Success Stories

Mutter’s Field Trail Highlights the Importance of Accessibility for Open Space Projects
Accessibility is an increasingly important element of recent CPA projects, highlighting the integral community building aspect of the program. In the town of Easthampton, the newly-opened Mutter’s Field Trail is a shining example of an open space project designed with accessibility in mind.
Habitat for Humanity and CPA: Highlighting Successful Housing Partnerships
For several CPA communities, Habitat for Humanity is an invaluable partner when it comes to affordable housing goals. The global nonprofit works in nearly 1,400 communities across the United States, and in Massachusetts, many of their local efforts have been made possible through Community Preservation funds.
Somerville Preserves its Heritage at Prospect Hill Tower
Near Union Square in Somerville stands the Prospect Hill Tower—a stalwart, granite structure that represents nearly 300 years’ worth of history for the city. For the last few years, visitors have not been permitted to climb the tower for safety concerns. It was for this reason that Somerville decided to use $500,000 in CPA funds to restore the tower, preserving it for generations to come.
Boxford Common Raises the Bar for CPA Recreation Projects
A transformative recreation project is under construction in the Town of Boxford, known as the Boxford Common, that ultimately will serve three of the four CPA purposes. On 75 acres of woodland in the center of town there are plans to construct a recreational facility and affordable housing, as well preserving a portion of the land for hiking, running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding.
Nearly 25,000 Acres of Land Preservation from CPA Funding
Since 2000, Massachusetts municipalities that have adopted the Community Preservation Act have become active players in land preservation. Through 2014, there have been a total of 661 CPA-funded projects involving acquisition of land or a restriction for open space, agricultural or recreational purposes, totaling 24,290 acres.
Communities Bring Historical Artifacts Back to Life with CPA
Many communities are home to significant historic artifacts, but those with the Community Preservation Act are fortunate enough to have a source of funding to perform restorations of these valuable resources. We’ve picked out several projects that highlight the use of CPA funds to transform historical artifacts into unique icons for the public to enjoy.
Marshfield’s CPA-funded Peter Igo Park Earns Tennis Industry’s Public Park of the Year Award
Peter Igo Park in the town of Marshfield was a troublesome area for the community, but thanks to a local nonprofit and CPA funding, the property was transformed from an eyesore into a vibrant attractive, award-winning park.
Bridgewater partners with The Trust for Public Land to preserve an important piece of the community’s agricultural past
While many CPA open space projects have been completed independently, some communities have found it helpful to partner with third party land protection organizations. One example is Bridgewater, which collaborated with The Trust for Public Land on a project to preserve Murray Farm.
Archaeology: A Unique Component of CPA Funding
Although it is sometimes overlooked, the ability to fund archaeology projects is a unique and valuable aspect of the Community Preservation Act. While not the largest category of CPA-funded historic preservation projects - for example, only 30 archaeology projects have been funded with CPA funds, as compared to about 400 town and city hall rehabilitation projects – many communities have found that having the ability to fund such projects is a benefit.
Regional Projects are a Growing Area of Success for CPA
Historic preservation, open space protection, recreation, and affordable housing needs sometimes extend across CPA town boundaries. Increasingly, CPA communities are receiving funding requests for such regional CPA projects, and many are enthusiastically responding with grants of CPA funds.
Unique Island-wide CPA Collaboration Preserves the Gay Head Lighthouse
A beloved landmark for the island communities of Martha's Vineyard, the iconic Gay Head Light was dangerously close to the edge of the eroding cliff it has stood on for 158 years.Sitting only 43 feet from the edge of the bluff, the lighthouse was listed as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2013. Now it has been saved through the hard work of residents and a unique case of Island-wide CPA collaboration.
Northborough's Vacant Senior Center Becomes Housing For Senior Citizens
After a new senior center was built in Northborough, the previous building sat vacant. The Northborough Affordable Housing Corporation saw this vacancy as the perfect opportunity to invest CPA funds for affordable housing for the community’s senior citizens.