Public Presentation - February 17, 7:30 PM, at Borough Hall to present the draft GIS maps of the Highland Park ERI
Highland Park Rock Formations - From draft ERI
The Environmental Commission has received a Smart Growth grant from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) to generate an updated Environmental Resource Inventory (ERI). An ERI is an objective document that contains a variety of data about the Borough’s geography, geology and soils, infrastructure, open space, impervious cover, land use, streams and rivers, plants, wildlife, and endangered species, history, archeology, and much more.
A key feature of an ERI is the use of Geographical Information System (GIS) maps to present the data (see above). Multiple map layers are used to present ERI data in a more meaningful manner. For example layers showing streams, soils, and elevation contours would pinpoint areas prone to flooding and erosion.
Why generate an ERI?
The purpose of the ERI is to provide objective, reliable data in one document so that borough officials (Mayor, Borough Council, Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Environmental Commission, Shade Tree Advisory Committee, and the Construction Office) can make more informed decisions by taking numerous variables into consideration. Similarly, it is a tool for the public to use.
When the updated ERI is completed, the planning board will review the document and vote on accepting the ERI as part of the Borough’s Master Plan. Borough Land Use Ordinances must be consistent with the Master Plan.
The ERI will also provide literature references and Internet references to the compiled data as well as additional Internet tools.
How is the ERI being generated?
A project team composed of members of the Environmental Commission, Shade Tree Advisory Committee, Sustainable Highland Park, and a Borough Council member is generating the ERI.
The project team has selected Kratzers Environmental Services of Frenchtown, NJ to write the ERI and generate the GIS maps based on state and county data, and data provided by the project team. In 1992 the Environmental Commission generated the original ERI. The updated document will provide an objective assessment of changes that have occurred in the borough since 1992. The original 1992 ERI is available at (www.leoraw.com/hpenv/info/HP_NRI_1992_Final.pdf).
How can you help?
The Project Team needs and wants to have your input! There will be a joint Planning Board /Environmental Commission meeting on February 17, 7:30 PM, at Borough Hall to present the draft GIS maps of the Highland Park ERI to the public and borough officials. Please join us for the presentation and be part of the process.
The draft GIS maps and Tables are available for your review at the links below
Do you know of any sites in Highland Park that have important wildlife or plants? Are there historical buildings or significant environments in Highland Park that you think that should be included in the ERI? Is there infrastructure you would like to see included? Let us know your thoughts. Those who cannott attend the February 17 meeting can forward any questions/comments to HighlandParkERI@gmail.com.
When will the ERI be completed and who will have access to the completed ERI?
The ERI is scheduled to be completed by June 2011. Hard copies of the completed ERI will be available to the public for review at the Borough Clerk’s office and the Public Library. The Environmental Commission, Shade Tree Advisory Commission, Sustainable Highland Park, Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, and Construction Office will have hard copies of the ERI for their use. The completed ERI will be available to the public for review, use, and download at the Environmental Commission’s website (www.leoraw.com/hpenv) and the Borough’s website (www.hpboro.com).