Department of Conservation and Recreation Celebrates Opening of Shawme-Crowell State Forest Playground

$420,000 project helps support a healthy, active lifestyle...
Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy joined with community officials and campers to celebrate the opening of the new playground located at Shawme-Crowell State Forest in Sandwich on Thursday, August 15, 2019. (DCR photo)

SANDWICH – Seeking to modernize one of the most popular state parks and campgrounds in southeastern Massachusetts, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) celebrated the completion of a new playground and an improved basketball court at the agency’s Shawme-Crowell State Forest in the Town of Sandwich. The $420,000 project will provide children and their families with new outdoor recreational attractions that support a healthy, active lifestyle.

“As one of the most popular state parks in Cape Cod, Shawme-Crowell State Forest sees thousands of visitors a year looking to enjoy unique recreational opportunities in this pitch pine and scrub oak forest just over the Sagamore Bridge,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Baker-Polito Administration is proud to continue to support the communities of Cape Cod by making significant improvements to the park to encourage residents and visitors of all abilities to get outdoors.”

Details of the playground include:

  •          The removal of three of the six existing pieces of equipment;
  •          The removal of existing surfacing;
  •          The installation of new playground equipment for 2-5 year olds and for 5-12 year olds;
  •          The installation of poured in place rubber safety surfacing; and,
  •          The installation of associated site amenities, such as benches, a fully-accessible parking space, fully-accessible pathways, and landscaping.

“I am glad to see the continuing support from the Baker Administration for our State Park System. Investments like the one made at the Shawme-Crowell State Forest Playground, are crucial in supporting recreational activity in the Commonwealth. Along with providing opportunities for recreation, our State Park system is an important economic asset to the Commonwealth; attracting visitors to the state from all over the country. I would like to thank the administration and their commitment to promoting our parks,” said State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth).

“DCR Commissioner Roy and his entire staff have done a great job on this project, from recognizing the need to completing the punch list. Hundreds of campers will enjoy this playground, adding to their fond summer memories of Shawme-Crowell State Forest,” said State Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich).

Facilities like playgrounds assist in a child’s development of depth perception, spatial awareness, enhance gross and fine motor skills, and improve upper and lower body strength in children in an inclusive play environment.

“Shawme-Crowell State Forest has been a key partner of the Town of Sandwich for many, many decades. It is a wonderful addition to our community and a recreation destination known through New England and beyond. What’s especially telling is I know many Sandwich residents camp at Shawme-Crowell as a local escape even though it’s in the same town. In addition, our 30+ year relationship with Shawme-Crowell Institution Les Perry is one of the strongest ones we have,” said Sandwich Town Manager George Dunham.

Acquisition of forest lands by the state began in 1909 for the then Shawme State Forest and the forest was dedicated in 1922. The forest expanded to approximately 8,400 acres by 1925 making Shawme State Forest the largest parcel of public land on Cape Cod at the time. In 1938, the forest was renamed Shawme-Crowell State Forest in honor of Lincoln Crowell, who served as the first District Fire Warden for a DCR predecessor agency. During the escalation of World War II, the United States Military conducted training operations within the forest in the area now known as Joint Base Cape Cod. Today, following the development of highway infrastructure, and the completion of land transfers and easements for municipal and state projects, Shawme-Crowell State Forest is a 605-acre park and campground.


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