Open Space Committee

ConCom Interns Complete Invasive Mapping Study

Did you know only two percent of West Newbury's plant species have been treated or eradicated? That is one of many findings in the invasives mapping project taken on by Concom interns Emily Cuellar and Stacey Dolan. They made a terrific presentation to the Select Board on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. Click here to access the presentation. Click here to watch the video presentation which starts at 18:38. Cueller is currently studying environmental science and sustainability studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dolan holds a Master of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Clemson University. They reported to Conservation Agent Michelle Greene for their June-August internships. Click here

If you want to learn more about about the impact of invasive species, click here for an informative six minute video from PBS. Teachers, take note.  

West Newbury Invasive Species Removal Day

West Newbury seeks volunteers for an invasive plant removal work day on Nov. 6 (2022) from 1-3 p.m. at the Cherry Hill Conservation Land, 1 Cherry Hill Street. This is a continuation of work previously done on this land in August with the town’s invasive plant summer interns. Due to limited space and resources, the number of volunteers is capped at 25 and volunteers are asked to sign up online in advance. Click here for more information and see the flyer upper right.  

The Open Space Fall Hike is back! 

Come join the Open Space Committee for its Fall Hike on Oct. 2, 2022. We will have experts along to talk about invasive species, river access and local Native American History. Or just come and enjoy a walk in the woods in the River Road Preservation Area. Meet at 1 p.m. at Coffin St. and River Rd.

"Starving for Darkness seminar"

Tuesday, April 26, 7:00 p.m. Click here to sign up.

Have you noticed the disappearance of darkness? Since the industrial revolution and the invention of the electric light bulb, the natural ecosystems of the Earth spend more and more time bathed in artificial light within a 24 hour cycle. How does the artificial light and lack of darkness impact wildlife? How does the obstruction of the night’s sky affect bird migration and whale migration? Much of the study of light and health has been dedicated to the impact of light upon humans, however animals and plants are also intrinsically photosensitive and subject to the unwanted effects of stray light. How can a rethinking of design and codes alleviate some of these harmful effects? Join us as we explore this important topic with Jane Slade, lighting educator and researcher at Anatomy of Light. Jane researches the many ways in which light impacts our environment, human health, wildlife, biodiversity and interdependence. Jane is the Specification Sales Manager for Speclines in Massachusetts, a lighting manufacturer’s representative agency specializing in public outdoor lighting through an interdisciplinary approach of blending design, science and the latest technology. Jane is also a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Committee for Outdoor Environmental Lighting and is currently writing a book about the natural daylight cycle.  Hosted by West Newbury Wild and Native and Essex County Greenbelt.


Join the Boston Area City Nature Challenge

Join the City Nature Challenge, a fun worldwide collaborative bioblitz between April 29-May with cities across the world to document and identify the most species! We're documenting urban biodiversity within the I-495 corridor, out to Stellwagen Bank, including Cape Cod and islands. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it contributes to scientific data helping to better understand our world and our non-human neighbors! The information volunteers like you collect helps create a more accurate picture of biodiversity at this time of year. Any observation of wild plants, animals, fungi, even microbes, that are recorded with iNaturalist, is automatically included in the data for our collective annual challenge. From more information, click here.

Why Native Plants Matter Webinar

The West Newbury Garden Club has joined with the West Newbury Wild and Native Committee, the West Newbury Open Space Committee and Greenbelt to co-sponsor a webinar on WHY NATIVE PLANTS MATTER.

We hope that you will join us for this informative webinar on October 28th at 7pm by Heather McCargo.

Visit this link for event details and registration.

Event Details

Why Native Plants Matter

A talk by Heather McCargo, Founder and Seed Program Manager at the Wild Seed Project in Maine.

Beauty, biodiversity and resilience

Native plants are beautiful, important for our local and regional ecosystems and do not need the high nutrient and water inputs of commonly cultivated plants. These qualities make native plant species excellent additions to our gardens!

Heather covers the many reasons we all should care about our region’s native flora and the importance of bringing native plants back into our gardens and developed landscapes. She also discusses current native plant trends and issues in the nursery trade (including cloning and the loss of genetic diversity), and explains how we all can support our native flora by planting seed-grown native plants.

This talk will be presented as a Zoom webinar.

For more information about the Wild Seed Project, click here.

For more information about West Newbury Garden Club, please visit


The Open Space Committee annual walk is back!

Come join us at 1 p.m. on Oct. 17 for a walk at Mill Pond (see flyer at right). Highights will include the Alms House Cemetery, a discussion on invasive species and the town's plans for an All Access Trail. Meet at the lower field parking area. See you on the 17th.


The Open Space Committee provides advice and support to the Board of Selectmen and the town on issues relevant to open space protection, stewardship and use. OSC also manages a large network of public trails in West Newbury, with the goal of creating an 'emerald necklace' by utilizing town-owned land and trail easements for the community to enjoy. We welcome public participation in all of our meetings and activities. We hope that you find this website useful for learning about our committee activities and about the many open space resources available here in town.


Creating and Managing Pollinator Habitat on Your Land

The Library is happy to partner with the West Newbury Wild and Native group to bring you a presentation about creating pollinator gardens. Whether you have a small backyard, a big back field, or something in between, you can create pollinator habitat. Join us as we bring Hannah Mullally, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner, Partner Biologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Xerces Society Pollinator Specialist, to speak on the importance of native pollinators. She will cover the key components of pollinator habitat, the basics of establishment, management and protection, and examples of how to integrate pollinator habitat on your land regardless of size. There will be a Q and A with Hannah following her talk.

The virtual event is June 10th at 7 p.m. Registration is required. You will receive the Zoom link and an information packet 24 hours prior to the event. Click here to register.

Support the Coffin St. Conservation Project

Update: IT PASSED! If passed, article 14 at town meeting on May 22 will provide Community Preservation Act funds to save 51 acres on Coffin St. from development. Passage will open this beautiful parcel to the public for passive recreation. Preservation also provides a crucial link connecting several other parcels between Riverbend and Long Hill. Vote YES on Article 14. Click here for an FAQ on the project.


Committee Members

Graham Bacheller


7/1/22 to 6/30/24

John Dodge

7/1/22 to 6/30/25

Patricia Reeser

7/1/23 to 6/30/26

Jean Lambert

7/1/21 to 6/30/24

Don Bourquard

7/1/22 to 6/30/25

Marlene Switzer

7/1/23 to 6/30/26

Carol Decker

7/1/21 to 6/30/24

David Parrott

Associate Member

7/1/23 to 6/30/24

Vacancy One

Associate Member

to 6/30/24