Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure Pilot Towns

New Jersey Future is working with three pilot towns to mainstream green infrastructure.

Byram, Township of Lakes

Byram, Township of Lakes

Hammonton, Blueberry Capital of the World

Hammonton, Blueberry Capital of the World

Newton, City Cool. Country Style

Newton, City Cool. Country Style

Byram

“Township of Lakes”

 Hammonton

“Blueberry Capital of the World”

Newton

“City Style. Country Cool.”

All towns have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the ways they will work with New Jersey Future and its technical assistance providers, including consultants, the Rutgers Water Resources Program and local nonprofit partners. Read more about the pilot towns in this blog. View each town’s Green Infrastructure Plans.


Byram

Byram Township, with a population of approximately 8500, is known as the Township of Lakes. Located in New Jersey’s Highlands, Byram comprises about 22.5 square miles, the great majority of which is designated Highlands Preservation Area. There are important water resources in Byram: headwater and C1 streams, a scenic tributary of the Musconetcong River and more than two dozen lakes, several of which are surrounded by residences.

After years of careful planning for the future of 230 acres within the Highlands Planning Area, Byram was the first municipality to earn Highlands Center designation. Byram’s leadership and community have devoted considerable time and resources to planning for the revitalization of a developed area that lies along the main artery of State Highway 206, into its Village Center. At the same time, the township has acted to protect its critical environmental resources within and beyond its designated growth area.

View Byram’s Green Infrastructure Plans.

Hammonton

Hammonton, “Blueberry Capital of the World,” is a Pinelands town, 41.4 square miles in size with a population of about 14,800. It has a thriving state-designated growth area whose civic vitality and bright future are tied directly to the health of the Pinelands and the interconnected Kirkwood Cohansey aquifer.

Water availability and wastewater capacity throughout the town, as well as periodic water quality impairments in Hammonton Lake, are issues that the town and its citizens are eager to solve. Hammonton and its active Green Committee have worked proactively with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance to study its water quantity and quality issues and to educate residents on water conservation. Two key assets in Hammonton – a resurgent downtown and the scenic Hammonton Lake – both have much to gain through the town’s embrace of green infrastructure.

View Hammonton’s Green Infrastructure Plans.

Newton

Newton, a charming and historic town of just over three square miles with a population of approximately 7,900, is the County Seat of Sussex County and home to Sussex County Community College. Known as Sussex County’s Downtown, Newton has earned its tagline “City Style. Country Cool.”  The Town has devoted considerable time and resources to innovative land use planning and has adopted a form-based code. It operates a municipal water and sewer authority, drawing water from Morris Lake in nearby Sparta Township.

Newton is vulnerable to even mild drought, and has taken steps to make its residents and business aware of water quality challenges affecting area streams and rivers. The town has worked actively with the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group to implement a community watershed restoration initiative. Newton’s gray infrastructure is more than 100 years old; nuisance flooding occurs in some areas of town. A number of potential redevelopment projects may offer great opportunities to boost the local economy and add green infrastructure solutions that benefit the community.

View Newton’s Green Infrastructure Plans.


Green Infrastructure Plans

Rutgers University Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program developed Green Infrastructure Plans for each town that detail specific stormwater management issues and green infrastructure opportunities. Click here to view the plans.


Coming up!

  • Policy Improvements. New Jersey Future and its consultants will help towns to: 
    • Adopt Master Plan “guiding principles” language that establishes the basis for changes to municipal policy, procedures and ordinances that encourage and/or require the use of green stormwater infrastructure in public and private sector development.
    • Amend stormwater and land use ordinances so as to remove barriers to green infrastructure, raise and clarify standards, and create incentives to accelerate and encourage its use.
    • Create green infrastructure checklists for municipal officials and volunteer board members to use in reviewing project plans and development applications.
    • Educate and train officials and staff.  Communicate basic information about the broad economic, societal and environmental benefits of green infrastructure, and teach specific skills for GI design and maintenance.
  • Accelerate a local green infrastructure project identified as a community priority. Each town will pick one significant, visible project for assistance with design and engineering specifications.

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