2021 Open Space Survey Now Live!

The Wendell Open Space Committee is excited to share that we have officially launched the 2021 Open Space Survey! Once each decade, we survey the town to learn about what your priorities are for preserving and enhancing the open space lands that make up so much of our town. 

Your answers will form the basis for an Open Space and Recreation Plan for Wendell and help the Town as it continues to develop land-use policies and priorities for town government’s use in planning for future growth and protecting our natural, scenic and historic resources—all of the things that make Wendell a special place to live. The plan will help Wendell qualify for federal and state funding for land conservation, parks and outdoor recreation opportunities. 

You may fill out the survey online now, or fill out and return a paper copy of the survey. Paper copies are in the mail and will be arriving in your mailboxes over the next week or so.  You may also download and print out a paper copy.

Please return your completed survey (either online or by mail) by Tuesday November 30, 2021.

Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts and your reflections! 

Your Open Space Committee, 

Dan Leahy, Ray DiDonato, and Caro Roszell ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Other Useful Links

  • Athol Bird and Nature Club - Millers River Environmental Center
  • Millers River Greenway Project
  • North Quabbin Woods - Forestry, wood products and recreation.
  • North Quabbin Trails Association
  • North Quabbin Garden Club
  • Wendell State Forest & Ruggles Pond
  • Wendell State Forest Trail Map
  • Fiske Pond Conservation Area
  • Wendell Wildlife Management Area
  • Millers River Wildlife Management Area
  • M & M Trail
  • New England Scenic Trail
  • Robert Frost Trail
  • Whetstone Wood Wildlife Sanctuary (Mass Audubon)
  • Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
  • Department of Fish & Game
  • MassWildlife
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