Crooked Lane, Lakeville
Crooked Lane, Lakeville

The Heritage Landscape Inventory Program builds upon prior landscape survey efforts to identify, document and plan for the protection of the heritage landscapes that are vital to the history, character and quality of life of our communities.

What are Heritage Landscapes?

Heritage landscapes are those special places and spaces that help define the character of your community and reflect its past. They are the result of human interaction with the natural resources of an area, which influence the use and development of land. These geographic areas contain both natural and cultural resources. Heritage landscapes come in many forms – some you may already be aware of, and some you may not have considered as having the qualities that would make them a heritage landscape:

Heritage Landscapes
CemeteriesEstatesShipyards
CommonsFarmsInstitutional Campuses
Mill SitesCranberry BogsArchaeological Sites
Formal GardensRiver CorridorsScenic Roads
ParksCamp Meeting GroundsVillage Centers


Because heritage landscapes contain both natural and cultural resources, they are subject to a wide variety of threats – but this means that they can also be protected through a wide variety of means. Through this program, DCR’s Office of Cultural Resources has assisted communities and regional entities in undertaking reconnaissance surveys to help develop an integrated, proactive planning approach for heritage landscape preservation. DCR is currently able to provide technical assistance to communities and other partners interested in undertaking an inventory in their area.

The HLI program guidebook Reading the Land was developed to assist communities statewide with the identification, documentation, and preservation planning for their own heritage landscapes. DCR staff is also able to provide some limited technical assistance and guidance to communities who want to take some proactive planning measures for their heritage landscapes.  DCR is also applying the Heritage Landscape Inventory program’s methodology to the DCR parks system.The HLI program has helped to foster relationships between local and regional advocates for natural and cultural resources. The most frequently recommended strategies from the HLI program have been compiled in Terra Firma 7 Taking Action: A Toolkit for Protecting Community Character pdf format of Terra Firma 7 Taking Action: A Toolkit for Protecting
– Taking Action: A Toolkit for Protecting Community Character.