Shaping the Future of Your Community Outreach & Assistance Program
We’re Here to Help Your Community
The Shaping the Future Program can help your city or town:
- Guide development in a sustainable manner
- Update and implement community plans
- Protect habitat, water supplies, forests and farmland
- Provide incentives for well-planned growth including housing and jobs
- Preserve community character
- Reduce transportation, energy, and infrastructure costs
Services include: workshops, advice, and technical assistance for residents, municipal officials, and businesses in the fastest growing parts of Massachusetts.
We partner with land trusts, watershed associations, municipalities, regional planning and state agencies, and others. Priority actions include adopting the Community Preservation Act, updating open space plans, and revising zoning to protect land and water resources.
Land Use Trends and the Need for Action
For over 25 years, Mass Audubon has analyzed the land use changes in Massachusetts and observed how the landscape has been transformed by new residential and commercial development in our Losing Ground report. This data is updated every few years and provides conservationists, town planners, and local agencies with information for planning while helping residents understand and influence changes in their communities.
While many communities across the Commonwealth have experienced challenges managing growth, eastern and southeastern Massachusetts along the Route 495 corridor have seen the fastest rates of development.
That’s why Mass Audubon’s award-winning Shaping the Future of Your Community program was created in 2009 - to help communities in the Sprawl Frontier chart a more sustainable future. This program provides customized community workshops and direct assistance, with a focus on the Taunton River and Blackstone River Watersheds, which contain large undeveloped natural resource areas threatened by sprawling residential development.
Shaping the Future of Your Community: A Citizen’s Guide to Involvement in Community Planning, Land Protection, and Project Review is a practical guide that will help you take steps toward effective action in your community. Read the guidebook
The Shaping Program was established through the generosity of a loyal Mass Audubon friend. You can help us assist communities in preserving their town’s special places.
Keep up with Mass Audubon’s work and how you can help by subscribing to our Shaping the Future of Your Community e-newsletter.