Greenway and Open Space Network Plan
This page will provide information to everyone in Newtown Township about the Greenway and Open Space Network Plan process. Below you will find an article appearing in the Spring, 2020 issue of the Township Newsletter, found within the pages of IN Community Magazine, which serves as an introduction.
There will be significant additional content added to this page shortly, including how you can fully participate in the Master Plan process for this Newtown Township greenways, trails and open space initiative.
Greenway and Open Space Network Plan
Newtown Township is currently evaluating its open space and the potential for a network of walking trails throughout the Township. We have heard clearly that these are important topics to you – now we need your help as we do something about it.
The process of formulating such an evaluation, which will lead to the development of a Master Plan, originated with Newtown Township’s Environmental Advisory Council, Board of Supervisors and Township staff, who together worked to secure grant funding for such an endeavor. A Steering Committee consisting of Newtown Township residents was then formed to find a consultant. After a lengthy evaluation process, Gilmore & Associates, Inc., working with Campbell Thomas & Co., were hired to conduct this township-wide evaluation and to develop a Greenway and Open Space and Trail Network Plan. These two consultants have worked locally on the several successful similar projects, including the Schuylkill Trail. This Master Plan will be used by Newtown Township to make informed decisions about resource allocation and implementation.
The following excerpts from the consultant’s first drafts encapsulate what this project means to you:
The Newtown Township Greenway and Open Space Network Plan is a presentation of ideas to help preserve more open space, create corridors of protected and recreational greenways, and establish new trails, paths and bike routes.
Goals of the Plan:
1. To enhance existing greenways and open space;
2. To provide connections between downtown, neighborhoods, parks and open space;
3. To clarify greenway and open space needs;
4. To identify new greenway and open space opportunities.
The Newtown Township Greenway and Open Space Network Plan is one of several planning studies, prepared with and for Newtown Township, for the sake of improving the quality of life in the community. It will identify potential greenways, trails, and bicycle routes and their potential to connect to neighborhoods, parks, open space preserves, and commercial zones. It will also give consideration to sidewalks and pedestrian street crossings.
The project is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) – who are also providing direct technical assistance to help with its success. All work will be performed in accordance to their Master Plan Project Model.
The Project Model will guide us through the process of cataloging existing greenways, stream corridors, and natural areas; cultural and historic sites; township parks; and manmade green and gray infrastructure.
Public participation is essential to the success of this endeavor.
Several opportunities will be provided for residents to clarify and enhance Greenway findings. The public will also have the opportunity to share their thoughts, priorities and opinions. While two public meetings have already been conducted, more are scheduled. Input can also be made via the Township website.
At this point in the Township’s evolution it is necessary to evaluate options for the Township’s open space, potential greenways, parks; and a network of trails to connect them to neighborhoods, commercial districts, and township public property. Your responses through numerous public participation opportunities such as the 2016 Comprehensive Plan and 2019 Strategic Plan have made it clear that these things are important to you. Now it is time to take those comments to the next level and address the details of how to make it happen. Significant effort has already been expended on this research and information gathered. We are at the beginning of an exciting project in our community – not the end. Public contribution is critical.
Watch this web page - more information will be posted shortly so you can learn more, see what has been done so far and find out how YOU can be an active part of the plan!