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The Natural Resource Department,
and DPW recently completed work on the Twine Fields Conservation Area located off Morton Road in Chatham. There is a sign at the entrance identifying the site as "Twine Fields Conservation Area" (PDF) leading to a parking area. You may see
Twine Fields link (PDF)
to learn about the local history and environmental importance of the site. It is one of the last remaining large grassland meadows in Chatham. Meadows serve a very important purpose for wildlife, drinking water and our sole source aquifer. There you will find acres of grassland to walk. If you are lucky, you may observe large raptors such as hawks and owls feeding on meadow voles and mice. Coyotes may also be observed feeding on small mammals such as rabbits as well as mice and voles, which is a large part of their food staple.
It is a wonderful area to walk your dog or just let the kids roam free. The Bike Trail abuts the property so if you are biking on the Trail in the future it is a good place for a respite. It was once used by local fisherman to unwind their fishing nets to dry, repair and maintain. A short trail located at the parking area leads to acres of open meadow and grasslands.
~Paul C. Wightman - Assistant Conservation Agent, Department of Natural Resources | Town of Chatham
In May, AmeriCorps will be conducting two major group projects under the supervision of the Conservation Division on Forest Beach Conservation Property and Goose Pond. We invite you to visit these sites to view the improvements made with the help of AmeriCorps and our Assistant Conservation Agent, including trail maintenance, trail markers, scenic overlook benches, new signage, removal of the foundation by CCF at Valley Farm, and a new trail to salt marsh overlook.
Since October major improvements have been made to the following Conservation Properties:
- George Ryder Forest
- Old Comers Forest
- Valley Farm
- Training Filed Triangle
In the coming months, we will also be focusing on habitat management to promote wildlife on our Conservation Properties.
- "River Otters making a comeback at Chatham's Star Bog Conservation Area." Star Bog is located off Stephen Drive. Follow the sign directions at the end of Stephen Drive.
- McCoy Tree Farm Video
- AmeriCorps Volunteer Video of Forest Beach Conservation Area
- Spectrum of Erosion Controls Brochure from WHOI Sea Grant / Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
- Draft Guidelines for Permitting Shoreline Structures on Freshwater Lakes and Ponds in the Pleasant Bay Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) (PDF)
- Conservation Land Stewardship Newsletters
- Q and A on Purchasing Coastal Real Estate in Massachusetts (PDF)
- Regulation Changes Adopted - August 1, 2023
Responsibilities & Services
The Conservation Division primarily provides staff support to the Chatham Conservation Commission who is responsible for administering both the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. Chapter 131, s 40), its regulations (310 CMR) and the Chatham Wetlands Protection Bylaw (Chapter 272) and the Chatham Wetlands Protection Regulations. The Conservation Division staff is available to answer questions regarding wetlands protection and the permitting process, and can assist an applicant with completing a permit application. Read filing instructions.
The Chatham Conservation Commission is a volunteer board of 7 citizens of Chatham who are appointed to three year terms by the Select Board. In addition there are 3 associate member positions. (If you are interested in serving your community in this manner, please contact the Select Board Office or the conservation office.)
The Conservation Division also supports efforts of the Conservation Commission in the oversight of town-owned conservation lands (PDF).
- To find out about Town of Chatham to owned conservation properties and what's happening, see the Town of Chatham Conservation Land website.
- Conservation Properties and Trail Maps - Find out the latest information on Conservation Properties, View Trail Maps, Read Land Management Plans.
- Rolf E Sylvan Gardens Land Management Plan Update and Photos
- Conservation Land Stewardship Program and Other Volunteer Opportunities
- Lovers Lake and Stillwater Pond Watershed Management Plan (PDF)
- See the video of the November 16th 2013 program to "Protecting Our Water Resources - An Ecological Approach to Land Care and Design" featuring Rick Darke
- Wildland Fire Protection and Preparedness Plans