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 2013, over 7,100 acres - or 22% - of land in Essex County was deemed "protected". This was about the same as the state rate of 24% in the same year. Within Essex County, Newbury had the greatest percentage of land protected, at 47%, followed by 45% in Ipswich. Lawrence and Methuen had the lowest percentages, at 5% and 2%, respectively.
How do we compare to similar counties?
Middlesex, MA, at 19%, had a lower percentage of protected lands than Essex County in 2013.
Notes about the data