To help local communities, as well as other partners, achieve shared goals for open space and resource protection along the river, the National Park Service has developed a number of tools. One of these tools is an assessment of Open Space Protection Opportunities (OSPO) in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The assessment includes maps, a guidebook, and spatial data for use in a geographic information system. Together, this information illustrates open space protection and restoration opportunities in the Mississippi National River Recreation Area, focused primarily on undeveloped, public land. Like all planning tools, it is most effective when used in combination with other local or regional data.
The complete suite of OSPO information is available on CD. Along with the GIS data, a guidebook, and other useful information, the CD includes two complete sets of maps. One set highlights the ecological assessment of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area completed in 2003 by Great River Greening, an NPS partner specializing in native habitat restoration. The second set of maps, updated in 2006, combines the ecological analysis with land ownership data for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. These maps are especially helpful in the development of local river corridor plans and in identifying local restoration and open space protection opportunities.