MEDIA Delaware County is one of the state's smallest and most densely populated, but it still has considerable open space, particularly in its western areas, which have been gaining population.

On March 30, the county will present its open-space plan at a public meeting. The four-volume document, now available for public review, discusses plans for the county's six parks and its extensive trail system. The plan cites a 2011 report by GreenSpace Alliance and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission stating that the presence of open space in Southeastern Pennsylvania adds $16.3 billion to real estate values.

The report notes that while eastern and southern parts of the county virtually are built-out, tracts of open land are interspersed among housing developments in the western portions.

The 2010 census figures show that the county's overall population has been stagnant. However, the plan points out that the county figure doesn't take into account population shifts.

The plan, three years in the making, was funded in part through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). It is part of the overall Delaware County 2035 report.

The open-space public meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Room 100, Government Center Building, at the courthouse complex, Media.

Written comments will be accepted through April 19.

The plan is available at - Inquirer staff