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Partners in Action

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The Trustees of Reservations

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Tully Lake Campground Resurrected


Lake: Tully Lake, MA

Partners: USACE; The Trustees of Reservations

Partnership Type: Nonprofit Lease

Corps POC: Jeff Mangum, Park Manager

Story: Visitors once again are camping on the peaceful shore of Tully Lake thanks to The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR), a nonprofit conservation organization. The campground was built in 1977 and operated under lease by the state of Massachusetts until 1991. The state ended the lease for financial reasons, and the popular little campground was closed.

The campground consisted of 20 primitive, walk-in campsites situated in a pine forest on the northern shore of 200-acre Tully Lake. Located in rural Royalston, the campground offered a unique camping experience. Campers enjoyed the sounds of nature without the noise of vehicles. Waterfront sites offered the convenience of having your canoe or kayak at your campsite, and provided beautiful views of the lake. A clean comfort station supplied restrooms and hot showers.

After unsuccessful attempts to find a lessee to operate the campground, in 1998 the Army Corps of Engineers got a positive response from TTOR. Although the campground required a large initial investment in the water supply and septic system, they accepted the challenge.

The refurbished campground reopened to the public in 1999. Since then, TTOR has added 15 campsites, fire rings, picnic tables, horseshoe pits, a volleyball court, canoe and kayak rentals, and weekly interpretive programs. Today, the much-improved campground is a favorite place to get away from it all.

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