Governor Romney merges the former MDC into a new Department of Conservation and Recreation

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s proposal to eliminate the Metropolitan District Commission has been accepted by the Legislature and signed into law as part of the fiscal Year 2004 budget. However, the Metropolitan Park Commission’s spirit lives on. A new Department of Conservation and Recreation has been created in the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. It incorporates the former Department of Environmental Management (which includes the office of our friend and woolly adelgid expert Charlie Burnham) along with the former MDC. Each of the former departments now becomes a Bureau with one set of administrative offices for both. The original Metropolitan Park Commission which evolved into the Metropolitan District Commission by adding functions will be the Urban Parks and Recreation Bureau. Although not necessarily the ideal solution, it nevertheless preserves the identity of the
Metropolitan Parks System conceived by Charles Eliot.

The Charles River Conservancy has made available a detailed commentary on the matter.