By Steven Hoffman, Chester County Press, 5/07/2019
Last week, Chester County officials and the region’s leading land conservation and economic development partners unveiled a new study on the economic benefits of the county’s efforts to preserve open space.
The study, “Return on Environment: The Economic Value of Protected Open Space in Chester County,” coincides with the 30th anniversary of the county’s open-space preservation efforts. In November of 1989, Chester County voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot referendum that allocated resources for open space preservation. The funding has continued ever since. When Chester County launched its open space preservation program in 1989, it was the first county in the region to formally set aside funds for an open space preservation program based on the economic, environmental, and public health benefits that open space preservation provides.
Back in late 1980s, the county was experiencing strong commercial and residential growth, prompting fears of suburban sprawl, and all the societal issues that come with it. Since that time, county officials, as well as land conservation groups throughout the area, have consistently supported preservation efforts. The study outlined what the 30 years of commitment has produced, and the results are impressive…
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