Community
Open Space in Westchester County

Using the charts: Items in the legend below the chart can be clicked on and off to aid in analysis. The chart can also be printed or exported as an image or document using the menu at the top right of the chart. See a Guide to the Westchester Index Website for more information.





Source: Westchester County Department of Planning

What does this measure?

The Westchester County Planning Department tracks various categories of open space within the County. Figures are presented here in square miles. This data set includes permanently protected lands (e.g., local, county and state parkland, nature preserves and cemeteries) as well as lands that are not permanently protected, but contribute to open space character (e.g., private recreation sites, farms, public buildings, water supply lands, and land along utility lines).

Why is this important?

Open space refers to land that is either undeveloped or not intensely developed for residential, commercial, industrial or institutional uses. In addition to natural beauty, open space can provide important recreational, environmental and cultural benefits to communities. Westchester County's Planning Department inventoried and mapped open space in 2006 and developed an updated interactive map in 2022. The latter is part of an ongoing initiative to develop an updated inventory of open spaces, increase public awareness of them, and improve access to those open to the public.

How is Westchester County performing?

In 2022, the County inventoried about 760 square miles of permanently protected open space, up from 705 square miles in 2006. A little more than 1,000 square miles of land was not permanently protected but still contributed to open space character in 2022 (e.g., private recreation facilities, farms, land along utility lines). This was similar to the County's 2006 count. Water supply lands represented the single largest category, at nearly 350 square miles. County parks was the second largest, at nearly 300 square miles, followed by state parks, local parks, and private institutions.

The County recorded a net loss of about 60 square miles of farmland, stables or nurseries between 2006 and 2022. There also were decreases in private recreation sites and land for public institutions other than parks. The County gained permanently protected open space in state parks, nature preserves, and county and local parks. The County added a new category in 2022 for land held by homeowners' associations, which amounted to a little more than 75 square miles.

Notes about the data

Homeowners Associations and Common Lands is a new category added in 2022. The data set is a work in progress and Westchester County continues to make updates based on feedback from local governments and land trusts. There are no immediate plans for when a comprehensive update might be conducted. For more information, visit https://planning.westchestergov.com/initiatives/open-space.

Open Space in Square Miles
20062022
Cemeteries3233
County parks & parkway lands287292
Farms, stables & nurseries170110
Homeowners associations and common lands77
Local parks & open space150158
Nature preserves95111
Private institutions120148
Private recreation183144
Public institutions143116
Public non-park lands1332
State parks & parkway lands141166
Utilities & aqueducts4039
Water supply lands336341

Source: Westchester County Department of Planning
Notes: Land is measured in square miles.








INDICATORS TREND | WESTCHESTER
Early Prenatal Care, by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Infant Mortality Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels 0
Maintaining
Children Receiving Subsidized Child Care -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Disengaged Youth, Ages 16 to 19 -1
Decreasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Single Female-Headed Households 0
Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income 0
Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate 1
Increasing
Voter Participation Rate 1
Increasing
Serious Crimes -1
Decreasing
Victims of Domestic Violence -1
Decreasing
Arrest Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households With Internet Access, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households without Vehicles -1
Decreasing
Means of Transportation to Work, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Air Quality 1
Increasing
Population Density 0
Maintaining
Water Quality of the Long Island Sound 1
Increasing
Open Space in Westchester County 1
Increasing
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Change in Population, by Age -1
Decreasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
People 65 or Older Living Alone 1
Increasing
Change in Total Jobs -1
Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Average Salary by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0
Maintaining
Unemployment Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Seniors Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
Seniors Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Food Insecurity -1
Decreasing
Households Receiving SNAP, by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Public Assistance 0
Maintaining
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Rent Burdened Households -1
Decreasing
Homelessness, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Homelessness, by Sex 10 Not Applicable*
Per-Student Spending 0
Maintaining
Student Suspensions -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
College Enrollment Rate, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
People Without Health Insurance -1
Decreasing
Mortality Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Mortality Rate from Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Diabetes Mortality, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Suicide Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*


Loading...