protect york’s resources.
York County is located in a beautiful region that attracts people for its lush, rolling hills, proximity to undisrupted nature, strong agricultural heritage, welcoming community and quality of life.
So much of what makes York County attractive needs to be protected for the future generations. Open spaces are an important part of keeping the County beautiful and economically viable, and plays a key role in keeping its residents healthy.
What are open spaces and why should they be protected?
Open space is publicly or privately-owned land and water that is:
Providing areas for passive or active public recreation (parks and trails)
Privately owned agricultural land managed for food and fiber production
Predominately in a natural state
Protecting natural or historic resources (water, air, soil, minerals, forests, wildlife)
Preserving scenic quality and maintaining community character
Today, only 12% of York County is protected open space.
Did you know that open spaces also contribute to the overall wellbeing of our environment?
For every acre of land protected, you…
Protect drinking water supplies
Recharge groundwater and aquifers
Provide recreational and aesthetic values
Provide habitat for wildlife
Absorb air pollution
Cool urban communities in the summer
Help water quality through natural filtration
Ensure generations of farmers
York County has a goal to protect 2,500 acres annually. Since 2009, we’ve been missing the mark on protecting our open lands to keep up with quality of life.
See how York County is currently protected with our interactive map.
York County is comprised of 583,040 acres. Of that, 71,555 acres are currently protected. There are approximately 85,000 additional acres that are worthy of protection.
These efforts started in the 1950s through state park dedications. Land protection continued through the 1990s with county park dedications and agricultural and natural lands protection.
Communities that prioritize protecting open spaces and agricultural lands:
Boost small businesses
Attract retirees and families
Have a more robust tourism industry
Have access to fresh, local foods
Strengthen the natural environment
Benefit from additional tax revenue with decreased cost of public services
Land is a finite resource and efforts to protect open space are essential to maintaining and improving the quality of life, health and economic opportunities for the citizens of York County, now and for future generations.
Taking Better Care of York County
The goal of the York County Land Protection Strategy is to create a long-term viable funding stream to protect and preserve land through purchases or permanent easements.
A stable and predictable funding source should be used to create a coordinated and connected landscape by preserving our agricultural economy, providing land for recreation, preserving natural habitats and protecting our waterways.