Preservation Planning

The Preservation Planning Program of the Office of Cultural Resources protects the diverse collection of archaeological sites, historic buildings, structures, landscapes and objects on DCR property. The program works closely with the Massachusetts Historical Commission and other organizations to ensure that DCR is in compliance with various regulations that govern cultural resources on state-owned lands.

Inventory and Evaluation

OCR inventories and evaluates the significance of cultural resources throughout the state parks system. The inventory is a critical tool for assessing the impact of DCR projects, identifying opportunities for interpretation and education, and developing Resource Management Plans or the parks. Through the Parks Heritage Landscape Inventory (PHLI) (link to come) program, OCR is currently updating and expanding its inventory by gathering GIS-based data and developing an interactive cultural resources database. Past inventory efforts include a comprehensive inventory of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) resources (link to come) on DCR properties.

Planning and Stewardship

With the leadership of and collaboration with OCR staff, DCR implements preservation, restoration, and rehabilitation projects at historic structures and landscapes within the state parks system. Recent examples of such projects are highlighted here. (link to come) In addition, OCR consults closely with DCR planning, engineering, and operations staff in the design and implementation of capital improvement and maintenance projects in the parks, accounting for potential impacts on cultural resources. OCR staff also assists the Resource Management Planning Program in the ongoing development of baseline plans for parks through inventory of and recommending treatments for cultural resources.

Review and Compliance

Cultural resources are protected from state and federally funded, permitted, or approved activities under various regulations. Working closely with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, local historical commissions, and other interested parties, OCR coordinates DCR’s regulatory compliance with these laws and regulations that govern cultural resources on state-owned lands in Massachusetts: