Lincoln has a strong and deeply-rooted conservation ethic, which is evident as one travels the scenic roads and trails within the community. The Conservation Department works closely with the 7-member volunteer Conservation Commission who are appointed to staggered terms by the Board of Selectmen and charged with ensuring the long-term protection of the Town’s natural resources, agricultural & habitat fields and trails.
Education and outreach are integral to the Department's mission. We hope you'll take a minute to browse through our Ecological Design, Construction & Maintenance Handbook where you'll learn tools and tips for sustainably developing and caring for your home and landscape. Click here to enlarge this document in a new window
Please also browse our Invasive Species Booklet where you'll learn how to identify prohibited, non-native invasive plants of MA and read strategies to control these plants and replace them with native alternatives. Enlarge this document in a new window
Open Space Planning
Since the first piece of conservation land was acquired in 1957, the Commission and Staff have worked closely with the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust and Rural Land Foundation to identify and implement creative land-use strategies that balance growth with environmental protection. An Advisory Committee recently updated the 2017 Open Space & Recreation Plan and ADA Accessibility Evaluation.
Here are the Public Survey Results and Community Outreach Feedback, 2008-2016 Action Plan Accomplishments, the Current 7-Year Action Plan, and Action Plan Map.
Lincoln takes great pride in achieving its Open Space and Recreation Goals:
- Identify, acquire, and protect land for agriculture, conservation, habitat protection, and recreation to ensure the character of Lincoln remains intact for future generations.
- Steward conservation, agricultural, and recreational lands to promote long-term sustainable production, ecological diversity, resiliency, and community access.
- Promote appropriate access to, and use of, open space and recreation lands.
- Educate residents and officials about best practices for achieving open space and recreation goals. Coordinate on programs and policies at the local and regional level.
Almost 35% or 5 square miles of the Town is protected by permanent conservation deeds or restrictions and users enjoy over 80 miles of trails. You can find specific Land Protection Tables here and the trail map and guide book are available for purchase at the Conservation Department.
While several critical parcels remain to be protected for conservation and recreation purposes, the Department spends a great deal of effort on sound stewardship of existing conservation land. Conservation Staff manage approximately 1,600 acres of municipal conservation land and they work hard to balance a range of activities including:
- trail-based recreation for a variety of user groups,
- enhancement of biodiversity,
- eradication of non-native, invasive species, and
- promotion of agricultural enterprises.
The Commission and Staff conduct wetlands permitting under state and local laws when work alters land within wetlands, within the 100-foot buffer zone to wetlands or within 200 feet of a perennial stream. This work is critical for protecting Lincoln's public drinking water and wildlife habitat and for preventing storm damage, pollution and flooding.
Education & Outreach
Integral to the conservation mission is connecting people with nature by:
- working with local school groups and scouts,
- leading walks and hosting talks,
- providing relevant information through this website, brochures, lectures, etc. and
- conducting site walks with homeowners.
Volunteer for the Conservation Department