Open Space & Recreation

Szot Park_Bemis

The Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) is a planning document developed by City residents and officials to inventory and assess the condition of open space, natural resources, parks, and other recreation facilities in the City of Chicopee.

Based on this assessment of conditions as well as input from the community, a set of goals and objectives are developed to outline a vision for the community relative to its parks and other open spaces.  Once approved, the OSRP guides parks and open space investments for seven (7) years. The current Chicopee OSRP was approved on May 13, 2015.

2022 OSRP Update - Community Survey

The Departments of Planning & Development and Parks & Recreation have launched the OSRP update planning process!  We need to hear your thoughts, ideas, and priorities for parks and open space throughout the City.  Please complete the following survey to inform the OSRP planning process.  Check this webpage regularly participate in further opportunities to get involved in this planning process.
Nash Field Playground

What is Open Space?

Per the Massachusetts Open Space and Recreation Planner's Workbook:
"The term 'open space' is often used to refer to conservation land, forested land, recreation land, agricultural land, corridor parks and amenities such as small parks, green buffers along roadways or any open area that is owned by an agency or organization dedicated to conservation. 

However, the term can also refer to undeveloped land with particular conservation or recreation interest. This includes vacant lots and brownfields that can be redeveloped into recreation areas. Some open space can be used for passive activities such as walking, hiking, and nature study while others are used for more active recreational uses including soccer, tennis, or baseball."

What is an Open Space and Recreation Plan?

An Open Space and Recreation plan is a seven (7) year plan developed by City residents and officials to inventory and assess the conditions of open space, natural resources, parks, and other recreational facilities within Chicopee by:

  • Identifying actions/investments that will protect and improve the community's open space resources by gaining community input;
  • Integrating many sources of data into one comprehensive picture of a community's open space; and
  • Educating residents about conservation and recreation issues while increasing awareness of local open space resources.

Current OSRP Goals and Objectives

Goal #1 - Recreational needs of all residents are met regardless of age, race, sex or ability.
  • 1-A:Existing facilities and recreational programs are maintained at a high standard,  including improvements and renovations as needed.
  • 1-B: Programs for residents with special needs are available.
  • 1-C: Recreational programs are coordinated with interested City Departments, agencies and non-profit groups.
  • 1-D: Access to parks and recreational programs is improved for all residents.
Goal #2 - Citizens are aware of the City's natural, cultural, and historic resources, and informed about their value to the commununity.
  • 2-A: Community character and natural resources are emphasized in educational programs.
  • 2-B: School children and the elderly are involved in environmental programs.
  • 2-C: There is active communication between City Departments about open space and recreational issues.
  • 2-D: Educational materials about the City's history and natural resources are available to the public.
Goal # 3 - The Connecticut and Chicopee Rivers are protected for their open space value and well-utilized as a recreational resource.
  • 3-A: Access to the Connecticut and Chicopee Rivers is available, and enhanced to protect the river bank and offer exceptional scenic vistas.
  • 3-B: Incentives are available to developers for incorporating open space conservation into project design and construction.
  • 3-C: Continue to coordinate with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and neighboring communities on regional strategies for restoration and protection.
Goal # 4 - The ecological integrity of wetlands, streams, ponds, floodplains, existing and potential aquifers, and groundwater recharge areas are protected.
  • 4-A:Local wetlands are considered for educational programming.
  • 4-B:Sources of water pollution are identified and abatement initiated where feasible.
  • 4-C:Wildlife habitat is protected enhanced, and expanded.
  • Brownfields and other environmentally degraded areas are assessed, cleaned up, and redeveloped in a way that supports the ecological integrity of the surrounding area. 
Goal # 5 - Urban agriculture is a vibrant part of the community and source of local, fresh food for residents.
  • 5-A: Local policies and regulations support farming in the community.
  • 5-B: Venues for locally grown and produced farm products are available year-round and accessible to residents.
  • 5-C: Community gardens exist throughout the city as a place for residents to grow food, support outdoor educational opportunities, and create healthy habitat for pollinators.