About the Program
We’re Here to Help Your Community
Shaping the Future 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 & 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 what led to the creation of Mass Audubon’s award-winning Shaping the Future of Your Community program in 2009. The program's goal: 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.