Boston Parks and Recreation Department Open Space Plan Comment Period Now Open

Special to the Times-Free Press

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department (BPRD) has announced the opening of the comment period for the public to provide feedback on the 2023-2029 Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP). The plan offers a framework for open space protection and expansion in response to city growth and recreational needs. 

The draft plan and comment form are available at for public review.  Copies of the draft are also available at the central Boston Public Library in Copley Square and Boston Parks and Recreation Department headquarters at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue. Comments will be accepted via the online form until May 21, 2023.

The OSRP is a wide-ranging document, updated every seven years, that provides a comprehensive property inventory of all public open space, regardless of ownership, and analyzes those spaces to understand how they are meeting the open space needs of city residents. 

The Parks Department assessed the current open space system through data analysis, research, mapping and public input. The plan integrates the work of a complementary Parks Department planning project, the Parcel Priority Plan, which identifies the potential open space value of parcels throughout the city to consider for open space protection of acquisition. 

The OSRP analysis leads to a set of goals and a Seven-Year Action Plan that will guide the City’s parks-related work heading towards 2030. The plan will inform investment, programming, operations, citywide initiatives, and evaluation of ongoing policy work. 

Analysis of distribution and access to park land and features provides a picture of where investments and park improvements, or expansion, are needed. Public input provides direction on open space needs and priorities which will be incorporated into future park improvement projects as well as management considerations. 

Because parks and open spaces are central to the future health, resilience and livability of Boston, the OSRP complements the Climate Ready Boston reports, the Urban Forest Plan, and the Climate Action Plan. These planning efforts share fundamental objectives to improve quality of life while preparing for climate change. 

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