About 10 years ago, Massasoit State Park in East Taunton fell into disrepair and the Patrick Administration said it probably wouldn't open again.

Well, get your S'Mores ready, thanks to the tenacity of Rep. Keiko Orrall, candidate for State Treasurer, and the Baker-Polito Administration, over 1,200 acres, six lakes, and lots of tent and RV camping space await you and your family right now.

Despite a decade of neglect, restoration of the newly-opened park includes renovations to the bathroom facilities, reconfigured campsites, and for the kids, a new playground.

Before school starts up, take a hike. Open recreation spaces like this are the places people go to feel healthy and have quality family time. Public polls and surveys agree that open spaces and state parks create a place for families to get fresh air to breathe, produce a habitat for the wildlife and provide a place for families to connect with nature.

Access to public land is vital to everyone's physical and mental health. It's easy to take these benefits for granted. I thought I would take a minute to highlight some of the quality of life advantages at nearby Massasoit State Park that are often overlooked, and to remind you that not all who wander are lost.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos.

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