Newton is seeking public comment on a proposed 2020-2027 Open Space and Recreation Plan that outlines efforts to preserve and protect the city’s remaining natural resources.
The proposed plan, which would update a previous version, places a greater emphasis on climate change and the challenges that it will bring to Newton, according to a draft posted on the city website.
“Protecting, stewarding, and connecting Newton’s natural areas and recreation spaces, with climate change in mind, can bolster the resilience of valued green spaces and ensure that open space continues to benefit the city by improving air quality, intercepting stormwater, regulating surface temperatures, and encouraging bicycle and pedestrian use,” the draft plan states.
To address climate change, the city also has created a Climate Action Plan that calls for Newton to become carbon-neutral by 2050, and a Climate Change Vulnerability and Assessment Action Plan to identify and develop a mitigation plan for rising temperatures and flood risks threatening Newton, the plan says.
The proposal calls for specific steps such as park improvements and trail creation. It also recommends strengthening public-private partnerships, “creative” funding strategies, and reconsidering department managerial jurisdictions.
“There is continued diligence to protect the remaining open space resources in the community, including pursuing the acquisition of more open space, but there is also a great desire on the part of the community to improve the stewardship of both active and passive recreation areas,” the draft open space and recreation plan said.
The public comment period for the plan ends on Thursday, May 14, according to a statement from Mayor Ruthanne Fuller. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the city’s Planning and Development Department, once all the comments have been addressed and incorporated into the final draft, it will be forwarded to the state and the full City Council for review and approval.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.