Why Open Spaces

Land is valuable. For some lands, the value is realized by development; other lands are more valuable in their natural state. A balance between developed lands and the various types of open space is important to maximize these values for the Mid-Columbia region. Thoughtful development can maximize direct economic return while maintaining other values that support livable communities, enhance the quality of life that attracts and retains people and businesses, “brands” this area to potential visitors and investors, and protects our environment and wildlife.

Open space has significant economic benefits, provides ecosystem services (resources and processes supplied by natural ecosystems) for the region, protects wildlife, can have a dramatic positive impact on health, wellness, and quality of life, defines our area, and provides other benefits.

For a detailed description of the benefits of open space, visit The Plan page above where The RROSN Vision Plan is located.


Economic Benefits

  1. Conserving open space is essential to building and maintaining economic health.

  2. Open space increases adjacent land values.

  3. Open space is key to attracting tourists.

  4. Open space requires minimal public services.

Tridec Quality of Life Study Feb 1994

baby carriage and dog

Ecosystem Services and Wildlife Benefits

  1. Open lands help control floods.

  2. Open lands help protect water quality.

  3. Air quality is enhanced.

  4. Open space provides wildlife habitat and corridors and helps sustain fisheries.


Health and Recreation Benefits

  1. Accessible open space and trails can play a role in reducing obesity and improving the health of Mid-Columbia residents.

  2. Trails and open space can reduce health care costs.

  3. Open space reduces stress and improves mental and spiritual health.

  4. Open space provides recreational benefits accessible to all.


Other Benefits of Open Space

  1. Open space maintains the Mid-Columbia’s sense of place.

  2. Natural spaces are important educational resources.

  3. Open spaces contain cultural, historic, and geologic values.


class at amon 1