Open Space Acquisition Commission
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
The primary task of the Open Space Acquisition Commission (MOSAC) is to acquire open space. These purchases must fit some stated need and respect the financial contribution that has been made by the taxpayers. We will not buy just anything, and we will not waste your money by overpaying.
We try to form a financial partnership on larger purchases to get more value for your dollars. This could mean direct grants to the town, participation with other conservation groups, or a bargain sale. Since the creation of the Open Space Acquisition Commission in 1999, we have partnered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Sippican Lands Trust, and The Trustees (formerly the Trustees of Reservations). Since we first started working with other groups, we have received more than $1,000,000 in grants to help reduce the cost of open space purchases for the town.
Current Open Space Status
When we talk about permanently protected open space, we are talking about land owned by private, public, and nonprofit owners that have been dedicated to uses such as conservation or recreational use by deed. Also included is land owned by a non-profit land trust; or if the town received federal or state assistance for the purchase or improvement of the property. Today, of the 9,007 acres of land in Marion, 3,545 are permanently protected open space.
Marion's ownership of permanently protected open space is quite diverse. Those groups managing/owning open space include Marion Select Board, Charles Washburn Memorial Trust, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Division of Fish and Game), Conservation Commission, Marine Resources Commission, Northeast Wilderness Trust, Open Space Acquisition Commission, Recreation Department, Sippican Lands Trust, The Trustees (formerly The Trustees of Reservations), Water and Sewer Commission, Wildlands Trust.
Private land is considered protected if it has a deed restriction in perpetuity, if an Agriculture Preservation Restriction (none in Marion) has been placed on it, or if a Conservation Restriction has been placed on it. Conservation Restrictions in Marion are held by an equally eclectic group of organizations (listed below): Buzzards Bay Coalition, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (DEP), Commonwealth of Massachusetts (DFW), Conservation Commission, Debt for Nature (United States Department of Agriculture), Open Space Acquisition Commission, Sippican Lands Trust, The Trustees (formerly The Trustees of Reservations), Wildlands Trust.
The Open Space Acquisition Commission holds title to 631 acres. The largest parcel is the 282-acre Hales Brook/Sippican River Reservation, which is managed by The Trustees at no cost to the Town. The next largest, and perhaps busiest, parcel is the Washburn Park Conservation Land (97 acres), which is used heavily by the dog-walking community.
The Open Space Acquisition Commission administers the Marion Land Bank Fund on behalf of the town. This fund is dedicated by state statute to costs associated with the acquisition of land. Any expenditure out of this fund to purchase land must be approved by the Town Meeting. As of February 2023, the Fund holds $ 219,159.30.
- Phone Number: 508-728-5585
- Email Open Space Acquisition Commission
- 2 Spring Street
Marion Town House
Marion, MA 02738
|John Rockwell, Chair