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Turtles - Be On The Lookout!
It's turtle nesting season in Needham and throughout New England. Please be on the look out for turtles on the move, and especially in the road. If you see a turtle in the road, please slow down and allow it to cross unimpeded. If it is safe to do so, you can help it along, but be sure to move it to the roadside in the direction it was already travelling. It may or may not be headed in the direction of water. 

Female turtles emerge from their watery homes (such as ponds and the Charles River) each spring and look for suitable nesting areas. Nesting can occur in lawns, sandy road edges and other areas that are deemed to be the right conditions by the female. She will dig the nest and deposit the eggs typically in a few hours and then head back to her home. If you encounter a nesting turtle, please do not disturb it. If you would like to report a turtle nest, please contact the Conservation Department. We are always interested to hear about nest locations. 

Thanks for your cooperation.

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.






Thanksgiving River (5).JPG


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. T

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.