunscreen, seek shelter when possible, and drink lots of fluids.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Jack Murray, the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at email@example.com.