Open Space & Recreation

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It is through thoughtful planning and active stewardship that Massachusetts’ open spaces, critical plant and animal habitats, neighborhood parks, and quality outdoor recreation facilities remain a part of our communities’ landscapes.  Without planning, the appearance of a community, the lifestyle of its residents, and the condition of its natural resources can be dramatically altered in a short period of time due to ill-conceived changes in land use patterns.

Open Space Planning provides the opportunity to assess where we are, where we would like to go, and how we might get there.  Planning now to protect important open space and recreational facilities can greatly enhance the attractiveness of our community and encourage compatible growth in the future.

Once completed, the Open Space and Recreation Plan is a powerful instrument to effect community goals.  It establishes our community's aspirations and recommends patterns of development that will support them.  Having this document available can help us advocate for the open space and recreation needs of our community.

Finally, a Massachusetts community with an approved Open Space and Recreation Plan becomes eligible to apply for Self-Help, Urban Self-Help, Land and Water Conservation Funds, and other grant programs administered by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Division of Conservation Services.   Open Space and Recreation Plans also help us to coordinate with ongoing acquisition efforts of state environmental agencies and local and regional land trusts.