Open Space Advisory Committee

  • open space pics

Open Space Advisory Committee Members
  • Tom Denny, Chair
  • Jennifer Hunt Dempsey
  • Ed Lindner
  • John McMahon
  • Dave Miller
  • Maureen Roberts
  • Steve Samuells
Current Projects - Updating the Open Space Plan

“Continuing development within the City has demonstrated a compelling and ongoing need to acquire, improve, preserve, protect, maintain the availability of, and improve the City's remaining natural areas, wetlands, trails, watershed protection land, farm land, stream and other green-way corridors, historical and archaeological sites and areas, significant habitats and ecologically important areas, geological landmarks, public access areas and other similar such open land for active and passive park and recreational facilities, and preserve open areas, to enhance the general quality of life and the environment of the City, and thereby benefit the residents and taxpayers of the City.” Saratoga Springs City Code Chapter 110-2 Legislative Intent

Nearly two decades old, the 2002 Open Space Plan provided a blueprint and tools for furthering the communities vision of the “City in the County.” It included recommendations and criteria for the expenditure of Open Space Bond funds when the City pursued the acquisition of ownership, rights, or interests in land and improvements for active and passive parks and recreational purposes, and preservation of open areas. In the past eighteen years, the City has preserved the Pitney Farm, purchased the Waterfront Park, lands along Loughberry Lake, and land along the Kayerdeross currently used by local kayakers and anglers to access the creek – all priorities set in 2002. It is time for the City to again redefine the future vision for preservation and conservation of open areas and set priorities for the next five years, as required by City Charter.

The update of the Open Space Plan will be overseen by a Steering Committee that will liaison with the City’s consultant, MJ Engineering who was hired to create the plan and a GIS-based analysis tool as well as the Open Space Advisory Committee. Membership consists of a nine-person Steering Committee, with the balance of the membership serving on subcommittees. The Administrator of Parks, Open Lands, Historic Preservation, and Sustainability will chair the committee. The other memberships shall include representatives from the following: three (3) members of the Open Space Advisory Committee, (1) Saratoga PLAN, (1) City Center Board, (1) Saratoga Springs School District, (1) Saratoga Spa State Park and (1) Saratoga Springs Recreation Commission. Additionally, members of the City’s consulting firm, MJ Engineering, will participate as needed.

A dedicated project website has been created to keep the community informed of the update process, ongoing public engagement opportunities, and to provide ongoing information about the effort. Please visit the project website at to stay up to date on the project and share your thoughts and ideas. 

Open Space Planning Documents and Presentations


Past Projects

Natural Resource Inventory

The City of Saratoga Springs received grant funding through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to complete a Natural Resource Inventory. Funding was provided in part by Title 15 of the Environmental Protection Fund through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Smart Communities Program with matching funds were provided by the City of Saratoga Springs and volunteer time.

The inventory was developed over two years through a team effort, led by City staff, the Open Space Advisory Committee, and LaBella Associates, the City’s professional consultants. Key contributors include local scientists and resource management experts, members of the City’s Open Space Advisory Committee and Climate Smart Task Force, faculty and staff from Skidmore College, graduate students from the University of Albany, and public input at various stages of the process.

NRI's are composed of listing and descriptions of naturally occurring resources in a community and generally include:
  • Maps showing the location and extent of important resources such as groundwater resources, farmlands, significant wildlife habitat, and other related items.
  • A database of information providing the factual basis for resource management and land use decisions.
  • A narrative summary which describes the NRI goals, summarizes the findings of the inventory, and details the methods used to evaluate the results.
The NRI is the first step to determine the baseline for updating the 2002 Open Space Resource Plan as well as the future creation of a Climate Resiliency and Vulnerability Assessment.

NRI Final Materials:    

NRI Final

NRI Public Workshop 1/31/2019 Presentation:

NRI Public Workshop - 1/31/2019