Onset Bay Center moves ahead with completion of first phase of Wickets Island restoration

Wickets Island in Onset Bay is one step closer to becoming a safe and welcoming place where people of all ages can come to discover Buzzards Bay. This fall, the Coalition completed the first phase of restoration work on the island to create trails and a family-friendly picnic area. And over on Onset Beach, we’ve broken ground on the rehabilitation of the Onset Bathhouse, which will be the future headquarters of the Onset Bay Center.

Panorama of the restoration at the top of Wickets Island.

Panorama of the top of Wickets Island after restoration. The Coalition cleared invasive vines and poison ivy that were choking out healthy native plants and removed the dangerous remains of a house.

The Coalition protected Wickets Island in 2016 as part of the developing Onset Bay Center, which will engage thousands of people each year in active on-the-water exploration. Although local boaters, paddlers, and quahoggers have actively use the island’s shoreline for years, other parts of the island were overgrown and unsafe for visitors.

Wickets Island is now on track to become a safe place for everyone to enjoy. At the top of the island’s 40-foot cliffs, the Coalition cleared invasive vines and poison ivy that were choking out healthy native plants. We also removed the dangerous remains of a house that use to stand on the island. The top of the island will eventually become a community picnic area with trails and seating that offer a one-of-a-kind view of Onset Bay.

Looking ahead, a second phase of restoration will complete work on the island’s waterfront. The Coalition will install a float, repair the crumbling stone pier, and replace the staircase to the top of the island. The newly restored picnic area will open to the public once restoration is complete.

All of the work to restore Wickets Island is being funded through generous private contributions to the Coalition.

There’s more exciting progress over on the shores of Onset Beach, where work has begun to rehabilitate the Onset Bathhouse. We’re working in close partnership with the town of Wareham to transform the dilapidated bathhouse into a 21st century facility that supports on-the-water programming for youth and families.

The Coalition’s selected builder for the project, The Valle Group, has begun work on the interior of the bathhouse structure. The Valle Group recently completed the Coalition’s Marion Science and Field Operations Facility, which will provide boat storage and maintenance space for the Onset Bay Center’s fleet of sailboats.

The Onset Bay Center headquarters is expected to open in 2020. Ahead of its opening, the Coalition will continue to offer a suite of family and youth programs for community members throughout 2019, including sailing, paddling, quahogging, open-water swimming, snorkeling, and more. Subscribe to our email newsletter (below) or follow us on Facebook to receive the latest updates on outdoor events and programming in Onset and across the region.

Category: On the Bay

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