Skip to main content

Open Space Bond Program Application Window Now Open

Open Space Bonds are one step closer towards the goals of preserving the natural beauty of Buncombe County, improving the quality of life for its residents, and improving access to recreational activities in our area. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved the final set of criteria for evaluating project proposals for the Open Space Bond, which allocates $30 million to Conservation, Greenways, and Passive Recreation Lands projects. In 2022, Buncombe voters approved the Open Space Bond along with an additional Affordable Housing Bond. 

To determine how best to allocate funding for Passive Recreation Lands projects, the Passive Recreation Lands Subcommittee, Environmental and Energy Stewardship Subcommittee, the public, and staff developed a set of criteria for evaluating project proposals. The criteria is a two-stage, phased evaluation that first considers project timeframe, location, and long-term management considerations. If a proposed project meets this set of qualifying criteria, it is moved to a weighted criteria process where a range of factors are considered.       

These factors include:  

  • Conservation and Environmental Impact (20%)  
  • Feasibility (20%) 
  • Accessibility (15%) 
  • Equity (15%) 
  • Long-Term Management and Maintenance (10%) 
  • Costs and Leveraged Funding (10%) 
  • Alignment with County Plan/Needs/Opportunity/Priority (5%) 
  • Safety (5%)  

The criteria were developed using input gathered through community and partner meetings, an informational meet and greet, and an online survey. This community input helped inform the decisions of the Passive Recreation Lands Subcommittee and Energy and Environmental Stewardship Subcommittee’s support of these criteria.  

The Open Space Bond Funds allow for the purchase of land for passive recreational opportunities by the county and for the development of land owned by other entities to support conservation and low-impact recreational opportunities.  

The application window for passive recreation lands projects is open until March 29, 2024. If your organization is interested in participating in the Open Space Bond program, please reach out to Jill Carter, the Open Space Bond Project Manager (  

To keep up with this project and to learn more about the Open Space Bond, visit?

Filter News:

Translate Options

Article Information

Updated Jan 16, 2024 04:16 PM
Published Oct 17, 2023 06:03 PM

Previous Article: Commissioners Approve First Project Funding from Open Space Bonds, Get Update on Crime, & More
Next Article: Board of Elections Approves 2024 Primary Election Early Voting Plan