HGA | Heyer, Gruel & Associates

Toms River Open Space and Recreation Plan

Open Space and Recreation Plan

Township of Toms River

HGA was retained by the Township of Toms River to prepare an updated Open Space and Recreation Plan along with a Natural Resource Inventory. The plan was prepared as part of the New Jersey Post-Sandy Grant Program.

The Toms River Conservation, Recreation, and Open Space element is a community planning policy document that guides the maintenance and acquisition of recreation, open space, and conservation areas within the Township. Toms River determined that consistent evaluation of their recreation, conservation, and open space facilities against the needs of the local population and the natural environment allows the Township to make better decisions and investments in local projects. This element updates the previous Conservation, Recreation, and Open Space element that was prepared in 2006. The updated plan adjusts Township policy to reflect current existing conditions and needs, and changes in recreation, open space and conservation planning assumptions.

In general, the Conservation, Recreation, and Open Space element:
• Establishes guiding principles of the development of open space, recreation and conservation policies and priorities
within the Township
• Inventories existing public, semi-public, and private recreation and open space facilities
• Explores specific recreation needs of the population living in Toms River
• Identifies service groups
• Highlights opportunities for new open space development
• Sets goals and objective for future open, reaction, and conservation space provisions

In addition to the updated Conservation, Recreation, and Open Space element, HGA prepared a Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) for the Township. The NRI component gives the Township a tool to better inform land use policy and to ground land use decision-making with an understanding of the underlying environmental conditions which development occurs. The NRI included analysis of twenty aspects of Toms River’s natural resources.