Friday, July 11, 2008

DRAFT Environmental Resource Inventory--Online for Public Perusal

An environmental resource inventory (ERI) compiles as much information as possible about a town's natural and historical resources. The document is useful for making planning decisions, and also can tell you things like what watershed you live in, what type of soil you have, what parts of town have been protected from development, what rare species have been found in town, where your drinking water comes from, and where your stormwater goes.

Princeton hadn't had its ERI updated since 1978, and had long since lost its usefulness.

To hire a consultant to provide a much needed update, the Princeton Environmental Commission (PEC) applied for and got a grant from ANJEC (Association of NJ Environmental Commissions), which was then matched by money from the township and borough. The consultant, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, with input from the PEC, municipal staff and others, has just finished a 2nd DRAFT.

The public also has an opportunity to provide input. You are encouraged to take a look at it and offer comments and suggestions. The document, with lots of colorful maps, can be downloaded from the township website at

Not included in the DRAFT document as yet are actual inventories of plants and animals. These are an optional element in ERIs, and happen only if people locally take the initiative to create them. Through my work with Friends of Princeton Open Space, I'm leading walks on Sunday afternoons through various preserves, identifying as many plants as possible. There is also an effort to seek out any existing biological inventories and include them in the publication. If you're interested in joining this effort, and aren't on the email list, please contact me through this website.

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