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Ponkapoag Pond in Canton and Randolph is undergoing a rehabilitation from the DCR (the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Resources, the state park agency), which will hold a virtual meeting to express your views Monday, Dec. 8.

The plan could include public beach area and a lakeside youth camp.

"DCR has come up with preliminary plans for the Ponkapoag Pond rehab in the Blue Hills," Randolph town councilor Jesse Gordon said, "and now is our big chance to guide those plans towards more recreational resources for Randolph."

Gordon focuses those plans on three modifications to the DCR map:

A. A new youth camp and beach area on the north side of the pond.

B. Improved pedestrian access, swimming, and fishing near the AMC Camp in the Randolph woods on the east side of the pond.

C. An extended beach on the south side of the pond within walking distance of 3,000 residents.

"DCR has big plans for the YMCA camp in the Blue Hills in Canton," Gordon said.

The YMCA Camp includes free transportation and daytime access for all Boston Public School students.

"How about if we add transportation and daytime access for all Randolph Public School students?" he asked.

That's marked as area "A" on the map, and DCR is planning to improve car and pedestrian access, but only to add a small wood deck on the pond, according to Gordon.

"That whole area could become a major family recreation area, just like Houghton's Pond in Milton," said Gordon, noting that Houghton's Pond has had a lifeguarded sandy beach for decades, with dozens of picnic areas and hundreds of parking space. "I'd like to see exactly that set-up in Randolph."

Area "B" on the map is the "AMC Camp," where people can rent cabins and kayaks. It already includes a small swimming area.

"The DCR's planned improvements for the AMC Camp are lovely," Gordon said, "but it's very hard to get there. The rough hiking trail called 'Ponkapoag Path' goes through Randolph to the Donovan School, and with improvements could be a hiking and biking destination."

Several other hiking trails lead to the Deer Park neighborhood, and improvements could be included in the DCR plan, if Randolph residents requested, Gordon said.

Area "C" is called "Fisherman's Cove" and the DCR plans substantial improvements from that point westward into Canton.

"I'd like to see similar improvements eastward into Randolph," Gordon said. "That area is a 'boat launch' now, but could be improved to a swimming beach. It would be within easy walking distance of residents in Deer Park as well as on Avalon Drive," which is the Prynne Hills housing complex in Randolph and Canton. "Over 3,000 people could walk to the beach if we do it right, and this is our one chance for the coming decades."

DCR has scheduled a 'stakeholder meeting' this week that's not open to the public but people can write to their town representatives to express their views to DCR through them.

And then the virtual 'public meeting' will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8. The link to join is on Gordon's website at www.JesseGordon.com/BlueHills. Residents also can express their opinions in writing on DCR's "Public Comments" link until Dec. 29, but it's not available yet.

"I'll keep the links on my website as they are updated," Gordon said, "and you can check out YouTube videos from each of the plans above, on that same website."

Source : https://www.wickedlocal.com/story/journal-sun/2021/11/28/state-considers-creating-beach-youth-camp-randolph-canton/8786305002/

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