Laurel Hill Association recognizes the importance of being good stewards of the environment. The Association has begun developing management plans for its properties, striving to utilize best management practices, and considering the ecology of each site. Our goal is to protect, restore, or enhance properties for the benefit of people and the ecosystem.
Specific goals include but are not limited to the following:
- Preserve biodiversity
- Promote air quality
- Protect wildlife
- Conserve water and energy
- Preserve natural beauty
- Promote passive recreation
- Preserve historical and cultural significance
- Respond to impacts of climate change
Principles of Management Plan
- Reason for Acquisition of Property. Examples may include (a) protect wildlife, rare species, or unique natural communities; or (b) maintain open space, scenic vistas, or qualities that enhance people's connection with nature by providing opportunities for recreation.
- Long-term vision for each property. This is subject to review and amendment by LHA as needed. Questions we consider include: Is a proposed activity compatible or incompatible with LHA's goals for the property? Is the vision compatible with donor stipulations?
- LHA's current use for the property. Examples may include trails, memorials, passive open space and public parks, special events, protected areas.
- Concerns or issues with the site that will need to be addressed by LHA in the near or long term. Examples may include old farm dumps, need to channel water, old dams.
- Cultural or historic elements that should be considered when managing property. Examples may include a sacred burial ground, the Laurel Hill Rostrum.
Select plants based upon an analysis of the site (use, water needs and access, soil, etc.). Choose native plants (or regionally propagated plants and cultivars) that are disease- or pest-resistant. Do not introduce, transplant, or plant invasives or potential invasive plants. Err on the side of caution.
- Minimize the use of synthetic and organic pesticides. If pesticides are proposed for use on LHA managed properties, a licensed contractor should select the least toxic product and method in compliance with all MA state regulations.
- Promote natural landscapes, including lawns.
- Reduce water consumption in the selection of plants and techniques.
- Minimize use of fertilizers.
- Buy local when possible.
- Adopt and model best management practices, including planting techniques, timing for mowing and/or haying, maintaining wetland and riparian buffers.
- Educate the community, users, and contractors as appropriate about LHA goals, principles, and methods.
- Comply with all conservation restrictions and with state and federal environmental laws and regulations.