On December 1, 1977, SEWRPC adopted a regional park and open space plan for Southeastern Wisconsin consisting of two basic elements: an open space preservation element and an outdoor recreation element. The open space preservation element consists of recommendations for the preservation of primary environmental corridors within the Region. The outdoor recreation element consists of: 1) a resource-oriented outdoor recreation plan providing recommendations for the number and location of large parks, recreation corridors to accommodate trail-oriented activities, and water-access facilities to enable the recreational use of rivers, inland lakes, and Lake Michigan; and 2) an urban outdoor recreation plan providing recommendations for the number and distribution of local parks and outdoor recreational facilities required in urban areas of the Region. The initial regional park and open space plan is documented in SEWRPC Planning Report No. 27, A Regional Park and Open Space Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin: 2000, November 1977.
SEWRPC assists each of the counties in the Region in preparing county-level park and open space plans. These plans refine, detail, and extend the regional park and open space plan. Upon adoption by the Commission, the county plans serve as amendments to the regional park and open space plan.
The major outdoor recreation sites and recreation corridors recommended under the regional park and open space plan, as refined and detailed in county park and open space plans, are shown here. Also shown are large parks—parks of at least 100 acres in area which provide facilities for a variety of resource-oriented outdoor recreational activities; major recreation corridors accommodating trail-oriented activities; and major special purpose outdoor recreation sites, such as Henry W. Maier Festival Park in the City of Milwaukee and Old World Wisconsin in the Town of Eagle.
SEWRPC also assists local governments in the Region in preparing community park and open space plans. More information on this activity may be found here.