The Conservation Commission, a seven member volunteer board, was established under the authority of the Conservation Commission Act of 1957 to protect the community’s natural resources and to acquire lands for conservation and passive recreation. Currently, the Commission owns approximately 600 acres of land in town which will remain protected as conservation land in perpetuity. The Commission’s other primary responsibility is to administer the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. c.131 §40), a law which protects wetlands and the public interests they serve, including flood control, prevention of pollution and storm damage, and protection of public and private water supplies, groundwater supply, fisheries, land containing shellfish, and wildlife habitat. In administering the Act, the Commission reviews proposed activities within wetland resource areas and buffer zones in accordance with the Wetland Protection Act Regulations (310 CMR 10.00) to ensure that these activities will not alter wetland resources and the public interests they provide.
If you have any questions regarding wetlands or if you are unsure if a proposed activity is within the jurisdiction of the Commission, please contact the Conservation Agent who is available to assist the public.
The Conservation Commission also manages Falls Pond and Whitings Pond, acquired by the Town in the 1960’s for recreation and flood control purposes. The dams at both ponds (upper Falls and Whitings) are also managed by the Commission in coordination with the Department of Public Works. The public beaches at Barbara Road (the Joseph F. Zaino Memorial Conservation and Recreation Area) and Broadway Extension (the Dr. Robert Fitzgerald Conservation Area) are operated by the Commission from late June to late August. For questions regarding the beach program or the dams please contact the Conservation Office.