Olmsted County is one of Minnesota's fastest growing areas. Growth increases the pressure on natural habitats and the demand for recreational facilities. The Olmsted County Board of Commissioners has directed the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department to draft an "open space" plan. For purposes of this plan, "open space" is defined as an area that is managed in its natural state or used for outdoor recreation and is free from intensive development for residential, commercial, industrial, or institutional use.
This plan will cohesively document existing open space policies found in the components of the County's Comprehensive Plan, map natural and environmentally sensitive areas found throughout the County, relate those areas to existing public and private landholdings, and provide a toolbox for their conservation or acquisition as funding becomes available. Private sportsmen's and environmental organizations may also find this plan useful to target their efforts and support applications for grant monies.
Thanks to all of the Olmsted County residents who responded to the online Open Space Survey! The results are currently being tabulated and analyzed. Check back to this site periodically to review presentation materials and survey results as well as find out dates for upcoming public meetings.