Conservation Division


The Natural Resource Department, Conservation Division and DPW recently completed work on the Twine Fields Conservation Area located off Morton Road in Chatham. There is a sign at the entrance identifying the site as "Twine Fields Conservation Area" (PDF) leading to a parking area. You may see Twine Fields link (PDF) to learn about the local history and environmental importance of the site. It is one of the last remaining large grassland meadows in Chatham. Meadows serve a very important purpose for wildlife, drinking water and our sole source aquifer. There you will find acres of grassland to walk. If you are lucky, you may observe large raptors such as hawks and owls feeding on meadow voles and mice. Coyotes may also be observed feeding on small mammals such as rabbits as well as mice and voles, which is a large part of their food staple.

Recreation Value

It is a wonderful area to walk your dog or just let the kids roam free. The Bike Trail abuts the property so if you are biking on the Trail in the future it is a good place for a respite. It was once used by local fisherman to unwind their fishing nets to dry, repair and maintain. A short trail located at the parking area leads to acres of open meadow and grasslands.

~Paul C. Wightman - Division Head | Conservation Agent, Department of Natural Resources | Town of Chatham

Americorp Projects

In May, AmeriCorps will be conducting two major group projects under the supervision of the Conservation Division on Forest Beach Conservation Property and Goose Pond. We invite you to visit these sites to view the improvements made with the help of AmeriCorps and our Assistant Conservation Agent, including trail maintenance, trail markers, scenic overlook benches, new signage, removal of the foundation by CCF at Valley Farm, and a new trail to salt marsh overlook.

Since October major improvements have been made to the following Conservation Properties:

  1. George Ryder Forest
  2. Old Comers Forest
  3. Valley Farm
  4. Training Filed Triangle

In the coming months, we will also be focusing on habitat management to promote wildlife on our Conservation Properties.

What's New?

Responsibilities & Services

The Conservation Division primarily provides staff support to the Chatham Conservation Commission who is responsible for administering both the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. Chapter 131, s 40), its regulations (310 CMR) and the Chatham Wetlands Protection Bylaw (Chapter 272) and the Chatham Wetlands Protection Regulations. The Conservation Division staff is available to answer questions regarding wetlands protection and the permitting process, and can assist an applicant with completing a permit application. Read filing instructions.

The Chatham Conservation Commission is a volunteer board of 7 citizens of Chatham who are appointed to three year terms by the Select Board. In addition there are 3 associate member positions. (If you are interested in serving your community in this manner, please contact the Select Board Office or the conservation office.)

The Conservation Division also supports efforts of the Conservation Commission in the oversight of town-owned conservation lands (PDF).

Additional Resources