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Posted on: February 15, 2022

City of Chicopee Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) Planning Process Initiated

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CHICOPEE, MA – Mayor John L. Vieau, announced that the City of Chicopee, through a collaboration between the Departments of Planning & Development and Parks & Recreation has initiated a planning process to update the City’s Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP).

The OSRP is a critically important planning document that details the community’s priorities for parks, open space, land conservation, active recreation, and passive recreation throughout the City’s public, open space network. Once adopted, this plan serves as a guide to prioritize park improvement projects over a seven (7) year period. Completion of this update is critical as the City’s eligibility for state grant programs is determined by an approved plan being on file with the Commonwealth. To review the current OSRP, please visit the following link or scan the QR code: https://chicopeema.gov/564/Open-Space.

Mayor Vieau noted that the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) will be assisting the collaborating Departments during the planning process. Vieau stated, “The Open Space plan will help establish a better picture of the parks and recreation priorities based upon the needs and interests of Chicopee’s residents. I encourage all residents to participate in this critical planning process by completing the survey and providing feedback.”

The foundation of the OSRP is data provided by City residents. The Departments of Planning & Conservation and Parks & Recreation with the help of PVPC will be dispersing surveys via hard copy, a flyer in the Electric Light bills, and online. Every Chicopee resident is urged to complete the survey available using the following link or by scanning the QR code (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZKG53Z7)

By documenting residents’ interests through the survey process, the City will be able to prioritize projects and develop grant proposals to state and federal programs. Parks Superintendent Benjamin Strepka noted, “Updating the Open Space and Recreation Plan every seven (7) years and gaining that additional funding is essential to improving Chicopee’s parks. It also it a great time for us to take a step back and plan for the future.” The updated OSRP will also link to other planning efforts including the City’s Comprehensive Plan – Envision Our Chicopee, 2040. Planning Director Lee Pouliot noted, “The update to the City’s OSRP is a valuable visioning exercise that will assist with building a parks network that is responsive to community needs and interests while ensuring the City addresses other challenges including funding, climate change, facility flexibility, and adaptation.”

Please note, the online version of the survey is also available in Spanish. Hard copies of the survey in Spanish or another language can be requested from the Planning Department by calling 413-594-1515.

Questions regarding the OSRP update process can be directed to the Planning Department at 413-594-1516.

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