Archive 2008 - 2019

Got a Project? Community Preservation Funds Available in Holliston.

by Frank Chamberlain

The Community Preservation Act was passed by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2000 for the purpose of helping communities preserve open space, develop outdoor recreational facilities, create affordable housing and preserve historic resources. 

The Act focused on areas which Massachusetts residents frequently identified as important quality of life issues, but for which funding could be difficult to come by, particularly in tight budgetary times. 

It was felt that if a few dollars could be set aside on a regular basis to support these specific efforts, communities wouldn’t have to choose, for example, between plowing the streets and creating a new playground.

Holliston adopted CPA in 2002. 

Since then, we’ve used CPA funds to irrigate the fields at Stoddard Park and Damigella Field,

resurface the basketball and tennis courts at Goodwill Park,

purchase open space

and begin a management plan for Lake Winthrop. 

We’ve digitized Holliston’s vital records, making the information more accessible while preserving the original paper copies, many of which date back to 1800’s. 

And we’ve used CPA funds to help develop affordable housing, including Cutler Heights and support for the Holliston Housing Trust. 

Last fall, the town voted to support the purchase of the 32 acre Serocki property and the section of the rail trail from Blair Square to Hopping Brook Road, efforts which might not have been possible without CPA funds. 

So, who is eligible to apply for CPA funding? 

Any town board or committee, or not-for-profit organization involved in the creation or preservation of open or recreational space, affordable housing or preservation of historic resources within the Town of Holliston can apply. 

It’s the job of the CPC to guide applicants through the approval process and help them determine if a project is eligible for CPA funding.  An easy guide is shown below:

Of course, funds are not unlimited, and if the amounts requested exceed the amounts available, it’s the job of the CPC to make recommendations to the voters as to how funds should be allocated.

The Holliston Community Preservation Committee has also encouraged applicants over the years to leverage CPA funds with grant money or other forms of fundraising; sometimes CPA can be that “last dollar” that makes a project possible!

If you’d like more information about the Community Preservation Act in general, the best source is the Community Preservation Coalition (, a non-profit organization designed to help municipalities understand, adopt and implement CPA.  If you are interested in how CPA works in Holliston, or if your organization has a project you’d like to have us consider, please plan on joining us at an upcoming meeting. 

We’ll be meeting on a regular basis through most of February, starting next Tuesday night (2/03) in Room 14 at Town Hall, to consider proposals for recommendation to May Town Meeting.