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Upcoming Lecture - Becoming Wolf: The Eastern Coyote

The Needham Conservation Commission is pleased to invite the public to join us for a free presentation entitled “Becoming Wolf: The Eastern Coyote” on Thursday, February 16, 2017, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Public Services Administration Building, Charles River Room, 500 Dedham Avenue, Needham, MA. A healthy population of coyotes exists in eastern Massachusetts and coyotes are commonly observed in Needham, in all parts of town. We invite you to come learn about this uniquely adapted creature and how we have and will continue to safely co-exist with them in our community.

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A crew from the Student Conservation Association ( recently completed their "hitch" in Needham. The crew, with members from Kansas, New Jersey, Virginia, New Mexico, and California, worked on boardwalk/footbridge projects at Ridge Hill Reservation and Farley Pond Reservation. We hope everyone can get out and enjoy our improved trails. In their free time, the crew was able to explore Needham and took advantage of the opportunity to swim in Rosemary Pool.

If you have any questions about the projects or about the SCA, please contact the Conservation Department. We'd like to thank the residents of Needham for funding this project through Community Preservation Act dollars.

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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.