Open Space & Recreation Plan-2020 (Rev. March 2022)

Download the complete 2020 Open Space & Recreation Plan here.

Download the March 31, 2022 Mass. EOEEA approval letter here.  



The Open Space & Recreation Plan 2020 is the Town of Lynnfield’s third Plan, and reflects the Town’s diverse open space system, its complex needs, and the goals of the community. Although Lynnfield is a long-established community in which most land area has been developed, there are significant and important open space resources throughout the town. This Plan reflects the strong consensus that it is critical for the Town to continue a high standard of care and maintenance of its open space resources.

Lynnfield’s open space resources range in scale from large public gathering spaces to small niche parks and private protected green spaces amongst residential subdivisions and commercial areas. Nature sanctuaries and preserved conservation areas are home to native wildlife and plants and are managed primarily for active and passive recreation, such as pedestrian pathways and wildlife corridors, and wetlands and other natural resource areas. The environmental and public health benefits that accrue from this open space are considerable, and its presence also contributes greatly to the aesthetic appeal of the community. This Plan builds on the successes and recognizes the ongoing needs as identified in the previous 1998 and 2010 Plans. It reflects issues and challenges that have emerged in the ten years since the 2010 Plan.

The Plan begins by detailing community context for the Open Space & Recreation Plan, including Lynnfield’s present day community setting, its demographics, and a history of the town’s development of infrastructure and open space patterns. The plan provides an extensive inventory of the town’s environmental resources, including a detailed inventory of parks, conservation lands and other open spaces.

These sections are followed by a Needs Analysis, which was developed with significant input from the community. The Needs Analysis leads directly to the Goals and Objectives and an Action Plan, which have been designed to meet the open space needs identified by the community. The Plan also includes maps, tables and figures that provide supporting information.

The Open Space and Recreation Plan document has guided and informed open space planning in Lynnfield since the first Plan in 1998. Many goals identified in previous Plans have been met. Further, from the very act of seeking community input to develop this 2020 Plan, several important identified needs are actively being addressed.

Since the publication of the 2010 plan, there has been a growing recognition of the links between open space and other important concerns, notably public health and climate change. Well-managed, accessible open space is important to support a physically active and healthy population by providing opportunities for active and passive recreation. Undeveloped treed open spaces, street trees, and the protection of trees in areas designated for development improve air quality, reduce the growing problem of the heat-island effect, reduce energy consumption, and mitigate the negative impacts of stormwater pollution and flooding, both of which will likely worsen with climate change.

To accomplish the goals set out in the Plan, there are a wide variety of activities detailed in the Action Plan. While some actions are specific and have a clear timeline, others call for further study of a specific challenge to identify the most appropriate strategies for moving forward.

Lynnfield’s Open Space & Recreation Plans should be viewed as living documents, helping to shape and direct open space protection and management, and establish goals for the future.


The responses from the Open Space & Recreation Plan Survey and public forum (2018), the open space and recreation goals and objectives detailed in the Town’s 2002 Master Plan, and the Planning Board’s 2017 Master Plan Steering Committee Community Survey responses have provided the framework for the goals and objectives of the Lynnfield Open Space & Recreation Plan. An analysis of the quantitative and qualitative community survey data show that the overwhelming majority of individuals are in favor of preserving and enhancing the existing conservation areas, as well as acquiring additional open space for active and passive and recreation.

Supported by specific objectives and an Action Plan, the 2020 Open Space & Recreation Plan’s five overarching goals are:

  • Increase public awareness of natural resources and conservation areas through education, site tours, posting on the Town’s website, and through social media
  • Provide a range of recreational opportunities for all residents
  • Manage, maintain, and improve existing open space. Promote this space and make it accessible to the public for appropriate use
  • Acuire new open space to preserve Lynnfield’s semi-rural character, protect drinking water supplies and meet passive and active recreation needs.
  • Ensure the protection of important wildlife habitats, surface waters, wetlands and other critical natural resources and scenic landscapes