Bucks County Planning Commission
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Bucks County Open Space Program
The Bucks County Open Space Program began as an initiative of the County Commissioners to protect the unique landscapes and resources that define the character of our communities. In May 1997, voters overwhelmingly approved a $59 million bond referendum to fund a ten-year program dedicated to the permanent preservation of farmland, parkland, and natural areas.
Since 19997, the Bucks County Open Space Program has been a success in both the quantity and quality of land protected. The County's investment of $59 million leveraged approximately $80 million in additional funding (primarily through state and local municipal matches) resulting in a total of $140 million dedicated to the preservation of more than 15,000 acres.
Realizing the continuing need for open space preservation, Bucks County Commissioners appointed a task force in August 2006 to formulate a plan for the next phase of the Open Space Program. Over a seven-month period, the task force evaluated current programming, identified new priorities, and developed recommendations for the future of the county';s program. In Fall 2007, 74 percent of Bucks County voters supported an $87 million bond issue to fund the following five components:
Protected Lands Map
Protected Lands Slide Show
2007 Open Space Task Force Report
Benefits of Land Conservation
Water Quality - wetlands and floodplains filter contaminants from water.
Flood Control - protected stream corridors absorb stormwater runoff.
Sustainable Agriculture - family farms offer locally-produced food.
Recreation - parks, trails, and natural areas for public enjoyment.
Lower Taxes - open space requires fewer community services than residential development.