Open Space Program
Program OverviewResidents of Ipswich have long appreciated the beautiful landscapes, natural resources, and opportunities for outdoor recreation in town. Protecting these unique treasures from potential development on critical open space properties has been a priority for residents, and in 1994 the Open Space Committee was established to guide that commitment. Their focus was to develop plans and establish a program to protect open lands for both public enjoyment and important habitat and resource values, which ultimately led to the creation of the Open Space Program. The Open Space Program brochure outlines the history and operation of the program. For additional information about the history of the Program, click here. And for detailed information about conservation property projects successfully completed as part of the Open Space Program click here.
16 Mile Lane
In 2022, this 45-acre property was granted to the Town as part of the Planning Board Special Permit, which authorized development of new housing units at 173 Linebrook Road, formerly owned by the Koseneski family. The Town Meeting approved Town ownership of this property for the purposes of water supply protection, preservation of wildlife habitat, open space and scenic vistas, passive public recreation, and continued agricultural operations. The Mile Lane property consists of agricultural fields, wooded areas, and wetlands, and will offer limited passive recreational access through to Linebrook Road when trail access is completed. This site has yet to be officially open to public access, but will be accessible in the coming summer/fall months of 2023.
Approximately half way down Mile Lane, the property access can be found at a gravel/dirt driveway beside the wetland located alongside it. Once the property is open to the public, a dirt path will lead trail users from the driveway along the outskirts of the agricultural fields, eventually leading to the backside of the new development on Linebrook Road. Individuals will then be able to walk along the designated path through the development. The ultimate goal in the coming years is to connect this Mile Lane property to the Turkey Hill Conservation Area and Kamon Farm properties through trail connections on the south side of Linebrook Road. From the Mile Lane end of the driveway, trail access to the Red and Blue trails around the Bull Brook and Dow Brook reservoirs are located southwesterly along Mile Lane approximately 150 ft. on the north side of the road, through a metal gate by the trail marker on the utility post. Another possible route out to these reservoir trails is located behind the baseball field at the Mile Lane Athletic Fields further southwest along Mile Lane.
Story Stroll with Birth to Three
On July 18th and July 25th, 2023 Ipswich's Open Space Program and Birth to Three Center hosted their first ever "Story Strolls" at both Dow Brook Conservation Area and Strawberry Hill, respectively. Young children and parents followed along the path and engaged in readings of the children's books, The Gruffalo and The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. Nature scavenger hunts were also distributed. Thank you to all who attended!
Ipswich Invasive Booklet
An invasive booklet has been produced to educate residents about the most common invasive plant species threatening the Town of Ipswich. Beginning on August 7, 2023, copies will be available at the following Town Hall offices: Conservation, Open Space (Planning), and Town Manager. Please refer to the following link to access a digital PDF version of the informational booklet.