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
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
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
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.
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
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).