For Immediate Release
December 11, 2006
Contacts: Vanessa Gulati 617-626-1119
STATE ADOPTS RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR
CHESTNUT HILL RESERVATION IN BRIGHTON
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) today announced that the DCR Stewardship Council has adopted the Chestnut Hill Reservation Resource Management Plan (RMP). The RMP was submitted to the Council and approved at their meeting on November 30.
“Adoption of the Chestnut Hill Reservation Resource Management Plan is the last step in an extensive and inclusive public planning process,” said DCR Commissioner Stephen H. Burrington. “It is also the beginning of a unified approach to the stewardship of a unique urban resource that will be taken by DCR and its community partners.”
The Chestnut Hill Reservation was identified by DCR as a high priority for RMP planning following the transfer of parkland management responsibilities to DCR from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) pursuant to a 2002 agreement between the two state agencies. The Chestnut Hill Reservation RMP is the fourth RMP to be adopted by the Stewardship Council in response to M.G.L. c. 21, s. 2F, which directs DCR to develop Resource Management Plans for all its parks, forests and reservations.
The RMP addresses management needs and establishes a framework for future decision-making for the 130-acre property located in the Brighton section of Boston, bordering the towns of Newton and Brookline. Portions of the property are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are a designated City of Boston Landmark. With the 80-acre reservoir as a central feature, the goal of the RMP was to provide guidance for the continued recreational use of the remaining lands in balance with the preservation of the historic landscape and protection of natural woodlands and habitat. The RMP planning process also highlighted a need for a Vegetation Management Plan (VMP), development of which is currently underway.
Several priority recommendations from the RMP will be implemented immediately, with $900,000 in funding from the community benefits associated with the Waterworks development. This year the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) Office of Public Private Partnerships has also contributed $150,000 toward implementation, bringing the total to $1.05 million. DCR will work in close coordination with the Boston Redevelopment Authority to undertake several projects stipulated in the RMP, beginning with the removal of the iron fence along Beacon Street and the rehabilitation of the Reservation pathways. More information on these projects and the Vegetation Management Plan will be presented at a public meeting at the end of January 2007.
The plan was funded through the EOEA Office of Public Private Partnerships with private contributions from Waterworks Park, LLC and Boston College. The planning process benefited from participation from a wide range of community members, both through general public comment and through the Chestnut Hill RMP Working Group. Made up of representatives from surrounding neighborhood groups, non-profits, civic and business associations, and local government, the Working Group met four times during the development of the RMP. The draft RMP was issued for public comment from March 22 through May 5, 2006, and a public meeting was held on April 25, 2006. DCR received 90 comment letters on the draft, and revisions were made to the RMP before submission to the Stewardship Council. The final RMP has been posted on the website at http://www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/rmp/rmp-chHill.htm.