Rolf E. Sylvan Gardens

Land Management Plan

  • Pages 1 to 7: Title Page, Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary (PDF)
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Property Description and History
  • Chapter 3: Goals and Principles
  • Chapter 4: Vegetation Management Plan
  • Chapter 5: Five Year Restoration Plan
  • Chapter 6: Access and Parking Conceptual Plan
  • Chapter 7: Recreation Management Plan
  • Chapter 8: Recommendations for Forming a Friends of Sylvan Gardens Group
  • Appendix A: Glossary
  • Appendix B: General Property and Project Description
  • Appendix C: References to Technical Documents for Parking, Access and Recreation
  • Appendix D: Vegetation Survey (PDF)
  • Appendix E: Management of Ornamental Vegetation (PDF)
  • Appendix F: Reference and Technical Documents: Invasive Vegetation

See photos.


In 2004, Rolf E Sylvan Gardens was acquired by the Town using Land Bank funds for the purposes of conservation, passive recreation, and open space. The Conservation Area consists of two parcels, parcel 5A1 is 8.3 acres and parcel 4 is 1.14 acres. The 1.14-acre parcel was gifted to the Town by the family of Loyola Sylvan. Both properties were once heavily landscaped with ornamental plants. Until recently there has been little maintenance of the property, and vegetation is overgrown and invasive species are widespread. The Conservation Commission is responsible for the management of the property.

Plan Process & Future Meetings

With Land Bank funds, a team of consultants, coordinated by Environmental Landscape Consultants, was hired by the Town to develop a comprehensive Land Management Plan for the property. Other members of the consultant team include New England Wildflower Society and Wolf Landscape Architecture.

Three public meetings were held, March 10, 2011, September 19, 2011, and November 15, 2012. Through these meetings, citizens gained an overview of the property and provided feedback on vegetation management, parking, and access. A volunteer Work Group with Town staff has made frequent site visits and held a series of workgroup meetings with environmental and landscape architectural consultants. The Land Management Plan establishes project goals and principles, recommends access and parking alternatives, identifies current and potential trails, suggests accommodations for recreation, and provides detailed recommendations for the management of the site's exceptional native, ornamental, and invasive vegetation.

Since the third public meeting staff continues to explore access options. AmeriCorps workdays have been held to remove invasive and nuisance species, as well as hazardous trees.


The contractors who have volunteered on Rolf E Sylvan Gardens include Cape Tree Inc., Cynthia Nowak Landscaping, Cape Caretakers, Cape Cutters, Countryside Landscaping, John Fougere Landscaping, and Excavating Inc., Monomoy Tree Service, Morrison Tree Service.

If you wish to volunteer on this project contact the Friends of Sylvan Gardens.