The Haverhill Conservation Commission could be joined by “conservation partners” to help it keep up with the board’s increasing responsibilities particularly as they relate to open space matters.
Haverhill city councilors tonight consider updating conservation commissioner duties and giving the board help. Of critical importance, according to a memorandum written by Environmental Health Technician Robert E. Moore Jr., is updating the city’s Open Space and Recreation Plan. The plan is a requirement for obtaining state and federal grants, but it expired last October. Moore said the current city ordinance dates back to 1973.
“Since that time, the Commission’s regulatory role has vastly increased, limiting its time to address open space matters,” he wrote.
Volunteer conservation partners would undertake community outreach and research and develop goals to guide the city on open space matters for the next five years. Going forward, the partners would augment a program with Haverhill Trails volunteers for maintaining the city’s conservation lands, assist with events such as “Let’s Hike Haverhill” in concert with Essex County Greenbelt Association and paddling and fishing through the Recreation Department and educational activities.
A proposed change would allow the mayor to appoint up to three conservation partners. The partners would be volunteers and “unofficial,” having no vote on the Conservation Commission.
The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m., in-person at the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.