Wetlands & Lawn Care

Wetlands Values

Wetlands provide critical habitat to wildlife and help maintain the aesthetic beauty of our community. Wetlands also provide priceless yet free services including drinking water purification, groundwater recharge, flood control, storm damage prevention, pollution prevention, and the protection of fish and wildlife. All Westfield residents benefit from these services because of our reliance on natural settings for property values, wells for drinking water, and septic systems for waste disposal.

Wetlands Jurisdiction

Wetlands generally include brooks, creeks, streams, rivers, fens, bogs, vernal pools, marshes, ponds, lakes and swamps. Under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, wetland resource areas are wetlands and the 100 feet surrounding areas, or streams and rivers and the 200 feet surrounding areas. The 100 and 200 feet surrounding areas are called buffer zones and provide a protective buffer from human activities. In addition, the Westfield Wetlands Protection Ordinance #1109 provides additional protection to wetlands. Special attention is given to those projects, which propose alterations within 50 feet of the commission’s jurisdiction as referenced in Section 13-61 of Ordinance #1109. Some of these regulated areas may not be wet at all times so if you think you have a wetland give us a call at (413) 572-6281, the commission is here to help you through the process.

A large percentage of Westfield homeowners have wetlands on or near their property and may not know the values of wetlands or their responsibilities as wetland landowners. Before starting a project contact the Conservation Commission. Do not assume your contractor will pull all necessary permits.

If you do need approval, the Conservation Coordinator is ready to answer your questions and help guide you through the application process. Permitting forms are available at the Conservation Commission office on the 3rd floor of City Hall at 59 Court Street or can be downloaded from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s website.