The purpose of this project is to create an Open Space Plan for the City of Portsmouth, NH to improve public access to, increase use and stewardship of, and improve connectivity between open space assets city-wide. The Plan will support the Master Plan goal of managing existing and acquiring additional open spaces for passive recreation and environmental preservation. The Plan will build on the comprehensive Public Undeveloped Lands Assessment (PULA), identify and prioritize additional undeveloped land for protection, provide land stewardship guidance for existing open space lands, and work to identify opportunities to expand connectivity between open space assets, neighborhoods and trails. The Plan should also consider integration of climate resiliency objectives as they relate to open space.
Previous related studies have inventoried undeveloped lands in the City for the purpose of establishing a baseline from which to determine priority areas to preserve, provide public access, and acquire for any recreational or preservation purpose; planning to address insufficient supply and condition of indoor and outdoor recreation fields (2010 Recreation Needs Study); or addressing the needs of significant large publicly-owned parcels (2015 Sagamore Creek Land Report and 2017 Prescott Park Master Plan).
This plan will establish a City-wide strategy for land protection and preservation; plan for establishing new or formalizing existing access to passive recreational areas and balancing public access and types of uses with sustainable management practices; formalizing links to and between these assets to ensure access from residential and work place areas citywide. The Plan will guide and prioritize capital investments and identify funding opportunities including public/private partnerships and will be a tool for coordinating city-wide projects, policies, and programs related to open space and recreation.
The City has contracted with Resilience Planning & Design, LLC to develop the Open Space Plan.