What does this measure?
The percentage of acreage in Essex County that is classified as "Protected" under the Massachusetts Land Protection Program.
Why is this important?
Designating an area as "protected" places restrictions on land use that enables the continued development of a diverse wildlife and nature habitat while still providing access for the public to use and enjoy.
How is our county doing?
In 2019, over 77,400 acres - or 24% - of land in Essex County was deemed "protected". This was slightly lower than the state rate of 26% in the same year. Within Essex County, Ipswich and Newbury had the greatest percentage of land protected, at 49%, followed by 41% in Hamilton. Lawrence and Methuen had the lowest percentages, at 6% and 3%, respectively.
How do we compare to similar counties?
Middlesex, MA, at 20%, had a lower percentage of protected lands than Essex County in 2019.
Notes about the data