Conservation Commission

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Administer and enforce the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and the Shirley Non-Zoning Wetlands Bylaw.
  • Help residents and other applicants to understand and comply with wetlands regulations, including assistance in filing for permits under state laws and local bylaws.
  • Open space maintenance: monitor Conservation Restrictions, develop and carry out management plans, trail walks and environmental talks, inspect parcels, hire and supervise caretaker for Longley Acres, hay harvest and sale, fund raising.
  • Open space acquisition: prepare relevant town meeting articles, obtain title searches and appraisals, apply for grants, meet with property owners, guide developers required to set aside open space, track status of chapter 61, 61a and 61b parcels and comment on right of first refusal issues when parcels change status.
  • Administrative services: prepare and submit annual reports and budgets, performance evaluations for conservation staff, attend mandatory staff meetings, maintain website, accounting tasks (timesheets, mileage reports, filing fees, getting bids and quotes for goods and services), attend town meetings regarding pertinent warrant articles, preparation for and attendance at pertinent meetings of the Finance Committee and the Personnel Board. These services are required to support all the other services.
  • Respond to requests for comments from other boards (Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Selectmen, Board of Health and Building Inspector). Participate in committees as required.
  • Support for other state regulations: make maps available (flood insurance, rare species habitat, ACEC), review and comment on forest cutting and management plans, answer logging questions from the abutters and the public, comment on MEPA projects.
  • Update the Open Space and Recreation Plan. (The OSRP has been completed and posted on the Conservation Commission's webpage.)



Staff Contacts

Name Title Phone
Michael Fleming Conservation Agent (978) 425-2600 Ext. 245

Commission Members

Name Title
Jennifer McGuinness Chair (2022 - 2024)
Marie Elwyn Member (2023 - 2026)
E. Heidi Ricci Associate Member (2022 - 2025)
Stuart Sears Member (2022 - 2024)
Gaynor Bigelbach Member (2022 - 2024)
Daniel Knapp Member (2022 - 2025)
Susan Gillham Vice-chair (2021 - 2024)
Bonnie Woodward Member (2023 - 2026)

ClearGov Shirley