November 6: Public Forum on Green Space Planning in Ward 3

The Ward 3 Neighborhood Association and Smith College Landscape Studies Department announce:

Public Forum on Green Space Planning in Ward 3

Saturday, November 6
9 AM to 12 PM
at Bridge Street School

Hosted by the Ward 3 Neighborhood Association and Smith College Landscape Studies Department.

Ever think about what gives Ward 3 its special character? Do you wonder how future development will affect woodlots, wetlands or farms? Do you wish there were more parks in the neighborhood or different kinds? Then come to a public forum about greenspace planning in Ward 3 on November 6 from 9 AM to Noon in the Bridge Street School Cafeteria.

The Public Forum is the culmination of an eight-month collaboration between the Ward 3 Neighborhood Association and Smith College professors and students. The forum will present results from a recent survey of neighborhood residents. It will also follow an intensive weeklong field investigation of the neighborhood by Smith College Students. During the first week of November, a team of students from Smith will be visiting Ward 3 to investigate green space within the neighborhood. They’ll be canvassing the neighborhood to learn about how residents use greenspace including yards, parks, woodlots, farm fields, the cemetery, etc. At the forum they will present the results of their study and engage participants in thinking about how green space in the neighborhood can be safeguarded and improved.

This greenspace planning is part of a long-term project spearheaded by the Ward 3 Neighborhood Association that aims to give neighborhood residents a stronger voice in city planning issues.

See also:

Ward 3 Open Space Survey Results

Here are the top five responses to Question 7 (among the 94 respondents who answered the question correctly):

If you could tell the City three things that we needed in Ward 3 that would make it better from an open space and recreation point of view, which of the following would you choose to say?

  1. We need to conserve as much farm land and agricultural soil as we can
  2. The tree-lined streets are an important part of the Ward 3 experience and should be maintained and replanted when needed
  3. The wooded areas should be protected because they provide natural play space for kids, habitat for wildlife, and give Ward 3 character
  4. Protect the remaining wetlands in Ward 3
  5. We need 2 or 3 small (less than an acre) neighborhood parks to promote walking and livability

Videos: Three County Fairgrounds Goes Before Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board (10/30/10)
The latter portion of the Planning Board video shows Planning Director Wayne Feiden giving a brisk presentation of Northampton’s new Open Space, Recreation, and Multi-Use Trail Plan (see related documents), which the Planning Board then endorses.

Video: Wayne Feiden Presents Draft 2011-2017 Open Space, Recreation & Multi-Use Trail Plan
Wayne Feiden, Director of Northampton’s Office of Planning and Development, presented highlights from a draft of the 2011-2017 Open Space, Recreation & Multi-Use Trail Plan (PDF, 237 pages, 5MB) to the public at Northampton High School’s Little Theater last night. Here is a complete video of the presentation and discussion (1 hour 20 minutes)…

This chart from page 21 of the draft Open Space Plan shows that developable acres in the denser urban districts (URB and URC) are limited as compared with Rural Residential and Suburban Residential.

An Open Letter from Residents of Edwards Square to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish (10/13/10)
We welcome the consolidation of churches into the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish and look forward to seeing the church grow. However, we have some concerns about the proposed demolition and site plan for the parish hall. In particular…

  • The existing stand of twenty 100+ year old historical trees is one of the largest and most prominent in our downtown setting. Their removal will forever change the way our downtown looks, from a variety of perspectives.
  • There will be a significant loss of green space, especially given recent accolades for being the most progressive town in the state with regards to Land Use (see recent Republican article)…

Video: Chamber Presents “Rezoning King Street” to Planning Board (6/13/10)
Potential areas of controversy include… Reducing the setbacks between commercial areas and residential neighborhoods… Stormwater management problems caused by an increase in impervious surface

Topographical Map Shows How Kohl Condo Proposal Will Eat Into a Rare Stand of Mature Trees in Downtown

Photo Essay: 10 Reasons People Like Trees Around Them; Will the Sustainable Northampton Plan Put Urban Trees at Risk?

UMass Press: “Natural Land: Preserving and Funding Open Space”
Protecting open space is often about protecting what makes a community special and unique… At the small-town or village scale, a forested hillside or surrounding farmland helps create a unique sense of place. Furthermore, preserving open space helps to create distinct edges that stop the blurring of community boundaries that is characteristic of urban sprawl. Defining what is unique about one’s community and identifying places that are special to local residents is an important part of the overall planning process (Hester 1990)…

Bay State Village Visioning Project: Survey Results