Open Space Numbers Continue to Grow in Chesco

Posted April 18, 2024


Each year Chester County increases its amount of protected open space. In 2021, the county had over 30% of its land as protected open space, and as of December 31, 2023, there have been 4,000 acres added since then. The Chester County Planning Commission tracks the amount of new protected open space each year through the Protected Open Space Tracking system, or POST. This year's POST report was presented by CCPC's Senior Demographer, Jake Michael!

According to Michael, the 2023 POST shows that 151,000 acres of protected open space, or 31.1% of the county, is now protected. Overall, there were an estimated 1,540 acres of open space protected in 2023, making it a typical annual increase compared to recent years.

Additionally, county funded agricultural conservation easements accounted for 425 acres of protected open space in 2023, which is lower than the typical annual accumulation over the last 10 years. Land trusts preserved 15 acres in-fee and 254 acres through conservation easements, which is a modest amount relative to recent years. Homeowners' associations, or HOAs, protected over 570 acres of open space in 2023, which varies depending on the amount of development occurring that clusters homes and preserves open space.

And finally, the bulk of parklands added in 2023 were recreational facilities established by municipalities, accounting for 193 acres of open space, which is more than usual.

Learn more about Chester County's 2023 POST report.