A few years back a brand new, very lovely lodge and large garage were built at the Saugus entrance to Breakheart Reservation.. Since then a small building boom has taken place at the entrance. In addition to the lodge, a maple syrup house was built, a concert pavilion was constructed on the lawn of the lodge, and a new ranger house is being built as this is being written. (even though the lodge was supposed to be the ranger station). In addition, there is an outdoor exercise area with exercise stations and a children’s playground. One of my friends who sometimes walks through the park with me refers to the entrance as “Disneyland.” Breakheart Reservation is lovely inside, but the area in front of the park is looking a little like a small city. Aren’t state parks like Breakheart Reservation supposed to be about providing a way for people to get away from city life and experience nature?
According to the story in today’s paper, some of the money for improving the state parks may be used to build yet another building that is unnecessary and will make the area look even less like a place of nature. Adding improvements to the the lodge (where educational programs about nature are supposed to take place) that would make it more green makes sense, but building yet another structure at the already crowded entrance to the park does not. The money would be better spent inside the park, for example, on more nature guides or other devices to make it easier for visitors to see nature in the park, rather than in some exhibit outside the park. Or it would be better spent on rejuvenating other parks in the state park system.
This proposed project is a perfect example of our taxpayer dollars being spent unwisely. It also is an example of the DCR apparently forgetting what its mission is or should be.