It's baby animal and turtle-nesting season! If you see baby deer, raccoons, foxes or other mammals on your property or in conservation areas, leave them be! The adults are often nearby for protection. Please consider keeping your dog on leash or near you on the trails at all times - dogs can harm or kill baby animals that nest on the ground.

Turtles are now crossing the road frequently to find good nesting sites. If you see a turtle digging in conservation land or on your property, it may be laying its eggs, so give it space! Practice good road awareness - snapping turtles are large and easy to see, but spotted and painted turtles (see picture below) are small and hard to spot. If you want to help a turtle cross the road, always move it in the direction that it's facing. Be careful when assisting a snapping turtle, as they have a powerful bite. Feel free to call our Conservation Office for advice when dealing with a snapping turtle, or with any other wildlife questions!

Lincoln has a strong and deeply-rooted conservation ethic, which is evident as one travels the scenic roads and trails within the community. The Conservation Department works closely with the 7-member volunteer Conservation Commission who are appointed to staggered terms by the Board of Selectmen and charged with ensuring the long-term protection of the Town’s natural resources, agricultural & habitat fields and trails.

Education and outreach are integral to the Department's mission. We hope you'll take a minute to browse through our Ecological Design, Construction & Maintenance Handbook where you'll learn tools and tips for sustainably developing and caring for your home and landscape.

Please also browse our Invasive Species Booklet where you'll learn how to identify prohibited, non-native invasive plants of MA and read strategies to control these plants and replace them with native alternatives.

Open Space Planning

Since the first piece of conservation land was acquired in 1957, the Commission and Staff have worked closely with the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust and Rural Land Foundation to identify and implement creative land-use strategies that balance growth with environmental protection. An Advisory Committee recently updated the 2017 Open Space & Recreation Plan and ADA Accessibility Evaluation.

Here are the Public Survey Results and Community Outreach Feedback, 2008-2016 Action Plan Accomplishments, the Current 7-Year Action Plan, and Action Plan Map.

Lincoln takes great pride in achieving its Open Space and Recreation Goals:
  • Identify, acquire, and protect land for agriculture, conservation, habitat protection, and recreation to ensure the character of Lincoln remains intact for future generations.
  • Steward conservation, agricultural, and recreational lands to promote long-term sustainable production, ecological diversity, resiliency, and community access.
  • Promote appropriate access to, and use of, open space and recreation lands.
  • Educate residents and officials about best practices for achieving open space and recreation goals. Coordinate on programs and policies at the local and regional level.

Almost 35% or 5 square miles of the Town is protected by permanent conservation deeds or restrictions and users enjoy over 80 miles of trails. You can find specific Land Protection Tables here and the trail map and guide book are available for purchase at the Conservation Department.

Land Stewardship

While several critical parcels remain to be protected for conservation and recreation purposes, the Department spends a great deal of effort on sound stewardship of existing conservation land. Conservation Staff manage approximately 1,600 acres of municipal conservation land and they work hard to balance a range of activities including:

  • trail-based recreation for a variety of user groups,
  • enhancement of biodiversity,
  • eradication of non-native, invasive species, and
  • promotion of agricultural enterprises.
In addition, the Department conducts baseline documentation and annual monitoring on hundreds of acres of pubic and privately-restricted land.


The Commission and Staff conduct wetlands permitting under state and local laws when work alters land within wetlands, within the 100-foot buffer zone to wetlands or within 200 feet of a perennial stream. This work is critical for protecting Lincoln's public drinking water and wildlife habitat and for preventing storm damage, pollution and flooding.

Education & Outreach

Integral to the conservation mission is connecting people with nature by:
  • working with local school groups and scouts,
  • leading walks and hosting talks,
  • providing relevant information through this website, brochures, lectures, etc. and
  • conducting site walks with homeowners.
Please contact our knowledgable staff by phone or the email links to the right. Together we have extensive expertise on wildlife, ecological design and management, plant identification, invasive-species control and water quality.

Volunteer for the Conservation Department