Open Space & Recreation Plan 2002-2007

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The Town of Arlington is a highly developed and densely populated community with few large open spaces remaining within its borders and limited direct access to open space resources in adjacent towns.

The need to preserve and protect existing open spaces is widely recognized and deeply felt by Arlington residents. Changing demographics in Arlington over the past decade have altered the needs for and demands on limited public resources for outdoor recreation, physical fitness and sports, such as the Marquis/Minuteman Bikeway, playing fields, playgrounds, and other active and passive recreational facilities. Residents also regularly express their desire for more natural green spaces for walking, bird watching and other contemplative pleasures.

The Town faces serious management, staffing and financial challenges to address these diverse needs for conservation land, parks, playgrounds and outdoor sports facilities. Progress has been made over the past five years to enhance several key sites, and several volunteer Friends groups have been formed to advocate and raise funds for specific parks. However, the Town also needs to develop a stronger townwide open space management program and incorporate regionwide solutions to meet the competing demands of many different constituencies.

This document is Arlington’s second Open Space and Recreation Plan. It focuses on many specific accomplishments and other steps taken to address the goals, objectives and actions outlined in the 1996 Open Space Plan. It presents an updated inventory of Arlington’s open spaces, documents open space needs, and establishes open space aspirations. Overall, this Plan reaffirms Arlington’s desire to meet these revised goals:

A. Acquire undeveloped land for permanent protection as open space in neighborhoods throughout the Town.

B. Preserve, protect and enhance existing open spaces, including watersheds and natural areas; parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities; and historic sites and cultural landscapes.

C. Strengthen local and regional planning and management of open spaces by working in collaboration with various Town departments, commissions and volunteer groups, nearby towns and regional entities, and state and federal officials and agencies.

D. Increase public awareness, accessibility and community stewardship of the Town’s open spaces. Arlington’s open space is a precious and limited resource that has been difficult to acquire and maintain and needs to be protected ardently. This Plan presents open space goals, objectives and actions that will guide Arlington’s open space philosophy, planning and management through 2007.

The Open Space Plan is a large document and may take time to download from this site. Your patience is appreciated.

 section description 
Section 1-2  Summary, Introduction and Table of Contents (510K) 
 Section 3 Community Setting (2.2MB) 
Section 4  Environmental Inventory (2.2MB)
Section 5  Inventory of Lands (9.1MB) 
 Section 6-11 Community Goals, Analysis of Needs, Plans (785K) 
Appendix A  Open Space Committee Annual Reports (1.1MB) 
Appendix B  OSC and Vision 2020 Surveys (9.9MB) 
Appendix C  Map of Civic Block (230K) 
Appendix D  Arlington Land Trust News (9.7MB) 
Appendix E  Sustainable Arlington Fact Sheet (734K) 
Appendix F  Minuteman Bikeway Brochure (2.8MB) 
Appendix G  US Census 2000 Data for Arlington (1.5MB) 
Appendix H  Section -504 for People with Disabilities (7.5MB) 
Appendix I  Environmental Design Review in Zoning Bylaws (537K) 
Appendix J  Birds in Arlington Checklist (6.1MB) 
Appendix K  Reptiles, Amphibians & Mammals in Arlington's Great Meadows (1.7MB) 
Appendix L  Maps of Arlington's Historical Districts (1.1MB) 
Appendix M  Mass DEP Waste Site Cleanup (4.9MB) 
Appendix N  Inventory of All Open Spaces (727K) 
 Appendix O Reed's Brook Newsletter (239K) 
Appendix P  Park & Recreation Commission 10-Year Plan (1.2MB) 
Appendix Q  Report on Playing Field Management (1.1MB) 


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