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Delaware & Raritan Canal Conference: Highlights & Recommendations. Dr. Martin A. Bierbaum, Director The Municipal Land Use Center @ The College of New Jersey McCauley House Ewing, New Jersey, 08628. Conference Planning. Preliminary Meetings (August 2004 –November 2004)

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delaware raritan canal conference highlights recommendations

Delaware & Raritan Canal Conference: Highlights & Recommendations

Dr. Martin A. Bierbaum, Director

The Municipal Land Use Center @

The College of New Jersey

McCauley House

Ewing, New Jersey, 08628

conference planning
Conference Planning
  • Preliminary Meetings (August 2004 –November 2004)
        • Meet D&R Canal Commission Director & Staff
        • Assess Feasibility
        • Identify Stakeholders/Partners
        • Contact Mayors Douglas Palmer, Pamela Mount, Phyllis Marchand
        • Contact Linda & Bob Barth
  • Conceptual Planning Meetings(December 2004 – January 2005)
        • Contact N.J. Historical Commission – Dr. Howard Green, Dr. Richard Hunter
        • Contact former Senator Ray Bateman
        • Contact Mr. Thomas X. Grasso, President, Canal Society of N.Y.; President, Inland Waterways International.
        • Identify & Agree on Workshops– Regional Planning Models, Natural Resource Protection, Healthy & Active Living, Eco-tourism, Trenton Redevelopment, Local Experiences.
  • Logistical Planning Meetings (February 2005-May 2005)
  • Execute Conference Plans (June 1, 2005)
the sessions
The Sessions
  • Morning Sessions–
      • History of the D&R Canal—
        • The Establishment of the D&R Canal State Park
        • The History of the D&R Canal
  • Luncheon Guest –
      • Mr. Ernie Hahn, Director

