By the end of 2015, 26.7% of the county, or 129,720 acres, was permanently protected open space. This land area is nearly 30% greater than the size of Philadelphia.
Nearly $61 million in annual cost savings is provided by the ability of protected open space to naturally filter pollutants and replenish water supply in southeastern Pennsylvania.
The pace of development has slowed. Between 2005 and 2015, 1,143 acres were developed each year. In the prior ten years, the figure was 2,739 acres per year.
By the end of 2015, approximately 53% (68,418 acres) of the county's preserved land was in active agricultural use. This includes farmland preserved by the Agricultural Land Preservation Board and land trusts and/or conservancies.
A preserved farm in East Vincent Township
Nearly 1/4 of the county (119,000 acres) remains in unprotected parcels 10 acres or larger. These parcels may remain unchanged or become available for open space preservation or new development.
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