This web page provides mapping, data sheets, and other information and resources that document the various types of open space protected in Chester County. If you are a municipality that wants to apply for a County funded grant to create parks or trails, or you are a farmer interested in applying for a grant to protect farmland, you should contact the Chester County Department of Open Space Preservation.
Each year the Planning Commission contacts each municipality and all the non-profit land trusts and asks them to submit information on parcels of land that have been protected in the past year. To submit this information, you should go to web page for the Protected Open Space System (POST) located here.
You can click on the following links to answer frequently asked questions about our protected open space in Chester County:
An interactive map of protected open spaces in Chester County can be viewed by clicking on the icons below. These maps will allow you to zoom in on a parcel of land. If you click on the parcel, a pop up box will appear giving you basic information on the parcel and how it is protected. These interactive maps were built using the latest technology, and as a result some older browsers may not support this new technology.The maps work best when viewed on a computer or device that uses Internet Explorer 9+, Mozilla Firefox 4+, Google Chrome 7+, or Apple Safari.
To get detailed information about a parcel you may contact the Chester County Recorder of Deeds and provide them with the parcel number of the property you wish to investigate. The Recorder of Deeds will also be able to help you locate a deed, and determine if it is protected by a land conservation easement.
The map of all the protected open spaces within Chester County (shown below) can be viewed or downloaded here.
This map is a large sized file, so it may take a few minutes to download. This map is updated once a year in April, so there may be open spaces that have been protected since then that are not yet shown on this map. The Chester County Planning Commission defines Protected Open Space as "Land and water areas that have little or no development, are used for recreation or protecting cultural or natural resources, including productive agricultural soils; and are protected either permanently or on a long term basis."
The protected open space map above was made using a digital GIS program that uses shapefiles (.shp) for each feature on the above map. You can download protected open space GIS shapefiles here.
The shapefiles that are available to be downloaded are:
The database spreadsheets (shown below) list all of the parcels of protected land in Chester County that are included in the above map. These databases can be viewed or downloaded here.
These spreadsheets do not provide detailed information such as the land owner's name or address. To get detailed information about a parcel, you may contact the Chester County Recorder of Deeds and provide them with the parcel number of the property you wish to investigate.
These spreadsheets will also tell you if a land trust (like the Brandywine Conservancy or the Natural Lands Trust) holds a land conservation easement on a property. To find out more about a particular land trust you must contact them directly. Some of the land trusts who hold easements on properties in Chester County are:
Each year the Planning Commission estimates the amount of total protected open space within Chester County and compares it to estimates from the past ten years.The most recent Annual Protected Open Space report (shown below) can be viewed or downloaded here.
Chester County Planning Commission
Suite 270 PO Box 2747
601 Westtown Road
West Chester, PA 19380-0990