We are a diverse group: educators, environmentalists, parents, hikers, people who once lived in the towns beneath these waters; we are people from all walks of life who recognize how special Quabbin is.
The Friends of Quabbin, Inc., was formed in 1984 as a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to increasing public awareness and appreciation of the unique natural and historical resources of the Quabbin Reservoir and Reservation.
Through educational, recreational and interpretive programs we help to protect and preserve the pristine natural beauty and the water and environmental quality of Quabbin for future generations. Please see our Mission Statement below.
FOQ Board of Directors (Officers)
Gene H. Theroux - President
J.R. Greene - Chairman
Cynthia LaBombard - Vice President
Paul J. Godfrey - Treasurer
Julie Bullock - Secretary
Gene H. Theroux - Clerk
FOQ Board of Directors Meeting
The FOQ Board of Directors meets the second Thursday in the months of February, March, April, June, September and November at the Quabbin Visitors Center @ 7:00 PM. Members of the FOQ are welcome to attend.
Oral History Project: We are helping to preserve the history of Quabbin through our Oral History Project. We have already produced nearly two hundred audio and videotaped interviews with former Swift River Valley residents and people who worked on the construction of Quabbin Reservoir. We are currently making this collection more permanent by transferring the existing audiotapes to CD-ROM disks. Many excerpts from the interviews can be heard on our audiotape, "Here Was Home", which was designed to accompany visitors on a driving tour of Quabbin Reservation, and is available at the Quabbin
The Visitor Center
Also available for purchase at the Visitor Center are dozens of Quabbin-related books, postcards, hats, pins, our perennially popular Eagle calendar, hiking and historical maps and much more. Unfortunately, items are not available for purchase through this website.
FOQ hosts a gathering of former Swift River Valley residents the 1st Tuesday of each month at the Visitor Center, 1PM to 3PM. Anyone may attend and listen to reminiscences about the old valley. We also sponsor a Tuesday Tea Holiday Party, and a picnic held each August at the Hank's Picnic area, at which former valley residents have been treated by the Rangers to boat tours on the Quabbin.
FOQ publishes Quabbin Voices, a quarterly newsletter full of news, information, poetry, photos and stories from Quabbin's past and present, as well as events that may well shape its future. Quabbin Voices is free with membership in FOQ -- have a peek!
FOQ helped fund many of the early wildlife research studies and continues to do so through the Richard Coit Memorial Wildlife Fund, established in the early 90's. FOQ has also published Quabbin Letters, a collection of articles that originally appeared in the Springfield Union in 1938, The Quabbin Club Cook Book, originally published for the Enfield centennial in 1916, and other books on Quabbin.
FOQ maintains archives of oral histories and photographs of the Swift River Valley, including a large collection by Burt Brooks, official photographer for the town of Greenwich during the late 1800's and early 1900's. A permanent collection of Quabbin-related paintings and photographs is also housed at the Visitor Center, and FOQ continues to help support exhibits of interest at the center. We also sponsor special events, like last year's bus tours of Quabbin Park, featuring our oral history tape "Here Was Home", the annual Memorial Day Services at Quabbin Park Cemetery, the annual Holiday Party in December and others.
I am a Friend of Quabbin because. . .
The following "sense of place," written by former president of the Friends of Quabbin Joseph Wm. Russell, expresses with clarity and simplicity the spirit of our organization:
"I am a Friend of Quabbin because the very nature of this special place nurtures my mind and renews my spirit.
I am a Friend of Quabbin because I subscribe to the belief that in passive recreation I may both best appreciate and yet actively participate in the quiet beauty and unspoken knowledge that surrounds me in this place.
I am a Friend of Quabbin because I support the preservation and the protection of this place, and because I believe that education programs about Quabbin offer the strongest guarantee that future generations will see before them the beauty I see today.
I am a Friend of Quabbin because I believe that collective friendship produces collective wisdom. And in collective wisdom lies the best approach to the preservation of Quabbin."
Joseph William Russell,
former president of Friends of Quabbin
To promote, through a variety of interpretive, educational, social, scientific, and entertainment programs public awareness, understanding, appreciation, and concern for the Quabbin Reservation and Watershed; a complex ecosystem which provides a valuable and irreplaceable resource for the entire state.
- To develop a regional sense of stewardship of the Quabbin Reservation by providing a forum for public expression and involvement in decisions that may affect the use and preservation of the natural and historical characteristics that make the area both unique and irreplaceable.
- To act as a support group for implementing those aspects of plans and policies for Quabbin consistent with the goals and purposes of Friends of Quabbin.
- To work in cooperation with other organizations both public and private which share mutual goals for the care, monitoring, protection and wise use of the Quabbin Reservation, a vital water supply resource rich in natural, historical, and recreational values supplying over two million people with drinking water.