D&R Canal Commission

        • “A Status Report”
  • Afternoon Sessions–
      • 6 Workshops devoted to the Canal’s Present & Future Promise
  • Evening –
      • Celebration
      • Speakers (2)
      • Music
      • Food
workshop findings
Workshop Findings
  • Regional Framework
  • Healthy & Active Living
  • Natural Resource Protection
  • Eco-Tourism
  • Neighbors & Local Experiences
  • Rediscovering Trenton
regional framework
Regional Framework
  • Drew Comparisons among the D&R Canal, New Jersey Meadowlands and New Jersey Pinelands--
    • a) Similarities:
      • Partnerships are important, e.g., University partnerships, partnerships with school systems.
      • Science-based facts are important to drive policies.
      • Ongoing Monitoring & Evaluation are essential.
      • All engage in balancing economic development and natural resource protection.
    • b) Major difference:
      • The disparity in funding and staff resources available to the three entities is obvious.
healthy active living
Healthy & Active Living
  • Presented data to make connections between Lifestyle & Public Health Issues.
  • Employed Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as D&R Canal planning tool.
  • Identified real & potential D&R Canal Recreational Opportunities.
        • Improve D&R Canal access at appropriate locations.
        • Increase signage.
        • Provide ancillary activities and facilities at appropriate locations, e.g., kiosks, rest rooms, compatible retail.
        • Partner with adjacent and neighboring school systems.
natural resource protection
Natural Resource Protection
  • Recognize D&R Canal as an important Water Supply Resource for Central Jersey.
  • Protect D&R Canal from non-point source pollution.
  • Develop a D&R Canal-related water quality data base, with a baseline and performance targets.
  • Employ a Strategic Approach in acquiring land in proximity to the Canal.
  • Consider a water quality tax to raise D&R Canal-related revenues.
  • Improve public communications to raise public awareness of the importance of the D&R Canal as a valuable natural and cultural resource.
eco tourism
  • Ways to make the D&R Canal more attractive for Eco-Tourism:
        • Devise & Implement D&R Canal Eco-Tourism Strategic Plan.
        • Form a Mayors’ Council and State Legislative Caucus to assist in devising & implementing that plan.
        • Market the D&R Canal, e.g., festivals, rallies.
        • Devise and distribute materials that tell the story of the D&R Canal in accurate & effective ways.
        • Locate & advertise canoe/kayak liveries along the Canal, while also exploring the feasibility of other boat types on the D&R Canal.
        • Install boat ramps at portages to create a canoe/kayak trail.
        • Publicize bridges & their elevations on the D&R Canal website.
        • Install swing bridges, upgrade locks.
        • Renovate D&R Canal-related buildings and celebrate the completions of those renovations.
        • Employ a staff person charged with Eco-tourism/ Economic & Sustainable Development responsibilities.
        • Consider a “flush tax” to help fund these initiatives.
neighbors local experiences
Neighbors & Local Experiences
  • Means to encourage local beneficial uses of the D&R Canal & improve neighbor relationships:
      • Engage the public through Educational Campaigns, Partnerships with School Systems and Planned Tours.
      • Add Rest Room Facilities.
      • Increase Security at appropriate locations.
      • Address Traffic Congestion, Traffic Calming Issues & Parking issues.
      • Pursue & Secure Corporate Sponsorships.
      • Make the City of Trenton a priority.
rediscovering trenton
Rediscovering Trenton
  • Urban Design Studio
      • Explored Reasons for D&R Canal’s Underutilization throughout the City of Trenton
      • Discussed ways that D&R Canal might be used to “anchor” redevelopment in the City of Trenton
      • Identified Four Potential Redevelopment Sites & devised redevelopment conceptual designs:
          • Village Charter School
          • Hermitage Avenue
          • East Section of Trenton
          • Perry Street near the State parking lot
evening celebration
Evening Celebration
  • Hon. Gregg Rackin, Mayor, Stockton Borough – Host
  • Former NJDEP Commissioner Jerry English, Esq. –“On The D&R Canal Commission’s Early Days”
  • Dean James W. Hughes, Edward J. Bloustein School for Planning & Public Policy, Rutgers University –“On the growing importance of the D&R Canal as a valuable resource during Central Jersey’s growth during the Post WW II Period”
d r canal conference de brief july 12 2005
D&R Canal Conference De-brief July 12, 2005
  • Continue subsequent D&R Canal Conferences on a regular basis.
  • Focus attention on the need for stronger commitment by the State of New Jersey, especially the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), to the D&R Canal.
  • Recommend increased funding, while highlighting the disparity in resources among the three State regional planning entities.
  • Spotlight the need for additional D&R Canal Staff, e.g., economic development, land acquisition, public education and City of Trenton Community/Canal organizer.
  • Convene a D&R Canal Mayors’ Forum.
  • Convene a D&R Canal Legislative Caucus.
  • Underline the importance of a Strategic Plan that includes effective strategies, policies, programs and projects for specific D&R Canal segments including projects for particular municipalities.
  • Place special priority on the D&R Canal segment in Trenton, concentrating on ways that the D&R Canal might anchor neighborhood redevelopment.
d r canal conference de brief continued july 12 2005
D&R Canal Conference De-brief (Continued) July 12, 2005
  • Devise and implement a D&R Canal Interpretive Signage Program that includes cultural, historical and water quality features.
  • Consider the use of boats on the D&R Canal, along with the improvement of repairs and upgrades to locks and the establishment of liveries in appropriate locations.
  • Establish in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJ DCA) a D&R Canal training session/course for municipal Construction Code Officials.
  • Employ GIS to educate school children and the public about the D&R Canal.
  • Install water monitoring stations at appropriate locations and build a water quality data base with baseline, goals and targets.
  • While acknowledging that communications and coordination are good among the Canal Commission, the New Jersey Water Supply Authority and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – Division of Parks & Forestry, improved communication and coordination are always possible.
special thanks for sponsoring the conference
Special Thanksfor Sponsoring the Conference --
  • Clarke, Caton, Hintz – Planning Consultants
  • Delaware & Raritan Greenway Land Trust
  • Ethicon, Inc. A Johnson & Johnson Company
  • New Jersey Water Supply Authority
  • Princeton Forrestal Center
  • Princeton University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • Trenton Country Club
  • View photos of the day's festivities
Swimming at the Griggstown Bridge over the canal. c. 1900Courtesy of the Griggstown Historical Society