The Land Use Committee compiled the Mendon Open Space and Recreation Plan 2013-2020. This document is used as guidance for the Land Use Committee and Community Preservation Act (CPA) projects. This plan is required for Mendon to be eligible to apply for many valuable state grants for open space and recreation. A paper copy of the plan is available at the Mendon Town Clerk's Office. It is also available on the Land Use Committee website page. It is over 80 pages of useful information on town land, open space, recreation, town history, demographic information, environmental inventory and analysis, goals for Mendon's open space and recreation planning and more.
The committee also works with groups to maintain the open space properties in Mendon. Groups the committee has collaborated with include the Mendon Boy Scouts, The Bay State Trail Riders Association, the Trustees of Reservations, the Mendon Town Forest Committee and the Mendon Conservation Committee. Projects have included trail clearing, establishing trail links, installing trail signage and the removal of invasive weeds on town properties.
The Land Use Committee submitted an application for Mendon to be designated a Green Community. On July 2011, Mendon was selected and designated a Green Community! Mendon has received $145,925 in grant funding for FY12 and $19,057 in FY14 for energy conservation and renewable energy projects. The Green Communities program has used no town funds, only the generous time of volunteers who worked to make Mendon a Green Community. As long as the Town of Mendon continues to reduce their energy consumption through energy efficiency measures, Mendon will be able to take advantage of the program for at a minimum of five years. The energy efficiency and renewable energy programs will save the town money, as well as reduce greenhouse gases.
Besides saving Mendon from purchasing new energy efficient furnaces, boilers, water heater and more, It is projected that Mendon will save $23,567 annually from all the energy efficiency projects implemented with the Green Communities grant funding. In 2013, the Land Use Committee hopes to add the schools and the new library building into the Green Communities program for further energy savings to help the environment and the town budget.
The Selectmen have appointed the Mendon Land Use Committee to serve in the capacity of the Energy Committee for the purposes of working on the Green Community program. Below are the five criteria that must be met to be a Green Community.
- As‐of‐Right Siting for Renewable Energy Facilities (R&D, Manufacturing and/or Generation)
- Expedited Permitting for Renewable Energy Facilities (R&D, Manufacturing and/or Generation)
- Energy Use Baseline Inventory and Reduction Plan
- Fuel Efficient Vehicles Purchasing Policy
- Energy Efficient Building Code/Stretch Code Adoption
Since Mendon is a Green Community, Mendon was eligible to apply to the 2012 Solarize Massachusetts program. The Land Use Committee submitted an application and was selected. Approximately 22 residents took advantage of this program and installed solar PV systems.
Another useful report is the 2007 Mendon Heritage Landscape Report which identifies landscapes and buildings in Mendon that have been identified as areas to preserved to maintain Mendon's history and rural landscape. The report also includes a "tool kit" to meet the goals in the report.
The Land Use Committee also lead the Founders' Park Preservation and Enhancement Project. Through the project funds were raised to landscape and refurbish the park to highlight the historical significance of the park. Founder’s Park is a historic one-acre park located on the corner of Route 16 and Main Street in Mendon. The Park was the site of the first three Mendon meetinghouses, the first one being built in 1668. It is also the site where 163 Mendon farmers and workers mustered in 1775 and then marched off to Lexington responding to the call from Benjamin Dawes and Paul Revere that the British were coming. The Land Use Committee has a fund (money from donations and grants, no town funds) to maintain the park's landscape.