How civil society groups work on issues impacting land-use

We are gathering information about civil society groups working in at local, regional, and state levels in Massachusetts on issues that impact land use decisions and management:


  • Where they are located
  • How they work on the issues (e.g., advocacy, planning, coordinating partnerships, managing land, provide funding, research)
  • What kinds of issues they work on

Complete our survey!

Civil society whose work impacts land-use and landscapes in Massachusetts

Organization Missions and Activities

Organization Networks and Collaborators

Who responded

Groups responding to the survey are located across the state (locations are based on organizational addresses).

    Groups responding to the survey work at different scales, ranging from local cities and towns to the state and region.

    The majority of our respondents were from groups that either had no paid staff or 1-5 paid staff. This could mean that the group capacity is either limited or dependent on volunteer hours. The “paid staff” designation included both full-time and part-time paid staff members.

    What we’ve learned so far

    Groups that completed the survey overwhelmingly express concern about conflicts over land-uses that arise because of different goals.

      Groups work on a variety of issues. We asked how much effort they put into these issues in their overall program. The issues we asked about were:

      • Climate Adaptation
      • Climate Mitigation
      • Energy Generation and Transmission
      • Equity, Diversity, and Racism
      • Food and Agriculture
      • Forest Management
      • Housing and Other Development
      • Open Space Protection
      • Public Health
      • Recreation
      • Urban Sustainability
      • Water Quality and Protection

      But groups also report varying levels of effort they give to particular issues that affect land-use, as shown by the following figures.

        Click on the thumbnail to enlarge map!

        Climate Adaption

        Climate Mitigation

        Energy Generation & Transportation

        Equity, Diversity and Anti-Racism

        Food Systems

        Forest Management

        Housing and Development

        Protecting Open Space

        Public Health


        Urban Sustainability

        Water Quality

        The responses also show the ways that groups link issues, by virtue of significant effort being placed on more than one issue. We identified groups that link and work on multiple issues.

        Next Steps

        We are creating publicly available online tools that will allow users to visualize and query data about civil society groups whose work interests with planning, management, and advocacy that impact land-use in Massachusetts. These issues include: energy generation and transmission, food and agriculture, forest management, housing and other development, open space protection, public health, recreation, urban sustainability, and water quality and protection.

        The databases and interactive maps are a resource for land managers, community organizations, non-profits, and the public to help strengthen capacity, advance sustainability and climate resilience goals, promote equity, promote engagement, and build more effective partnerships.

        We anticipate making these tools available during the winter of 2023.