Town of Plymouth

Open Space Committee


The mission of the Open Space Committee is to protect the undeveloped areas of Plymouth through the acquisition and preservation of natural open space.

On August 2, 1999 the Planning Board, as directed by the Charter Commission, voted to create a nine-member Open Space Committee (OSC) “To act in an advisory capacity to representative town meeting with respect to the preservation of natural open space.”

On April 3, 2005 Town Meeting, recognizing the critical importance of preserving natural open space, voted to specify which town boards would appoint members of the Open Space Committee: five (5) members by the Planning Board, two (2) by the Selectmen and two (2) by the Conservation Commission. Additionally, the Committee’s role was expanded to assist the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) in fulfilling its duties under the Community Preservation Act (CPA).

In 2006, the OSC developed ranking criteria to establish open space land priorities. The committee evaluates environmentally-sensitive areas (wetlands, vernal pools, wildlife habitat and forests); lands within Aquifer Protection Districts; historic landscapes and areas with significant scenic views.

The Open Space Committee works to accomplish the following goals:

  1. 1 Acquire natural open space to:
    Ensure aquifer and surface water resources remain protected for future generations
    Protect wildlife corridors, biodiversity and habitats of rare & endangered species
    Safeguard natural character and scenic views
    Increase public access for passive recreation
    Continue to expand the trail system

  2. 2 Increase public awareness of the importance of natural open space preservation.

  3. 3 Provide guidance and education to the community in becoming proactive stewards of natural open space.
    The Open Space Committee works to accomplish the following goals:

In order to meet these goals, the Open Space Committee:

    *    Identifies land suitable to be set aside as open space, and find ways and means to fund its acquisition.

    *    Researches and develops tools to preserve open space.

    *    Advocates for open space and participates in open space planning with other town committees, commissions and boards.

    *    Works with interested citizens of Plymouth and conservation organizations such as Mass Audubon, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Game, The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlands Trust.

The Open Space Committee reports directly to Town Meeting as outlined in the Town Charter. Its nine members are appointed by the Plymouth Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission.

Current members of the Committee are:  Dorie Stolley, John Hammond, Sharl Heller,  Malcolm MacGregor, Lois Post, Jay Wennemer, Nancy McSpaddem,  Rick Barry, Betsy Hall, Chair.

Download our OSC Pamphlet:

About the Open Space Committee