Listening sessions for Douglas County’s Open Space Plan scheduled for late next week

photo by: Kim Callahan/Journal-World

The Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., is pictured Friday, May 27, 2022.

As a plan for preserving Douglas County’s natural spaces continues to take shape, members of the public will soon have a couple of chances to learn more about the planning process at a pair of community meetings.

The project team working on Douglas County’s Open Space Plan will host those meetings late next week. On Thursday, June 8, folks interested in learning more and giving feedback can attend a session at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Another meeting is set for Friday, June 9, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Lone Star Lake Community Building, 665 East 665 Road.

The plan, once complete, is intended to protect shared community values and county character, identify voluntary land management options and partnerships and foster appreciation and access to nature for future generations. According to a timeline on the county’s website, the plan is currently in the “community visioning” stage. That includes launching a dedicated webpage for the project and inviting county residents to get involved in the planning process.

It’ll still be a while yet before the current project phase is complete and a draft version of the plan will be ready to view, though. Community visioning is supposed to continue through July, after which the actual plan drafting process is set to begin. According to the project timeline, that’s when the project team will begin analyzing the public input it gathers between now and July and present a draft version of the plan for community comment both online and in-person. Drafting could continue through January of next year, and it could take until May for county leaders to adopt the plan in its final form.

As the Journal-World reported, there are more options to participate in the planning process than just attending one of the two public meetings set for next week. In the meantime, community members can also complete a quick survey, call a toll-free 24/7 hotline at 785-236-7415 or participate in a photo challenge.


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