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The Needham Conservation Commission in partnership with the Needham Health Department and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Needham was pleased to have Larry Dapsis talk to our community about Deer Ticks.  Click on the following link to view his PowerPoint presentation.

Lyme Disease is the most prevalent infectious disease in Massachusetts and is now considered to be a public health crisis.  In addition to Lyme, deer ticks can carry the pathogens which cause Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Relapsing Fever and Powassan virus, all of which can be very serious.


Larry Dapsis, Entomologist with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, has thirty-six years of professional pest management experience including Vegetables, Cranberries and Household Insects.  He joined Cape Cod Cooperative Extension in 2011 as Deer Tick Project Coordinator and Entomologist and is a member of the Barnstable County Task Force on Lyme and other Tick-Borne Diseases.

Thank You to Our Summer Intern!
The Conservation Division would like to extend a big thank you to Ashley Landrein, our Summer 2017 Intern. Ashley was a huge help to our department for the past couple of months. Please join us in wishing her best of luck as she continues her studies at Stony Brook University in New York.

Ashley installing a screech owl nest box at Ridge Hill Reservation.

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 in the final phases 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, was formed to guide the process. In cooperation with the Town’s consultant, the OSRP-AG coordinated public information sessions, reviewed existing materials, and collected and analyzed data on residents’ views on open space and recreation topics.

The OSRP Update process followed 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 the Conservation Department 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.

The current final draft of the document for which comments are being received through September 1st can be found HERE.