Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Conevery Bolton Valencius

Second Advisor

Julie P. Winch

Third Advisor

Monica Pelayo


When studying the history of the Massachusetts Bay Circuit concept two missions emerge: the preservation of open spaces and the protection of scenic and historic sites. The modern Bay Circuit Trail & Greenway and previous incarnations of the project merge these two seemingly distinct preservation initiatives within one conception. Massachusetts became the first to demonstrate the importance of combining open space conservation with historic preservation in a way that allows for various publics to enjoy natural and historic sceneries. This preservationist structure has, in turn, served as a model that has led to the creation of similar organizational structures and protectionist legislation. The focus of this thesis will remain exclusively on the Massachusetts Bay Circuit, the influence of the founding entities, and the evolution of this project over the decades. As one of the first greenways that now grace the nation, the Bay Circuit was at the forefront of open space planning, and an important part in the environmental protection initiatives of the metropolitan Boston Region.


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