Natural Areas Plan
The purpose of this planning work was to establish a comprehensive approach to natural resource protection efforts in the Town of Topsham. Our team worked with Town staff and a volunteer committee to gather and map data to generate an inventory of natural resources within the community. Based on this inventory, our team analyzed the information to assess the function of the natural resources and gathered input to discern community values about natural resources and their protection. Based on this work, the Town developed a common resource vision with supporting goals, policy recommendations, and management strategies.
Natural Resource Data
Six natural resource inventory maps were created by synthesizing the best publicly available natural resource data. Each map includes a block equivalent in area to 100 acres to provide a general size scale to the viewer and contains a legend that provides a key to the resources represented.
Gathering Community Input
The six maps were combined to create the matrix, identifying areas in the community with the heigh values for natural resource protection. Our team conducted public meetings, in which attendees were invited to identify how the town should spend a grant of $10,000 among protecting any of the six inventory areas. This allowed us to weight the data layers based on community input.
Focus Areas for Conservation
The final map is based on the results of the community-based rating of all six inventory areas. The map identifies important areas of Topsham to serve as the focus of future conservation efforts.