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Thank You to Tripadvisor
A big thank you goes out to a group of 23 volunteers from TripAdvisor who worked at Ridge Hill Reservation on April 28th. The crew helped remove unwanted brush from the meadow habitat at Ridge Hill. The meadows provide habitat to nesting blue birds and tree swallows and managed in the hopes of attracting grassland birds such as bobolinks and vesper sparrows.






Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup - Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9am until 12pm.
The Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup, organized by the Charles River Watershed Association, brings together over 3,000 volunteers each year to pick up litter, remove invasive species and assist with park maintenance. Residents are drawn to the popular Charles River Cleanup from a desire to give back to their community while enjoying the beauty and wildlife along the Charles River. Volunteers build on the connections they establish during this day of stewardship by returning to the Charles to exercise, play and enjoy nature throughout the year.

For more information, visit:

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The Town of Needham is undertaking the process of updating its Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP). The OSRP is a community-planning document that defines the Town’s goals for reasonably preserving its natural resources and for maintaining adequate outdoor recreation opportunities.  The Plan lays out a strategic framework for implementation consistent with community needs and desires by:        

  • Documenting the community’s natural, recreational, and historical resources base;
  • Identifying development trends that are likely to impact that resource base;
  • Developing strategies to reasonably preserve and expand open space, natural, and recreational resources and opportunities;
  • Prioritizing conservation and recreation needs; and
  • Providing recommendations for reaching short- and long-term open space and recreation goals.

An Advisory Group (AG), made up a wide range of various committee members and town residents, has been formed to guide the process. In cooperation with the Town’s consultant, the OSRP-AG will coordinate public information sessions, review existing materials, and collect and analyze data on residents’ views on open space and recreation topics. The first meeting of the OSRP-AG is scheduled for September 28, 2016.

The OSRP Update will be following the “Open Space and Recreation Planner’s Workbook,” published by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Workbook summarizes the need for an up-to-date Open Space and Recreation Plan, stating: Open Space and Recreation Plans allow a municipality to maintain and enhance all the benefits of open space that together make up much of the character of the community and protect the “green infrastructure” of the community. Planning this “green infrastructure” of water supply, land, working farms and forests, viable wildlife habitats, parks, recreation areas, trails, and greenways is as important to the economic future of a community as planning for schools, roads, water, and wastewater infrastructure. The complete Workbook can be accessed at:

If you would like more information on the project, please contact Matthew Varrell (Needham Director of Conservation) at: or Patricia Carey (Director of Park & Recreation) at: . Alternatively, you may contact Elisa Litchman in the Needham Office of Planning and Community Development at (781) 455-7550 x222.

Updates on the progress of the OSRP-AG and their work can be found HERE.