Conservation

"Upcoming Webinar: The Real Eastern Coyote, Sun., December 13, 2020 @7PM" two coyotes in the


Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and until further notice, all Town offices are closed to the public.  Please contact us by email at conservation@needhamma.gov or by phone (leave a voice mail), and your message will be returned as soon as possible during business hours. The Conservation Department is still accepting applications for permits and the Conservation  Commission meets via Zoom on the dates published on their meeting schedule.

Currently the Conservation Commission will be holding virtual meetings; no in-person meetings will take place at the Public Services Administration Building in the Charles River Room, Needham, MA as had been previously.

To listen, view and participate in virtual meetings, please refer to the posted agenda on the "Agendas & Minutes" tab on the left-side column for virtual platform details.  Members of the public can join via phone, computer, laptop, or tablet.


Conservation permit submittal deadline now changed to 1pm on deadline dates.

Responsibilities

The Conservation Department, part of Planning and Community Development, is the primary point of contact for the public with questions related to jurisdiction under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and the Town of Needham Wetlands Protection Bylaw. The Department is also responsible for oversight and management of lands under the control of the Conservation Commission.

The Needham Conservation Commission is comprised of seven volunteer members appointed by the Select Board to staggered 3-year terms. The Commission is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (MGL Ch. 131 S. 40) and the Local Wetlands Protection Regulations (PDF) (revised June 2017).

As part of their regulatory function, the Commission receives and reviews applications for projects involving work within 100 feet of resource areas (i.e. wetlands, streams, banks) or within 200 feet of perennial rivers and streams (the "Riverfront Area").

Through the public hearing process, the Commission determines whether a project is permissible under the wetlands statutes, and issues or denies a permit accordingly. Please refer to our permitting page for additional information about Wetlands Protection statutes and procedures.

Additional Functions

In addition to their statutory obligations, the Conservation Commission undertakes broader environmental and land-management functions including:

  • Managing Town-owned Conservation Land including the over 360 acres of Ridge Hill Reservation
  • Promoting the protection of additional open space through conservation restrictions, land donations, and purchases.
  • Educating the public about the importance of protecting wetlands and other open space.
  • Advising and collaborating with other town boards and committees on matters pertaining to use, management and protection of the town’s natural resources and open space.

For additional information regarding open space protection and land controlled by the Conservation Commission, please contact the Conservation Office at 781-455-7550 or email us at Conservation Department .