Douglas County to hold meeting on open space plan

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Members of the Lawrence and Douglas County community are invited to learn about the county’s open space planning progress and share their feedback during an open house this week.

The meeting is set for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26 at the Lawrence Union Pacific Depot, 402 N. Second St. in North Lawrence.

“It is an opportunity for community members to stop by and learn about the project team’s progress and to provide feedback,” according to a news release from the county. “There will be activities for children and a raffle entry for all attendees.”

This open house will build on previous events held in May and June. Project team members will look to gather feedback on the focus areas and preliminary recommendations, according to the release.

“A structure, tools and funding source are necessary to protect, restore, support and manage existing and potential future open space,” according to the release. “Willing private landowners are and will continue to be vital partners in voluntarily protecting open space. The community is asked to weigh in on various program models to support management of open space in the future as well as their willingness to support various levels of funding.”

The team is also gathering feedback on guiding values, priority areas and potential funding sources through a new questionnaire via the Open Space website at, according to the release. The questionnaire will be open until Sunday, Nov. 12. 

Ahead of Thursday’s open house, the project team will provide an update during the Douglas County Commission’s work session, set for 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the historic courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. See the full meeting agenda at this link. Find a link to join the work session via Zoom at this link.

The project team — which includes Douglas County staff from sustainability, zoning and codes, heritage conservation and communications, and environmental planning and design consulting firm Logan Simpson — plans to release and publish a draft plan in early 2024, according to the release.

Find more information on the county’s website at

Visit this link and click the green bookmark icon to add this event to your Google, Apple, Outlook or other calendar.

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Papaws are found in native woodlands as an understory tree, meaning that they only grow 10-20 feet tall, in the shade of the much taller trees that make up the dominant overstory canopy. Papaw’s chocolate colored blossoms can be found right now, hanging like bells on the branches.


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