Open Space Committee
The five member Wendell Open Space Committee is responsible for implementing objectives of the Open Space plan. In addition to implementing the Open Space action plan, the Open Space Committee has been involved in exciting past projects, including the purchase of Fiske Pond and development of a management plan for that land, establishment of the Town Forests, stewardship of town conservation parcels, educational programming, sponsoring Earth Day celebrations, and advising town committees on open space issues, as well as taking the occasional hike on town-owned open space land.
A Seven-Year Action Plan fulfills the 2010 Open Space and Recreation Plan objectives. The objectives address both open space and recreation goals because the quantity and quality of accessible open space relates directly to the availability of recreational opportunities in Wendell. For example, nearly 60 percent of the Open Space and Recreation survey respondents use Wendell State Forest at least monthly, while the two most popular forms of recreational activity are walking and hiking, which can be facilitated by a network of connected open space.
The Wendell Open Space and Recreation Planning Committee prioritized the 55 action steps finding twelve that were felt to be most important. These priority action steps are listed below in no particular order:
- Identify focus or priority areas and clarify the criteria for protection priorities.
- Identify parcels that are of special conservation interest and prioritize parcels using their location relative to focus areas, value, acreage, and threat of development to compare between projects.
- Work with local land trusts to identify potential conservation buyers.
- Identify funding sources for land protection.
- Apply for State Historical Preservation funding.
- Negotiate access with abutters to the Phelps Forest Conservation Area for forestry purposes, clarify the status of abutting properties to the west, and then complete a stewardship plan with a forester.
- Provide ongoing maintenance for trails in the Fiske Pond Conservation Area (including periodic mowing, removal of trees and brush above dam, and maintenance of beaver deceiver) and continue improvements to trails and bridges over wet areas.
- Formalize public access to the Millers River for recreational purposes.
- Sponsor educational events and materials for residents concerning the management of invasive pests and diseases impacting vegetation, including food crops and trees.
- Post signage on all roads leading into town informing citizens as well as prospective buyers of property in Wendell that the town of Wendell is a "Right-to-Farm" community.
- Create a committee and/or hire a consultant to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the needs of the Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Open Space Committee, ZBA, Tree Warden, Cemetery Commission, Historical Commission, Energy Committee, Agricultural Commission, Community Garden, and evaluate the need for additional funds and/or administrative assistance for these departments.
- Construct sidewalk and bike path to the north and south of the Commons in center of Town.
- Develop a comprehensive plan to update the playground in the Town Center for improved safety and aesthetics.
New Members Wanted!
The Wendell Open Space Committee seeks new members. If you have an interest in protecting and managing land for the future use and enjoyment of the community, please contact Dan Leahy at (978-544-6512) for further info.
Land Conservation Organizations
- Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
- North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership
- Kestrel Land Trust
- Vallley Community Land Trust
- The Trustees of Reservations
- Mass Audubon
- Connecticut River Watershed Council
- Millers River Watershed Council
- Franklin Land Trust
Other Useful Links
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