Action Alert: Protect Parkland

As we know from our experiences with losing land in the Blue Hills, it is far too easy to lose parkland to private interests.

The Public Lands Preservation Act would help protect the Blue Hills and all public open space from the caprices of legislators and developers.   The Environment Committee recently issued a favorable report for PLPA, and it is now before the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, chaired by Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland).

Please help prevent the destruction of future parkland by contacting your state senator and asking him or her to urge the chair of the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), to report out favorably S.2181.

S2181 is called An Act protecting the natural resources of the Commonwealth and is also known as the Public Lands Preservation Act.

This bill would help to further the long-standing goal of preventing the loss of constitutionally protected public lands, like state parks and conservation land.  The bill would require:

  • Any land take be replaced by land of comparable acreage, location, and natural resource value, (which would help protect the total acreage of parkland)
  • Evidence that a feasible alternative to destroying park land is not available.

Learn more: fact sheet (from the Environmental League of Massachusetts)

Sample Letter (Or see below.)

See a copy of the bill: S2181

Find your state senator here.

Photo credit: Jame Condon (Waltham)


SAMPLE LETTER 

Senator …………
State House
Boston, MA 02133

firstname.lastname@masenate.gov

Re: Public Lands Preservation Act (PLPA, S. 2181)

Dear Senator………….:

I am writing to communicate my support for the Public Lands Preservation Act (PLPA, S. 2181), a bill which would provide needed protection for our public parks, playgrounds, forests, and other natural resource land.

Please ask Chairwoman Karen Spilka of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means to issue a favorable report on the PLPA as soon as possible.

The PLPA would stem the continual loss of public parks, conservation land, watersheds, and other natural resource lands as state agencies, cities, and towns divert the land to other uses, mostly for building projects.  The bill would add transparency to land dispositions involving Article 97 land and would clarify the disposition process, providing efficiency and potential cost savings for municipalities.  The bill would ensure that the integrity of Article 97 is upheld.

This legislation is important to me because…

TELL THEM THE REASONS THE PLPA IS IMPORTANT TO YOU.  LEGISLATORS, LIKE MOST OF US, RESPOND MORE TO SPECIFICS THAN GENERALITIES.  Sample reasons:

  • Let them know if you are a member of the Friends of the Blue Hills.
  • Tell them why you care about the Blue Hills Reservation and/or how often you visit.
  • Let them know that the current Article 97 disposition process is unclear and can be inefficient.  The PLPA would make the process more efficient, saving towns money.
  • Let them know you are concerned about water supplies; the Blue Hills and a lot of public natural resource land help protect the watershed.

Please ask Chairwoman Spilka to report out the PLPA favorably and as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

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Want to hike the Blue Hills, but don't know where to begin? Click here for recommendations to the best hiking near Boston. If you're interested in hiking Boston and Boston hiking, the Blue Hills Reservation offers great hikes near Boston. If you want to go hiking around Boston, be sure to check our suggested Boston hikes in the Blue Hills. The Blue Hills also offers a good place to find a South Shore MA mountain biking trail and you'll enjoy great Boston birding and birding near Boston. You'll also find a great swimming hole south of Boston at the Blue Hills Reservation and in general, great family fun South Shore.