The following information are open space related reports, plans, and documents pertaining to the value, importance, and priorities of open space land protection in Ipswich:
Open Space Land Acquisition
The Land Acquisition Policy was adopted in 2001 to guide the process for acquiring land through the Open Space Bond Authorization
Natural Resource Reports
Natural Resource Reports are the basis for understanding the valuable natural resources a particular property is protected for. These values include water resources, wildlife and plant habitat, geological features, and species protection. The Town owned properties that have Natural Resource Reports are:
A Land Management Plan (LMP) is the tool by which a specific property is managed and maintained. It is the document that outlines the principles and objectives for which a property is protected, and it lays out the specific plans and actions by which those objectives are met. Read the full text for developing a LMP here. Property specific Land Management Plans are below:
The 2013 Open Space and Recreation Plan for the Town of Ipswich has been approved by the State Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and details the town's objectives covering a period from 2013 to 2020. This plan is the 6th prepared by the town's Open Space Committee, and is viewable by clicking the designated sections below. As with previous plans, the current effort lays out related goals and objectives that set the town’s priorities with respect to preserving open space and improving recreational opportunities.Efforts started during the 1980s by forward-thinking citizens on behalf of open space and recreation in Ipswich continue to be a work in progress. To maintain the success achieved in the past 30 years, much work lies ahead. Athletic fields and agriculture remain priorities in focus as do trail networks and the need for better coordination of regional natural resource protections. This plan highlights accomplishments the town has achieved since the 2006 plan (also viewable below) while exploring critical needs and emerging challenges that our community faces now and in the future.The 2013 plan has relied on the collaboration of officials, boards, and individuals to identify and implement actions addressing community needs.
Together with the Open Space Committee, the Open Space Program has submitted it's 2020 Open Space and Recreation Plan to the State and it is pending approval. Once the final report is approved, this section will be updated with the most current OSRP.
The Town Manager established the temporary ad hoc Open Space Bond Steering Committee on May 16, 2000 to develop and recommend a process for carrying out the Bond Authorization’s objectives. The Committee, comprised of residents and land conservation professionals, met weekly for 4 months. The tasks of the Committee included the establishment of procedures, delineation of responsibilities, and review of criteria and a method for evaluating and ranking the priority parcels.The Committee prepared the Report of the Bond Steering Committee in a format that will enable the Board of Selectmen to adopt the recommended procedures and policies as the Open Space Bond Program for the town.
Economic Benefits of Open Space
According to the 2013 report published by the Trust for Public Land, for every $1 Massachusetts spends on land conservation $4 is returned, and jobs are supported for hundreds of thousands of people. According to the report, between 1998 and 2011 Massachusetts protected 131,000 acres of parks, beaches, wetlands, natural areas, working farms and forests. In addition, protected lands support jobs in a range of businesses, including tourism and outdoor recreation, agriculture, forestry, and commercial fishing.The Town of Ipswich has proactively led the charge in land protection through its Open Space Program, which was established after Town Meeting approved the Open Space Bond Authorization in 2000. The town is not only invested in the health and well-being of the community by leasing land to local farmers for agricultural; conserving land for drinking water supply protection; creating and maintaining trails and parkland for recreation; and protecting vital coastal habitat, it is also striving to keep the economy of Ipswich strong. And the town has collaborated on these land protection projects with partners at the local, state and federal levels in an effort to leverage it's investments.