Publications & Community Resources
Find background information on issues the Shaping program addresses, ways you can take action in your community, and past program presentations.
Find a Resource
- Preservation & Development Toolkit
- Mapping Tool for Identifying Important Conservation Areas
- Protecting Wetlands & Water
- Community Preservation Act
- Low Impact Development
- Bylaw Review
More Ways to Take Action
Get details on voting for the environment, greening your school, and other ideas to get involved in your community.
This report was the catalyst for creating the Shaping the Future of Your Community program in 2009. Starting in 1991, Mass Audubon has analyzed rapid growth driven by economic and demographic factors every five years using the most up-to-date technology and methods.
- The results, published in these Losing Ground reports, provide conservationists, town planners, and agencies with information for planning and advocacy. Learn more >
Guidebook to Involvement in Your Community
This guidebook is designed to help you make a difference in how land is developed and protected in your community. This booklet will help you take steps toward effective action.
- This plain-language guide provides citizens with an understanding of how land-use decisions are made in Massachusetts, and how you can play a role in your own community. Learn more >
Stream Continuity Assessment in the Taunton Watershed
In June 2017, Mass Audubon and the Taunton River Watershed Alliance released this report detailing the findings of more than 500 stream crossing assessments in the Taunton River watershed.
- This report serves as a guide for residents and municipal officials to prioritize opportunities to replace culverts and other crossing structures. Learn more >
This toolkit includes links to resources to help plan for, manage, and maintain sustainable growth and protect land in your community. It provides access to sources of funding and technical assistance, model zoning bylaws, and case studies. Learn more >
Interested in learning which areas in your community are most important to conserve? Check out this user-friendly web-based tool, developed by Mass Audubon in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and LandVest. Mapping and Prioritizing Parcels for Resilience (MAPPR) identifies land parcels in your city or town that could contribute most to achieving land protection goals. Learn more >
Wetlands are valuable natural resources. They serve as important habitats for wildlife, purify drinking water supplies and other waters, and contain food for fish and other aquatic animals. They are especially important for controlling floods. Learn how wetlands and vernal pools are protected under federal, state, and local laws.
In addition to the fact sheets below, you can learn more about managing water resources in the Water Resource Protection & Infrastructure section of our Preservation & Development Toolkit.
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) allows communities to establish a dedicated local fund for open space, historic preservation, community housing, and outdoor recreation projects as well as receive matching funds from the state. Learn more about how to adopt CPA in your community and what it can be used for.
Low Impact Development (LID) is a land-use planning strategy that works with nature rather than against it. Learn more through our Introduction to LID presentation—which provides a foundation for understanding this important land-use planning strategy—and our series of LID fact sheets.
With our analysis tool, you can learn what to look for in your local bylaws and regulations that would allow for sustainable development and climate-smart nature based solutions. You can also determine which best practices your community is already following and where it can improve. Based on federal, state, and local best practices and can be used to help communities meet their stormwater requirements.