DCR Master Plans

Master Plans are tools to guide short and long term strategies for capital investment and development, principally of recreational facilities. They are a necessary part of the assessment of a property and/or an individual park facility in an era of transition and renewal.

Table of Contents

Herter Park Master Plan (2022)

herter park

Table of Contents

Part One - Executive Summary

  • 1.1 | Purpose and Goals
  • 1.2 | Master Planning Process
  • 1.3 | Summary Recommendations

Part Two - Site Analysis and General Recommendations 2.1 - 2.2 

  • 2.1 | Park History
  • 2.2 | Past Planning and Development Context

Part Two - Site Analysis and General Recommendations 2.3 - 2.4

  • 2.3 | Arrival, Circulation and Parking
  • 2.4 | Site Features and Built Facilities

Part Two - Site Analysis and General Recommendations 2.5 - 2.9

  • 2.5 | Program Activities
  • 2.6 | Visitor Experience and Wayfinding
  • 2.7 | Stormwater Infrastructure
  • 2.8 | Utilities Infrastructure
  • 2.9 | Landscape and Vegetation

Part Three Master Plan Recommendations 3.1 - 3.2

  • 3.1 | Circulation Improvements
  • 3.2 | Area-Specific Recommendations

Part Three Master Plan Recommendations 3.3

  • 3.3 | Building Improvements and New Facilities

Part Three Master Plan Recommendations 3.4 - 3.5

  • 3.4 | Stormwater Improvements
  • 3.5 | Utilities Improvements

Part Three Master Plan Recommendations 3.6 - 3.7

  • 3.6 | Proposed Site Furnishings
  • 3.7 | Signage and Wayfinding Improvements

Part Four - Landscape Management Plan

  • 4.1 | Landscape Management Plan


Appendix A | Topographic Survey

Appendix B | Signage Inventory

Appendix C | Operations Proposed Diagrams

Appendix D | Opinions of Probable Construction Cost

Appendix E | Meeting Notes from Public Engagement

Appendix F | Public Comments


Herter Park Master Plan Public Meetings June 10, 2021 & September 29, 2021

Herter Park Master Plan Public Meeting September 28, 2022

DCR Parkways Master Plan (2020)

dcr parkways master plan


DCR Parkways Master Plan (2020)

The Plan articulates a vision for an interconnected network of walkways and bikeways throughout metro Boston that provide residents of all ages and abilities with access to recreational destinations and healthy transportation opportunities. Short-term improvements that can be rapidly implemented, long-term capital investments, and policy and design guidance for improving the parkways for all travel modes are the key features of the Plan. By realizing the vision set forth in this Plan, DCR will enhance the legacy of the parkway system by ensuring safe, comfortable access for users of all modes and all ages abilities.

New Charles River Basin Master Plan (2017)

Nantasket Beach Reservation Master Plan (2016)

nantasket beach

The Nantasket Beach Reservation, located on the Atlantic Ocean on the northern shore of southeastern Hull, MA, is owned and operated by the DCR. The 26-acre Reservation encompasses approximately 1.3 miles of beachfront (6,800 linear feet), and includes the beach and adjacent visitor amenities, associated parking areas, and an operations and maintenance facility.

In 2005, in conjunction with a project for seawall and beach accessway repairs at Nantasket Beach, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) initiated this Nantasket Beach Reservation Master Plan for the landside facilities of the Reservation.

Letter from DCR Commissioner Roy - December 2016

Cover - Acknowledgements, Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Additional Resources   for Nantasket Beach Reservation Master Plan (2016)

Mystic River Master Plan (2009)

This Master Plan project was initiated by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to build on earlier studies and the improvements to the Reservation completed to date.

Additional Resources   for Mystic River Master Plan (2009)

Trailside Master Plan: Blue Hills Reservation (2008)

Neponset River Master Plan Phase II (2006)

Key Actions   for Neponset River Master Plan Phase II (2006)

Additional Resources   for Neponset River Master Plan Phase II (2006)

Alewife Master Plan (2003)

Charles River Basin Master Plan (2002)

The Master Plan for the Charles River Basin is a comprehensive look at the parks, parkways, river banks, and watersheet of the Charles between the historic Charles River Dam and Watertown Square. Articulating a vision developed in partnership with the public over a two-year period, the Plan’s goal is to restore the Basin’s outstanding historic landscape character while addressing the needs of the twenty-first century. The Plan serves to guide the stewardship, the management, and the maintenance of the park land, parkways, and the water sheet. Key initiatives include preserving the historic and character-defining features of the Charles River Basin, improving the parkland and support appropriate uses, improving the river channel and manage access to the water, improving access and circulation to and throughout the Basin, and supporting management and maintenance of the Charles River Basin. The ideas and thoughtful participation of countless individuals and organizations made this Plan possible. Thanks to their continuing efforts, positive change is occurring in the Basin.


Character and History

Systems of the Charles River

Uses and Perceptions of the Charles River Basin

Principles and Recommendations

Management and Implementation

Project Areas

Historic Charles River Dam

East Cambridge Front

Broad Canal



The Esplanade

Cambridge Esplanade

MIT Houses


Boston University Bridge

Magazine Beach

Allston Landing

Riverside Press Site

Genzyme Front

Harvard Business School

Harvard College Houses

Soldiers Field

John F.Kennedy Park/Longfellow Park

Herter Park

Herter Park West.p

Hell's Half Acre

Greenough Boulevard

GSA Site

Soldiers Field Road/Birmingham Parkway

Greenough Boulevard, Watertown

Squibnocket Park

Watertown Front

Daly Field and the Upper Basin

Nonantum Road

Watertown Dam


Appendix A Prehistory

Appendix B History

Appendix C Public Participation

Appendix D Landscape Maintenance

Appendix E Planting Lists

Appendix F Riverbank Establishment and Maintenance

Appendix G Boathouse Locations


Key Actions   for Charles River Basin Master Plan (2002)

Upper Charles River Reservation Master Plan (1998)

The Upper Charles River Reservation Project addresses a 5.75 mile section of the Charles River, including 11 miles of protected river banks, from Watertown Square to Commonwealth Avenue in Newton and Weston. It is part of the agency’s larger goal to extend the Charles River greenway 14 miles to Brook Farm in West Roxbury. As this first section of the Reservation greenway is completed, it will provide a critical open-space link between the Charles River Basin and the scenic “Lakes District”, spreading over 190 acres through Newton, Weston, and Waltham.

Key Actions   for Upper Charles River Reservation Master Plan (1998)

Additional Resources   for Upper Charles River Reservation Master Plan (1998)

Help Us Improve Mass.gov  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.