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Current and Upcoming Events
Director of Conservation Position Open
The Town of Needham is currently accepting applications for their next Director of Conservation. Please click HERE for the job description and information on how to apply. 

Thank You to Our Summer Intern!
The Conservation Division would like to extend a big thank you to Ashley Landrein, our Summer 2017 Intern. Ashley was a huge help to our department for the past couple of months. Please join us in wishing her best of luck as she continues her studies at Stony Brook University in New York.

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Ashley installing a screech owl nest box at Ridge Hill Reservation.

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.

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TOWN UNDERTAKES OPEN SPACE & RECREATION PLAN UPDATE

The Town of Needham is in the final phases 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, was formed to guide the process. In cooperation with the Town’s consultant, the OSRP-AG coordinated public information sessions, reviewed existing materials, and collected and analyzed data on residents’ views on open space and recreation topics.

The OSRP Update process followed 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: http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/eea/dcs/osrp-workbook08.pdf.

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.

The current final draft of the document for which comments are being received through September 1st can be found HERE.

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