For information on Conservation Commission members, visit our dedicated page on Hopkinton's Board & Committees database.
Your Commissioners are bringing this site to you to answer questions about wetlands, about why we exist, what we do, and when you need to consult us. We hope you find the site informative and helpful.If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please call the office or e-mail us.
The Hopkinton Conservation Commission (HCC) typically meets two Tuesdays a month. All HCC meetings are open to the public. The HCC may choose to schedule site walks as needed, typically on Saturday mornings. Please call the office for details.
Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Tuesday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. Friday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
If a public hearing is scheduled, an official notice will appear in the MetroWest Daily News and on the main bulletin board in Town Hall.Please see the link above for accessing HCC Meeting Agendas.
View Conservation Commission Services to the Town, presented December 16 2003 to the Board of Selectmen.
Hopkinton Wetlands Protection Bylaw
Hopkinton Wetlands Protection Regulations
Procedures Regarding Comprehensive Permit Applications
Application Supplement Documents
Notice of Intent Hopkinton Filing Checklist
Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation Hopkinton Filing Checklist
Request For Determination Of Applicability Hopkinton Filing Checklist
Hopkinton Wetlands Bylaw Supplement to WPA Form 3
Hopkinton Wetland Bylaw Filing Fee Calculation Worksheet
Abutter Notification Documents
Request for List of Abutters
Notification to Abutters Form, WPA & Bylaw
Notification to Abutters Form, Bylaw Only
Affidavit of Service Form, WPA & Bylaw
Affidavit of Service Form, Bylaw Only
Building Permit Conservation Questionnaire
Conservation Commission Meeting Dates/Deadlines
Guide to Healthy Lakeshore Landscaping
MA DEP Wetlands & Waterways Application Forms - Download all application forms (Request for Determination of Applicability, Notice of Intent , etc)]
MA DEP File number and comment Page
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection - Contact information, Statutes and Regulations (MGL Ch 131 s 40 Wetlands Protection Act, Rivers Protection Act, MGL Ch 132 Forest Cutting Practices Act), Links to Central Regional Office...
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs - Department Links, including DEM, DEP, DFWELE, MDC, and MWRA
Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program
US Army Corps of Engineers
EPA New England
Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions
Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition - Contact your local land trusts
EPA Low Impact Development (LID) Fact Sheets
The Vernal Pool Association - Great information on vernal pools including slides of different types of pools and the critters that live or breed in them, as well as educational resources and much more.
Mass Audubon Society Homepage
National Wildlife Federation Wetlands Homepage
Amphibian Identification Page - Pictures, descriptions and range information
Bird Identification Page - USGS identification page
Butterflies and Moths of North America
Guide to Animal Tracking
What is the Hopkinton Conservation Commission?
The Hopkinton Conservation Commission is composed of seven volunteer members, appointed by the Board of Selectmen.It was established to promote and protect Hopkinton's natural resources, to protect watershed resources, to protect wetland resource areas, to provide permitting review for proposed projects within resource areas, and to coordinate with other town officials and boards on conservation issues that relate to its areas of responsibility.
What does the Commission do?
The Commission is the permitting authority specifically charged with the promotion and development of Hopkinton's natural resources, and the protection of wetland resource areas.The primary activity of the Commission is the administration of the Wetlands Protection Act (MGL 131, §40) and the Hopkinton Wetlands Protection Bylaw. The Commission also engages in planning, helping to acquire and manage open space, and encouraging and monitoring Conservation and Agricultural Preservation Restrictions.
What is the Wetlands Protection Act?
The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act exists to preserve and protect Massachusetts wetlands by preventing pollution; reducing the effects of potential flooding; storm damage prevention;protecting groundwater supplies; maintaining habitats for plants and wildlife;and protecting public and private water supplies.A vernal pool habitat,which includes a buffer of 125 feet around the pool,is presumed significant to wildlife habitat when it lies within a state wetland resource area.
What Resource Areas are protected under these laws?
The protected resource areas include rivers, streams, brooks, ponds, lakes, wetlands, banks, floodplains, and vernal pools. Protection extends 100 feet from the edge of the wetlands, 125 feet from vernal pools, and 200 feet from rivers and most brooks and streams.
Rivers, streams, brooks, ponds, wetlands, and the underground aquifer in Hopkinton all are part of the system that provides water for use by Hopkinton's inhabitants. In addition,the wetlands provide habitat and food for aquatic life, birds, and animals and act as conduits for the movement of water from one area to another.Wetlands serve as temporary storage areas for water, filtering out pollution and allowing the filtered water to be absorbed into the aquifer.
It is illegal for anyone in Hopkinton to dredge, fill, modify or alter any of these resource areas without first filing for and receiving a permit. Anyone who may want to work within 100 feet of a wetland or within 200 feet of a brook, stream or river and who plans to build, grade, clear, apply herbicides or do any work which could alter the resource area must contact the Conservation Commission before doing so.
What is protected by the Hopkinton Wetlands Bylaw?
The Hopkinton Wetlands Protection Bylaw adds to the areas protected by the state Act any vegetated freshwater wetlands; marshes; wet meadows; bogs; swamps; vernal pools; banks; reservoirs, lakes; ponds of any size; rivers; streams; creeks; lands under waterbodies; lands subject to flooding or inundation by groundwater or surface water; and lands within 100 feet of any of these resource areas whether or not they border water bodies. Vernal pools and their 125 foot buffers are protected, regardless of whether they have been certified under the state program or whether the pool and buffer are located within state protected resource areas. The bylaw protects all of the interests identified in the state act, and adds: erosion and sediment control, and wildlife and recreational values. A buffer zone of 100 ft. around any resource area (125 feet for vernal pools) is subject to protection under the bylaw. Within this buffer zone, setbacks from the wetlands edge are defined. The Regulations (available below) establish specific minimum setbacks related to limit of work and limit of disturbance, and are tabulated according to project type.
When should you consult the Commission?
Anytime you plan to work within the 100-foot buffer zone of a Resource Area, or within the 200-foot buffer zone of a Riverfront Area, you'll need to obtain the necessary permits from the Commission.When in doubt, our Wetland Scientist or Administrator will be happy to consult with you and answer your questions.For detailed information,please contact the office.