Open Space

Open space includes all unbuilt areas, whether publicly or privately owned, protected or unprotected. Open space lands can include forests, grasslands, farms, streams and parks. Permanently protecting and preserving open space can provide social, economic, and environmental benefits to a community.

“Some communities protect open space as a way to guide growth and avert the costs of urban and suburban sprawl. In others, new parks have invigorated downtown businesses and neighborhood economies. Some communities work to conserve economically important landscapes, such as watersheds and farmland, or they preserve open space as a way to attract tourists and new business. And many communities are learning that conserved open space contributes to the quality of life and community character that supports economic well-being. Too many community leaders feel they must choose between economic growth and open space protection. But no such choice is necessary. Open space protection is good for a community’s health, stability, beauty, and quality of life. It is also good for the bottom line.”

Read More:
Economic Benefits of Open Space, by Will Rogers, President Trust for Public Land

Benefits of Open Space Preservation

Open space preservation helps communities grow smart, preventing the higher costs of unplanned development. Water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems and for human survival itself.

The failure to protect the environment will lead to the depletion of important resources, which later affects economic growth.

The Preservation Collective supports the efforts by State and local government working with conservation organizations and willing landowners to connect networks of open space across municipal boundaries to preserve large corridors of ecologically significant and sensitive areas.

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What Can You Do?

Residents need to talk to public officials to learn more about community growth planning and what protective measures are in place to preserve important resources. In New York State, local governments have broad authority for pursuing policy actions to protect their conservation priorities.

Read More:
Preserving Orange County NY through Conservation Easements
Conservation Planning in the Hudson River Estuary Watershed

Large landowners could also consider protecting sensitive areas on their property from further development. Land donated to a land trust or placed under a conservation easement is among the most meaningful legacies a person can leave to future generations. Communities across the country are enjoying nature preserves, recreation areas, and other open space today because of the foresight and generosity of landowners who have gifted land for public benefit. Conservation easements can also be used to protect land while allowing owners to retain important private property rights, maintain traditional land uses, like farming, and secure potential tax benefits or income.