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Great South Woods Project

At a Glance: Making Progress in our Public Process

Great South Woods Project

ESF's Great South Woods team would like to extend a sincere 'thank you' to everyone who attended one of our meetings, shared their knowledge and ideas, and supported our project via outreach and word-of-mouth. The wealth of information that we have collected to date would not have been possible without the engagement of over 200 individuals from across the region.

Our regional planning process is just beginning. Below is a brief summary of our progress thus far, with maps and graphical summaries of public participation, the types of information gathered, and the communities and recreation destinations that have been discussed.

Next Steps

Our ESF team continues to incorporate the workshop data into our digital map inventory (or Geographic Information System – GIS). We will meet with DEC Forest Rangers and planners to validate this data, and to ensure that we have accurately represented their knowledge in our map inventory. After this, a period of analysis and synthesis will take place, during which we will work with our partners at DEC, APA, and ACTLS and other experts to develop a preliminary set of ideas for improving recreation access to the Forest Preserve and connections among communities. Using our GIS, ESF will evaluate each idea using a set of criteria that will include: protecting natural resources and wild recreation settings, increasing recreation access, diversifying recreation uses, and connecting communities to the Forest Preserve.

Stay tuned for our next meeting, where we will be reporting on this initial set of options for recreation before drafting recommendations and a regional strategy for the DEC.

For more information, please contact us at:

Workshop Summary