Greenprint Proposals and Implementation


A variety of local, regional, and state-wide strategies are available to achieve conservation priorities while meeting housing needs, as described in the Wachusett Greenprint.

Apple Orchard as Open Space
Photo Credit: K. Blanchflower

I. Apply Open Space Planning

Open space planning and conservation design can protect community open spaces and working lands.

Few communities have the financial ability to protect all of the land they wish to conserve, so development on these lands is inevitable.

Open Space Residential Design enables housing subdivisions to protect open spaces. This site design tool:

More information on open space planning and facilitation through by-laws can be found elsewhere on this website in Saving Open Spaces.

GP_MapsGreenprint Maps

To help facilitate future development and conservation decisions, the Greenprint maps show:

Town maps show watershed boundaries, wetlands, wildlife habitats, and partially or permanently protected areas. Click on each community below to access the Greenprint map for that community (pdf version):








West Boylston


All maps were prepared using the Massachusetts Geographic Information System (GIS) data layers.

II. Implement Low Impact Design Techniques 

The best way to meet
regional conservation priorities
is by limiting development
to those areas deemed suitable
by Greenprint maps.

Low impact design (LID) is a set of strategies that helps maintain natural systems during the development process.  LID techniques may be applied to:

More information on LID and facilitation through by-laws can be found elsewhere on this website in Low Impact Design.

III. Increase Regional Cooperation

Greenprint meeting participants agree that Wachusett tows can work together to increase assistance with issues of mutual interest. However, several concerns were raised:

Collaboration among towns is a daunting process due to limited time and personnel.

Implement_regional_cooperationMWC staff considered these challenges and identified initial actions that will facilitate collaboration:

IV. Obtain State Assistance 2008 Energy and Environment Bond Bill

Funds available through this bill can be applied towards land and water protection efforts, as well as affordable housing initiatives:


Town committees can work with land trusts to contact property owners and arrange the best values for investments of state, municipal and private resources.

Community Preservation Act

The Community Preservation Act enables a local bylaw to provide funding for open space, historic preservation and affordable housing.

Implement_CPAIf adopted, the bylaw establishes a local Community Preservation Committee to recommend local CPA projects.  Community funding is obtained by a surcharge on the real estate property tax, and the state provides additional matching funds.

Funds provided by the community and the state can by used for:

Since 2002, more than $300 million in state matches went to local Community Preservation Funds.  

In the Wachusett region, West Boylston and Hubbardston have enacted a CPA bylaw and municipal plans for other Wachusett communities recommend its adoption.