The Westford Town Lands is comprised of two parcels of town-owned land on either side of Brookside Road in Westford.  The Maple Shade Town Forest was acquired by the town in 2018, with funding from a variety of sources, including the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the US Forest Service. The Westford School Forest (name pending) was acquired by the town in several parcels, at several different times and consists of the existing Town Walking Trails.

As a provision of its funding sources, the Maple Shade Town Forest needs to have a long-term management plan in place by early 2019. There is currently an Interim Management Plan in place, which governs allowed uses on the Maple Shade Town Forest in lieu of a long-term management plan.

While the Maple Shade Town Forest and the Westford School Forest are two different parcels with distinct histories, established uses and easement restrictions, it makes sense to engage in a management planning process that will produce a long-term management plan for both.

Right now, we are calling the unit comprising both of these parcels the Westford Town Lands.

The goal of the Westford Town Lands management plan will be to create a document that provides a robust framework for stewardship decisions, including goals, objectives, action items and allowed uses. Questions to be addressed in the management plan will include:

Where/what/and how much recreation should be allowed?
Are hunting and fishing allowed?
How should we manage and protect Westford Town Land’s natural resources?
What should our long-term vision for these lands be?

This management plan will ultimately frame the way Westford interacts with its town lands, so the goal will be to make decisions using an open, transparent, and public process, providing many ways for interested citizens to participate and provide input on this management plan. This process will be facilitated by the Westford Town Lands Management Plan Steering Committee.

More details about the Westford Town Lands including the allowable and restricted uses of each parcel can be found on the Westford Town website at

* 1. Are you a resident of Westford?

* 2. If you are not a resident of Westford, what town are you from?

* 3. Do you currently use the town trails that surround the Westford School?

* 4. If yes, how often do you use the Westford School Trails?

* 5. What do you like most about the existing school trails?

* 6. What changes would most improve the existing school trails?

* 7. As the committee works to create the long-term management plan for these parcels we would like to better understand what our community values about these public lands. Please rate the level of importance for each of the items below. 1 being the most important to you and 9 being the least important to you.

* 8. Did we miss anything that you value about Westford Town Lands?

* 9. Public recreation has been identified as one of the possible uses of the Maple Shade Town Forest. How important are each of the following recreation opportunities to you?

  Not at all important Somewhat important Important Very Important Extremely Important
Trail walking/running
Snowshoeing/cross country skiing
Bird/wildlife watching
Dog walking
Horseback Riding
Mountain Biking

* 10. How often do you anticipate utilizing the Maple Shade Town Forest?

* 11. There are many possible uses for these lands. How important are each of the following uses to you?

  Not at all important Somewhat important Important Very Important Extremely Important
Forest Management
Wildlife Habitat
Carbon Sequestration

* 12. The Select board has legal authority to make decisions about the Westford Town Lands. When making decisions, what other groups should be included in the discussion? Select all that apply.

* 13. Please share any additional thoughts you may have?