About Us


The mission of the Open Space Preservation Department is to administer funds and preserve land for public benefit, operate in a manner that maximizes transparency, and provide technical assistance and information services.

We use funds allocated by the County Commissioners to help keep farmers on the land, provide safe and accessible places for children and families to play, and protect the woods and wildlife that make Chester County special.

Goals & Objectives

The primary Department goals are to:
  • Provide the citizens with open space in the form of farms, preserves, parks, and trails so that the character and quality of life in Chester County is maintained.
  • Make sure that the land protected with County funds remains properly maintained.
  • Help owners of preserved land to be ideal land managers and stewards.

The primary Department objectives are to:
  • Provide funding recommendations to the Commissioners.
  • Promote partnerships with public and private organizations to stretch County dollars.
  • Share information about parks and preserves so the public can locate and enjoy them.
  • Post maps, spreadsheets, and reports online so the public can keep track of funds spent, view program guidelines, and learn about the benefits of open space preservation.
  • Monitor land preserved with County funds

Our Programs

Agricultural Preservation Programs

The Chester County Commissioners have authorized the Agricultural Land Preservation Board (ALPB) to implement the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program and the Chester County Challenge Grant Program. Through each program, the County seeks to permanently preserve agricultural land by purchasing farmland preservation easements. These programs are structured to work with conservation partners from the Commonwealth and municipalities, as well as with landowners and other private funding sources.

Municipal Park and Open Space Acquisition and Development Program

This grant program offers grant funds to municipalities and land-owning municipal recreation authorities to buy land to support parks, trails and greenways. Grants are also offered for the construction of parks and trails. Projects must provide public benefit and allow public access. To be eligible to receive a grant, municipalities must have an adopted Open Space, Recreation and Environmental Resources Plan and be a land use planning partner with the Chester County Planning Commission.

Conservancy Program (Preservation Partnership Program)

The Preservation Partnership Program (PPP) provides funding to nonprofit conservation organizations and land trusts for land preservation projects. To be eligible for funding, organizations must be classified by the United States Internal Revenue Service as private nonprofit organizations, be incorporated for at least 5 years, and have land preservation as a primary part of their mission.