Commission works to beautify Tri-Town Beach ahead of June 18 opening

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Published: 5/3/2022 9:40:21 PM

Modified: 5/3/2022 9:38:50 PM

WHATELY — As rain fell around the pavilion last week, the Tri-Town Beach Commission was making progress toward sunny beach days.

“We need to make a splash,” said Whately Commissioner Jonathan Edwards as he and his fellow commissioners discussed visual improvements to the beach.

With a targeted opening date of June 18 — the park will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day until Labor Day — the commissioners have been steadily working toward revitalizing the park’s aesthetics while waiting on an environmental study to manage dwarf bulrush plants, which are designated by the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife as a threatened species.

The study will need to be conducted when the plants bloom in late May. Once complete, a management plan will need to be presented to Natural Heritage, a branch of MassWildlife.

In the meantime, the commissioners are focused on beautifying the park. Some steps have already been taken as the property’s fence has been repaired, but the next targets are cleaning out the storage shed and working on the bathrooms — including dealing with the barbed wire that lines the top of the fence.

“We need to get it into the best shape we can get it,” commented Deerfield Commissioner Patty Pirog.

Edwards, who also serves as Whately’s Selectboard chair, said these aesthetic improvements are needed to attract people to the park and one of the top priorities should be to get rid of the off-putting barbed wire.

“If it looks junky, people will be like, ‘Oh, it’s same old Tri-Town,’” Edwards said.

While the barbed wire looks out of place at a community beach, Pirog said the intention was to help with security as there has been vandalism issues in the past.

“This is off the beaten path,” she said. “It’s deserted-looking at night.”

As the commissioners work on the park itself, they are also looking for lifeguards and gatekeepers to staff it. People of all ages are welcome to apply for the job as the commissioners want to avoid staffing it with just college students who will have to leave before the end of the season. Pirog said there is plenty of flexibility in scheduling to accommodate all candidates.

Applications can be found at Once filled out, applications can be left at Deerfield Town Hall, Attn: Tri-Town Beach Commission. They can also be scanned and sent to Pirog through her Facebook account.

The Tri-Town Beach Commission is also seeking volunteers interested in helping clean up the park. The commissioners may be organizing a community cleanup day as opening day approaches.

The commission is meeting weekly at the park as it prepares for its June opening. Meetings are usually held on Mondays at 5 p.m., but are sometimes held on Tuesdays if scheduling conflicts arise.

Chris Larabee can be reached at or 413-930-4081.

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