Town of Walpole to Purchase “Sharon Country Day Camp”


Anna Van der Linden

     With the sadness that comes with the close of the Sharon Country Day Camp, a camp enjoyed by many students in the community, there also comes excitement with the possibility of a Walpole Recreational Camp facility.

   The Walpole community voted to approve the purchase of the Sharon Country Day Camp in order to protect the nearby town aquifer on November 4. Town Meeting members subsequently finalized the $4.5 million purchase of the 24.7 acre property.

     After their beloved Camp Director Charles Herschman died this past January, the Common Street summer camp made the decision to close its doors. Later,  the Herschman family put the valuable property up for sale — a property that appeals to numerous housing developers as well as the town.

   The Herschman family, led by founders Charlie and Corrinne, created a loving “summer home” for many children throughout their five decades of service.

   The former archery teacher at the camp and a current physical education teacher at Walpole High, Quinn Geary said, “Although I only worked there for one summer, it was very clear that the camp meant a lot to many people.”

   The Sharon Country Day Camp has an abundance of facilities already, such as many cabins, a man-made waterfront lake with swimming docks, and a zipline. The property also has a baseball field, basketball court, and other large field areas. Because the camp is located close to a main aquifer for town water, the acquisition of this land is meant to preserve the  integrity of the water source.

      The payment for this purchase will come from Walpole Water Department funds and a gradual increase in water rates over the course of 20 years. Before they finalize the transaction, the Department of Environmental Protection still has to approve the purchase made with water department funds.

    Although the Department of Environmental Protection has not written a permit yet, many citizens speculate the land will most likely be used for recreational purposes. This equipment could be utilized by the Walpole Recreation Department. The land could be used for a Walpole Recreational Camp with plenty of activities to choose from, or as a space similar to Adam’s Farm, with large areas for passive recreation.

    “I would love to see another camp there rather than it be turned into a neighborhood,” said Mr. Geary.

      Although selling the property to housing developers might have yielded more money for the Herschman family, the Herschmanns wanted to work with the Town of Walpole.  A long-established part of the community that provided safe and happy summer experiences for children for 51 years, the camp will be missed, but the purchase by the Town of Walpole can perpetuate the original purpose of the land–a place for children to have fun.

Gallery by Kaitlin Brown

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