Open Space

coverReturn on Environment

Protected open spaces provide substantial economic, environmental, and health benefits to surrounding communities, but these benefits are often overlooked or undervalued in policy debates and investment decisions. A better understanding of these benefits can demonstrate how protected open space contributes to economic development and fiscal stability and can reverse the common misconception that conserved undeveloped land is non-productive and non-revenue producing. Chester County partnered with the major land conservancies active in the county, as well as the Chester County Economic Development Council and Chester County Association of Township Officials to produce the Return on Environment report that estimates the economic impact of the county's protected open space. View Report

coverLinking Landscapes

This plan was adopted in 2002 as the open space element of Landcapes. Although the policies within Linking Landscapes have been updated and superseded by Landscapes3, it still contains useful analysis and background information. Copies of the entire document are available for review at each municipal office in Chester County, at the Chester County Planning Commission office, and at each of the 17 County public libraries. View Publication

coverPatriots Path: An Evaluation of Patriots Path Trail Opportunities in the Eastern Great Valley

This report was prepared in order to evaluate the overall viability of establishing a network of sidewalks pedestrian trails, and bicycle trails that could permit local residents and visiting tourists to walk from Valley Forge National Historic Park to the Paoli Massacre Site as well as locations that were visited by British, German/Hessian and Colonial Troops as part of the Battle of the Clouds. View Publication

coverTrail & Path Planning: A Guide for Municipalities

This guidebook is intended to assist municipalities that wish to address trails and paths in their comprehensive plan, official map and zoning and subdivision and land development ordinances. It can also be used by individuals who wish to learn more about how public trails and paths are planned and constructed by local governments. View Publication

coverOpen Space Planning: A Guide for Municipalities

This guidebook is intended to help municipalities conduct open space planning as part of their overall municipal comprehensive planning. View Publication

coverPlanning a Trails Network poster

Prepared June 2007 by the Chester County Planning Commission in partnership with Chester County Parks and Recreation, Chester County Health Department, and Activate Chester County. View Poster

coverLand Stewardship Guidebook

This guidebook is intended to inform landowners about the many options that are now available for protecting large heirloom properties. It also provides options for those landowners who wish to develop part or all of their land, but want to preserve as much open space as is feasible. View Publication