Protect our Parks.... Contact Your Legislators Today!

 

Write a letter or call your legislators to let them know you expect them to support legislation that will protect public lands.

 

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Act today to Protect the Blue Hills

As you may know, our public land, including the Blue Hills, is vulnerable to ‘land exchanges.’  With a two-thirds vote of each branch of the legislature, our parkland – covered by Article 97 of the Commonwealth Constitution – can be taken away or changed in use.
 
 
Existing policies and procedures help protect our public land, but they can be changed on the whim of the administration on Beacon Hill.  They are not law.  An Act Preserving Open Space in the Commonwealth (SD.146 in the Senate and HD.271 in the House) – also known as the Public Lands Preservation Act – would codify existing policy and practice statutes in addition to requiring that the public be notified of any proposed land disposition or change in use.

Prevent the destruction of future parkland

Write to and call your state Senator and Representative TODAY!  
See below for a sample email and links to find your legislators.

The legislation was introduced by Rep. Ruth Balser and Sen. James B. Eldridge.  If you live in their districts, please thank them, as well as others who have co-sponsored the bill, like Sen. Walter Timilty, whose district covers much of the Blue Hills.  
 
Please help prevent the destruction of future parkland by calling your state Senator and Representative and asking him or her to co-sponsor HD.271 (in the House) or SD.146 (in the Senate).
 
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 taken must be replaced by land of comparable acreage, location, and market and natural resource value, (which would help protect the total acreage of parkland)
  • Evidence that a feasible alternative to destroying parkland is not available.
  • Notification of the public and the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs prior to filing legislation petitioning a change in the use or disposition of public land. This would allow municipalities the chance to confirm if replacement land is deemed suitable by EEA and the public prior to moving forward with the land disposition process.
  • Enforceable regulations to implement the law.

Land in the Blue Hills was Approved to be Transferred to Private Ownership

In the early 2000s, land in the Blue Hills was approved to be transferred to private ownership. The legislative vote to approve the swap took place in the middle of the night on the last day of a legislative session, without a public hearing. This bill would help protect future loss of land in the Blue Hills… and all our public parks.

 

 

Protect Public Lands

photo credits:
top of page: Paul Konowitz, Canton
Above, left to right: Robbie McConnell, Dorchester; Michell Kelly, Milton; and Christine Paxhia, Milton
Below: Jessica Mabbutt, San Diego

Sample Email

Re: Public Lands Preservation Act (SD146 and HD271)

Dear Senator (or Representative) ____________________:

I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor An Act Preserving Open Space in the Commonwealth (SD.146:HD.271) – also known as the Public Lands Preservation Act.

This bill would provide needed protection for our public parks, forests, and other public lands by codifying current state policy and would:

  • Help to ensure no net loss of lands or easements protected under Article 97
  • Require an analysis of alternatives to the changes in the use of public land that are proposed
  • Increase transparency by requiring prior notification to the public and the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

This legislation is important to me because…

TELL THEM THE REASONS YOU CARE ABOUT OUR PUBLIC PARKS LIKE THE BLUE HILLS.  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 bill 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 let me know if you are co-sponsoring this important legislation.  Thank you for your attention to this issue.

Sincerely,

Name
Address