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Hingham Massachusetts, Incorporated 1635, History & Pride

Town Government &


Committees: Open Space Acquisition Committee

2009 Annual Report

The Open Space Acquisition Committee, established by Article 15 of the 1997 Town Meeting is comprised of five members, three appointed by the Conservation Commission and one each by the Planning Board and the Selectmen. With assistance from Conservation Officer Cliff Prentiss the Committee evaluates opportunities for the acquisition and protection of open space parcels against a number of criteria, including whether the Town’s acquisition of the parcel would (1) help preserve Hingham’s character, (ii) protect Hingham’s water resources, (iii)abut or link up existing conservation lands, (iv) provide public access for walking, biking or other passive recreation, (v) preserve or enhance distinctive streetscapes, views or vistas, or (vi) preserve important wildlife and/or vegetation habitat. When appropriate, the Committee negotiates the terms and conditions for the Town’s acquisition of the parcel for presentation to the Community Preservation Committee and Town Meeting. Since the Town’s adoption of the Community Preservation Act in 2001, the Town’s Community Preservation Fund has been the principal source of funding for the Town’s acquisitions of open space.

Since 2003 the Committee has been instrumental in the acquisition of several important parcels, among them the 17.5 acre Schultz’s field behind the golf driving range and the 3.88 acre McKenna’s field which borders the land of the Conservation Commission.
The Committee is pleased to state that our work with the diligent, consistent work of members of the Historic Commission, enabled us to purchase a 4.7 acre field from Michael Cushing, 210 East Street. Additionally, Mr. Cushing agreed to place an Historical Preservation Restriction on the house lot, thereby preserving the entire property which extends to the intersection of Route 3A and Route 228. Mr. Cushing also gave 5+ acres to the town on the North side of Route 3A.

At this time the Committee is considering two parcels of land to present to the Town Meeting. Both properties are worthwhile as one protects wetlands and the other links with the Cushing Pond watershed and protects woodland habitats. As new properties are presented to us, we will continue to focus on protecting important lands to enhance the Town’s growing need for water, and to preserve open space for us all.


(Appt. by Selectmen, MGL C161 S7, ART 15, ATM 1997)

Laurie Freeman (Planning Board Appt)  
James Morris (Conservation Appt)  
Carolyn Nielsen (Selectmen Appt)