Open Space and Recreation Committee

The Open Space and Recreation Committee (OS&R com) will include up to five (5) members that are appointed by the Board of Selectmen. It is to maintain a state-approved Open Space and Recreation Plan and to provide recommendations for ways to protect present and future water supplies of the Town, to identify and provide open space recreation opportunities for every segment of the community and in every region of the Town, to protect significant natural resources area, and to provide alternatives to land owners and Town agencies to protect open space.

The Committee helps promote awareness of the importance of having open space in the community and helps maintain many of the areas in Town in a myriad of ways including clean-up and maintenance efforts.  

The benefits of open space and recreational activities include a healthier lifestyle and a more physically fit community; when people have open space and walkable areas, they are more inclined to increase their physical activity by 45-60 minutes per day studies have shown.   Open space provides a positive impact on the neighborhood and benefits the community in several ways; aesthetically, economically, and physically by providing an opportunity for people to get out and walk, jog, bicycle, or other forms of activity.

Free/Open to the Public Sunday Hikes on Cape Ann:
The Rockport Open Space and Recreation Committee and the Rockport Rights of Way Committee invite you to join a hike every Sunday morning (weather permitting). The gathering place for the hike is in the parking lot of Rockport's Whistlestop Mall (between Railroad Avenue and Pooles Lane; near the Train Station and Dunkin Donuts) at 9:50 AM.  From there, the group then carpools to a trailhead somewhere on Cape Ann. A volunteer (who could be you if you'd like) familiar with the trails leads the hike either in the woods or along the coast. Each hike lasts about two hours. The pace of the hike depends on who shows up.  It is strongly recommended to bring bug repellent (with DEET), wear appropriate footware (sneakers, hiking boots, etc.), sunscreen, water, and to dress in layers.  

These weekly informative and friendly hikes are open to all; residents, visitors, anyone wanting to really get to see and know the area.  Many hikers bring their cameras/phones.   The walks are not only a wealth of information on the history and geology of the area but they help establish a record of public use and helps maintain the historic rights of way for the Community.    We hope you'll join us on these adventurous Sunday morning hikes; it's a great way to learn about Cape Ann and meet others; please feel free to bring a friend or share the information.  For photos of hikes and information about the Rights of Way Committee and their role in promoting, preserving, and celebrating open space, click here

To reach a member of the Open Space & Recreation Committee, please email us at: openspaceandrecreationcommittee@rockportma.gov

Board Members

Name Title
Lawrence Neal Chairperson
Frederick Tarr Committee Member
Stephanie Cunningham Committee Member
Peter Van Demark Committee Member
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