Although the term 'open space' evokes varied and different images for different people, this plan is an attempt to bring the diverse evocations together in one source for the purpose of directing nwnerous efforts within the political boundaries of the Town of Newmarket. Regardless of personal meanings, open spaces, in myriad forms such as wetlands, forests, parks, and farm land, present many benefits to the town and region in which theyare located. In addition providing an economic gain to municipalities and landowners, the preservation of open space can safeguard and enhance the character of a community and ensure relatively high levels of ecological integrity and biological diversity within the context of the greater environmental landscape. In rural and urban areas alike, protected open space is the guarantor of species richness, habitat diversity, and ecosystem health. Open spaces provide vital biological functions for the well being of both ecosystems and human populations. For instance, wetland areas offer flood control, sediment collection, pollution filtration, and wildlife habitat. Unfragmented forestlands, in addition to providing crucial wildlife habitat, also serve to filter and purify water resources, mitigate air pollution, and under some arrangements, can provide sustainable forest products to the local economy. Other categories of open space, such as farmland and coastal areas, both of which have become noticeably vulnerable in seacoast New Hampshire, contribute to the overall health and integrity of ecosystems.