Conservation & Historic Preservation Issues for the Harvard Master

Conservation, Historic Preservation & Recreational Issues for the Harvard Master Plan Survey
Conservation Commission
 Local agriculture is important to Harvard’s Character and economy and the preservation
of agricultural land should be encouraged
Rural, open landscapes with large conservation/protected tracts enhances the quality of
life and value of residential development
Develop resource management plans for public lands, including control of invasive plant
species and tree diseases, protection of ecosystems, Bare Hill Pond, water resources, and
forest management.
Existing and new Conservation lands need improved access, signage, management
(maintenance) and a source of funds to conduct that work.
View sheds (such as Fruitlands/Prospect Hill and Town Center) should be
Harvard conservation lands have the potential for conflict between uses (snowmobiles,
cross country skiers, dog walking, jogging, horses, etc.)
Deer population in Harvard needs to be controlled (reduced) to lessen potential of disease
carrying ticks.
Actions are needed to ensure that Harvard’s natural, historic and cultural resources and
landscapes are preserved for future generations (including Fruitlands, Shaker Village, Old
Mill, Indian Sites, Stone walls, etc.)
 There are concerns with contaminated land that is located on the historic portion of
Harvard – who will pay for cleanup?
The drinking water aquifer at Devens could supply water to the town and needs to be
Jurisdiction would enable Con Comm to have a say on development in areas under
jurisdiction of Con Comm (100” from wetland, 200” from riverfront/ponds)
Harvard Historic Commission
 Historic structures, particularly farmsteads, may not be adequately identified and
protected. The development of a program (Preservation Plan?) to identify certain historic
assets which deserve special status as Local Landmark or protection by Preservation
Restrictions is needed.
Historic village centers, particularly the Town Center, provide a sense of community
Consider creation of new and expansion of existing historic districts to address housing
Work in historic districts such as building affordable housing units or demolishing an
important historic asset to be replaced by affordable housing is a concern of the Historic
Where certain town problems could be resolved if boards and commissions worked
together, these organizations should collaborate and perhaps even compromise the letter
of their requirements (if possible) to achieve a common good that otherwise could not be
Historical preservation of historic lands, sites, stone fences and areas are as important as
preserving historic buildings and the Historical Commission should do more of all.
The Historical Commission has often succeeded in obtaining state and federal grants for
the restoration of town-owned buildings.
The town's historical preservation goals would be better served if the demolition of a
significant historical structure were delayed to allow time to consider options.
Devens Related
 If Devens is returned to Harvard, the HHC would have to reorganize to add the Devens
Historic District to its jurisdiction.
Parks & Recreation
 The Town Common plan (walk way trail) should include a general walkway that would
connect the Town Beach to McCurdy track and complete the Pond trail to the elementary
Expand the walking and biking trails throughout the town
Devens Related
 Residents of Devens can use Harvard’s facilities and are treated as Harvard residents,
however, residents of Harvard do not have access to any of the recreational facilities
within Devens – including those that are within the Town of Harvard boundaries without
paying an out of town usage fee .
Devens could provide much needed additional recreational opportunities (playing fields)
although this would introduce higher maintenance costs for Park and Rec and the
Highway Dept. but that could be offset by out of town fees for tournaments, etc
Overall (Issues for all commissions, committees)
 Improve communication and collaboration between BOS, committees so that issues are
not addressed on an “ad hoc” basis, but are identified earlier so they may be addressed on
a timely basis’
More outreach is necessary by different Boards & Commissions to provide town
residents with information about town resources (conservation lands, the Pond, historic
buildings, etc,) encouraging residents to use them, protect them, and volunteer for various
Promote state and federal dollars for town-owned building restoration, maintenance of
conservation land (invasive plant species removal)
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