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The citizens of Wayland have been strong advocates of conservation for many years, and the Conservation Commission was established at the relatively early date of 1961. The Commission devotes much of its time to administering the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and the Wayland Wetlands and Water Resources Bylaw, which are intended to protect the quality and quantity of surface and ground water, prevent flooding and flood damage, and protect wetland-dependent wildlife and their habitat.
The Wetlands Protection Act prohibit construction, earth-moving, or the alteration of soils or vegetation within 100 feet of the wetlands and/or 200 feet of a perennial stream without the authorization of the Commission. In Wayland, wetlands include ponds, streams, vernal pools, banks, bordering vegetative wetlands, flood plains, and forested wetlands. The Conservation Commission is the only board that determines whether an area is or is not under their jurisdiction, no other board or department has the authority to do so. To determine whether your property, or a portion of your property, is under the Commission's jurisdiction, call (508) 358-3669.
About 20 percent of the town's area has been secured as open space, including the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, town-owned conservation land, land of the Sudbury Valley Trustees, and miscellaneous private land. The Commission manages 19 major town owned conservation areas totaling 1,023 acres, and co-manages several other parcels with Sudbury Valley Trustees. The Commission maintains trails, leads educational activities, and sponsors maintenance "work parties".