Preservation of the Commonwealth’s cultural heritage is an important aspect of the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s mission. The cultural resources that can be found in our state parks and forests span thousands of years and includes Native American sites, cellar holes and stones walls that tell the story of the state’s earliest settlement patterns, military landscapes, historic estates, and a metropolitan park system designed by a pioneer of the profession of landscape architecture, Charles Eliot. With over 100 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including eight National Historic Landmarks, the cultural resources under DCR’s care tells the story of our state and our nation. The Office of Cultural Resources (OCR) carries out the DCR’s preservation mission through stewardship of the agency’s historic buildings, structures, landscapes, archaeological sites, and archival resources.
OCR staff provides professional expertise, technical assistance, project management skills, and training opportunities in the areas of landscape preservation, preservation planning, adaptive reuse, archaeology, archival records management , and compliance with local, state and federal historic preservation laws. In addition to leading the historic preservation programs and initiatives of the agency, OCR staff directly support activities undertaken by other bureaus and divisions within the agency. As a leader in the field of historic landscape preservation, the office also provides assistance to cities and towns through the development of innovative tools for protecting their significant historic landscapes.
Contact: Patrice Kish, Director at 617-626-1378
From the Archive/From the Field OCR Featured Historic Resource
Between 1936 and 1940, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation (a predecessor to today’s DCR) published an employee newsletter called Conservation Bulletin. Published quarterly from the inaugural issue of Spring 1936 through the last issue in December 1940, the Conservation Bulletin articles focused on parks, forests and forestry, recreation, hunting and fishing and wildlife; as well as the Civilian Conservation Corps camps in the state forests and parks, and other administrative and organizational matters. Many issues had a “Who’s Who” article, highlighting the background and work of a staff person. Agency staff served as authors as well as editors, changing the original 11 x 8.5 inch format in 1938 to a smaller, 9 x 6 inch version. Hand-drawn illustrations are found throughout the bulletins, many of which were drawn by a staff forester. The DCR Archives collection also includes a 12-page index to the Conservation Bulletin. Likely created in the 1940s, this alphabetical index notes the issue and page number for each topic and article.
The Conservation Bulletin is available for staff and public use in the DCR Archives. An additional set is available at the Massachusetts State Library.