Open spaces plan highlights Dartmouth’s outdoor priorities

Jan 17, 2023

Representatives from the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD) held the organization’s final public workshop on its open space and recreation plan for Dartmouth on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

The meeting, which was attended by only a small handful of residents, outlined the draft plan whose broad scope encompasses priorities for everything from land conservation to recreational facilities.

The presentation also included a summary of the results of a survey conducted by SRPEDD asking town residents about their own priorities, to better tailor recommendations to the town’s needs.

The results showed an interest in creating an ice rink, pickleball courts, a skatepark, more dedicated bike lanes, and a public swimming pool, among many other projects.

The survey also concluded that Dartmouth teenagers had the lowest satisfaction with the town’s age-appropriate recreational offerings of any age group.

On the subject of natural resource preservation, the survey showed that Dartmouth residents were most concerned about water supply protection.

Once finalized, the open spaces and recreation plan will be incorporated into the town’s new master plan which is expected to be completed early this year, according to Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes, who attended the meeting.

MacInnes said that the town will look to require its various departments to review the master plan — and by extension the open spaces plan — quarterly to ensure that its recommendations are being prioritized.

Helen Zincavage, the manager of environmental programs for SRPEDD who led the meeting, said that a full draft of the open spaces plan will be made available online in the coming days, where residents will be able to submit their comments or concerns before it is finalized next month.

To view the plan, starting on Jan. 20, visit The public comment period will close on Feb. 15.