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Frequently Asked Questions about Garden State Greenways

 

General

What is Garden State Greenways?
The home page and the rest of this website provide a full explanation of Garden State Greenways. Garden State Greenways identifies hubs, tracts of undeveloped land with important natural resource values, and potential connectors between these hubs. The core of Garden State Greenways is a set of digital maps that identify where hubs and connectors are across the state of New Jersey.

Will the Garden State Greenways vision be updated?
This is a dynamic vision which will need to be updated over time as new information becomes available, and as it is implemented, used and refined across the state.

Why are there no Greenways hubs or connectors where I live?
Why isn't a particular area that I know about included?

Garden State Greenways defines hubs and connectors in a consistent way across the state. Although every effort was made not to omit important areas, the need to be consistent means that some areas which are locally important may not be included in the mapping products. This doesn't mean they aren't worth preserving. The maps and GIS data are intended to serve only as guides for preservation. They present a statewide vision of interconnected preservation that may occasionally omit locally important areas.

Does Garden State Greenways identify everything that needs to be protected?
In a word, no. There are several reasons for this. Garden State Greenways is only as good as the information that it uses. None of the information sources used are perfect, so they might omit important endangered species habitat or newly acquired open space, for instance. Futhermore, the techniques used to identify hubs and connectors were meant to be consistent across the state, so some locally important areas might be missed because of the statewide focus. All of this means that Garden State Greenways should be use as guide or starting point for identifying preservation priorities, not as the definitive source.

Why aren't some preserved areas shown on the Garden State Greenways maps?
It is surprisingly difficult to create a current, comprehensive map of preserved land in New Jersey. In part this is because many different agencies, local governments and private groups preserve land. There is also no unified definition of preserved land or central repository for what is preserved. The preserved land data used here is meant to provide a context for the Greenways data by showing how preserved lands and Greenways hubs and connectors fit into a statewide system of preserved land.

How were the Greenways connectors created?
The Greenways connectors were created using an automated process that selected pathways between hubs that minimized negative features, such as development, while maximizing use of existing connections such as rivers and ridgetops.

Why is the path you show for a Greenway connector already developed?
In some cases it's because it was developed after the time at which our land use information was collected. In other cases, it's because it represents the best of what is left and is the only way to connect two hubs. There is no reason why parts of some connectors shouldn't be developed. Greenways connect people as well as wildlife to open spaces. Some connections can and should be sidewalks or tree-lined streets.

Is it OK if we use a different route for a Greenway?
Absolutely. Only local planners and preservationists know what is best for their communities, and Garden State Greenways is not meant to be the definitive source for what to preserve.

How should we use Garden State Greenways if we already have an open space plan?
Garden State Greenways can be use to see how your local plan fits into a regional preservation context. In this way it can be a catalyst for coordination of open space preservation across muncipal boundaries. If your plan includes goals, such as protecting aquifer recharge areas or endangered species habitat, that are part of the Greenways, you can use Garden State Greenways to verify that your plan supports your goals.

Technical

What do all the attributes associated with each hub represent?
The hubs were subject to an assessment that examined a number of different environmental criteria. These criteria are included as attributes in the hubs data layers. Please see our explanation of hub attributes for more information.

How were the hubs and connectors data layers created?
A brief overview of the process used to create the Garden State Greenways data can be found here. A more technical explanation is also available for download (PDF, 2.2 MB).

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