Following Up: Open Space Training for Municipalities
Posted June 18, 2023
With Chester County's population expected to increase by nearly 20% over the next few decades and ⅓ of the county's land still up for grabs, it's important that municipalities remain strategic when it comes to preserving open space and expanding park amenities.
Last month, the Chester County Planning Commission and Chester County Parks + Preservation held an Open Space Training session to provide municipalities with information about the tools they can use to effectively implement their open space policies and goals.
The event took place on May 31 at the Chester County Government Services Center and via Zoom, featuring a variety of engaging presenters who shared their expertise and experience, as well as answered questions from the audience.
Rachael Griffith, CCPC's Sustainability Director, and Dave Stauffer, Director of Chester County Parks + Preservation, opened the session by touching on the importance of open space and why it remains a high priority for Chester County.
Following their introduction, Senior Director of Landscape Planning at Natural Lands, Rick Tralies, along with Karen Nocella of the East Coventry Township Board of Supervisors, discussed the who and what of a Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan — "Who needs one, and what can one do for you?"
Next, Natural Lands' Landscape Planning Designer, Nick Upmeyer, and City of Coatesville's Manager, James Logan, discussed the park development process including everything from starting the plan, all the way up to its implementation.
East Goshen Township's Director of Parks and Recreation, Jason Lang, followed with some examples of successes and challenges of trail development in East Goshen; and John Goodall of the Brandywine Conservancy, along with Sam Goodley of East Nottingham Township's Board of Supervisors, discussed how to leverage outside funding with a local open space tax using East Nottingham Township as their reference.
Lastly, Shane Hadden of Honey Brook Township's Open Space Committee focused on the ways to implement the vision of these open space goals and policies by establishing effective open space committees.
Overall, it was a great turnout which exhibits not only the importance of parks and open space preservation in Chester County, but also the passion and excitement.
In addition to the Open Space Training, CCPC has a variety of open space resources available online such as an interactive map of the preserved open space in Chester County, an inventory of the various tools municipalities are using to protect open space, a Conservation Subdivision Design Guide, and other helpful resources. Check them out.
For questions about how your municipality could advance its open space preservation goals, please contact ccObfuscationplanning@Obfuscationchesco.org. Additionally, all questions about parks and open space funding can be directed to pObfuscationarkspres@Obfuscationchesco.org.