A popular recreation area in Brimfield, Massachusetts has re-opened for the first time since the tornado outbreak that swept through the region two years ago forced its closure. The Dean Pond Recreation Area, located at the western end of Brimfield State Forest, is popular for its beach, fishing and picnic facilities as well as its hiking, and horseback riding trails. But the area took a direct hit from the June, 2011 tornado that cut an almost 40-mile swath though western and central Massachusetts.
“One third of the trees in that area were destroyed.”
State Senator Stephen Brewer of Barre says it was heartbreaking to survey the area shortly after the tornado hit. And he says recession-related budget cuts to state parks delayed the re-opening until now.
“We’ve worked very aggressively with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to make sure that all efforts were put forward to try to clear the tree slash, which is a fire hazard in and of itself, the tables and the recreation area. So, all of that has been done.”
But Brewer adds it will take much more time for the area to completely recover from the tornado’s scars. A spokesperson for the Department of Conservation and Recreation says lifeguard duty at the beach on Dean Pond began this past Saturday. And depending on staffing, it is scheduled to continue every day through late August.