Creating the Garden State Greenways vision involved
help from many partners, successful
collaboration within and outside of
the land conservation community, community input
and expert advice on statewide greenway
planning and GIS assessments.
Creating the vision involved:
Project Advisory Committee – Statewide
leaders in the land conservation community were convened
to advise on product development.
Strategic Partnerships – A supportive
partnership was formed early on with the NJ Department
of Environmental Protection Green Acres program. Partnerships
with state agencies, county governments, municipal governments
and non-governmental entities continue to be developed.
Planning Advice – Advice was obtained
from greenway planning consultants and other statewide
greenway initiatives were reviewed. Project staff participated
in the Greenways Working Group at the National Conservation
Training Center in Shepardstown, West Virginia.
Pilot GIS Analysis – A pilot study
of the Upper Passaic River watershed was performed. This
study tested using GIS as the tool to create a greenway
framework could inform a broad array user groups and be
useful at many scales.
Statewide GIS Inventory - Numerous state
agencies, county and local governments, and nonprofit
organizations contributed to an inventory of preserved
open space and natural and cultural resources through
the creation and sharing of GIS and tabular data.
Community Input - A series of regional
“mapping charettes“ were held, creating a
broad base of participation and input. Over 120 representatives
of county and municipal governments, state agencies, nonprofit
conservation groups and individuals attended these workshops.
Participants reviewed large-scale maps and drew their
recommendations for open space and greenway linkages on
them. These were then entered into GIS. The mapped recommendations
were further validated in the next step, the GIS assessment.
The workshops provided valuable insight into the implementation
of Garden State Greenways statewide.
- Drawing from the pilot study, a statewide natural resource
assessment was developed which synthesized the wealth
of statewide data on natural resources, open space and
land use to identify open space and potential linkages,
and to prioritize them according to natural resource values,
such as groundwater recharge, surface water quality impact,
rare species habitat, and prime agricultural soils.
The following GIS data on natural and cultural resources
were used in the assessment:
- 2001-2002 Land Use/ Land Cover – CRSSA
- Abandoned Rail Corridors – NJCF
- Elevation, Slope and Ridgelines – NJDEP: NJ
Geological Survey, NJCF
- Ground Water Recharge – NJDEP: NJ Geological
- Landscape Project (rare, threatened and endangered
animal habitat) – NJDEP: Endangered and Nongame
- National Register Historic Sites – USDI National
Park Service, NJCF
- Natural Heritage Database (known occurrences of
rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals)
– NJDEP: Natural Lands Management
- Natural Heritage Priority Sites (critical plant
and animal habitat) – NJDEP: Natural Lands Management
- Prime Agricultural and Statewide Significant Soils
– USDI Natural Resource Conservation Service,
- Roads, Highways and Major Bridges – NJDOT,
- State Development and Redevelopment Planning Areas
and Centers – NJDCA: Office of Smart Growth
GIS Technical Review - The GIS assessment
methodology is modeled on statewide and regional analyses
conducted elsewhere in the United States and was subject
to extensive input from a Technical Advisory Committee.
Participants on the technical advisory committee included:
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection:
Endangered and Nongame Species Program, GIS Unit,
Green Acres Program, Natural Lands Management, New
Jersey Geological Survey, Watershed Management
- New Jersey Department of Transportation
- New Jersey Water Supply Authority
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- Regional Plan Association
- Rowan University Department of Geography
- Rutgers University: Center for Remote Sensing and
- The GIS Center at Stony Brook
- The Nature Conservancy
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Upper Raritan Watershed Association
Develop User Friendly Interface - An
interface was developed to help users query the GIS
Product Delivery – An agreement
was obtained with CRSSA
at Rutgers University
to host an internet map application,
provide GIS data download capability
and serve printable maps.
Updates – Strategic partnerships
have been formed with technical experts in GIS assessment.
An update to the Garden State Greenways vision is planned
as new statewide data sets become available.