Preservation and Conservation of community assets such as open space, forests, wetlands and historic sites are important elements of any approach to community sustainability. Protection of natural resources, the development of opportunities for residents to engage with the outdoors and preserving our rich history in the region provides more than just pretty places in Ewing. They provide a wealth of economic, societal, health, and environmental benefits not the least of which is additional protection from climate change. These assets enrich the lives of all who live in a community.
Ewing’s existing natural resources, including our tree cover, and the need to preserve these resources were key priorities agreed to by Township residents during the Ewing Green Team’s 2014 Community Visioning Project. Residents agreed that preserving a community’s tree canopy, both forest stands and street trees, is extremely important in combating climate change, but also in creating a community that is aesthetically appealing and that provides opportunities for residents to be closer to nature. Trees provide shade for houses, streets and parking areas, sequester carbon produced by cars and buildings, stabilize steep slopes, and add aesthetic value to our neighborhoods. Community members were passionate about taking stock of and protecting this great community resource.
- Create a tree committee in partnership with the Ewing Environmental Commission and solicit citizen participation.
- Develop a Tree Inventory (iTree Assessment Tool)
- Identify legacy trees
- Identify which trees are the best for various uses in the township according to growth shape and root needs.
See our list of recommended trees for planting developed from the work done thru the Ewing EAB Partnership [January 2017].
- Identify source of trees for local installations for both resident and municipality. (identify grants)
- Sponsor educational workshops about trees including, care, disease, identification, and the important role that trees play in the environment.
- Provide information and links on the EGT website about trees including the Tree of the Month articles written for the Ewing Observer.
Events of the past several years and upcoming threats to the tree canopy make protecting our tree canopy in Ewing a challenge. In 2012 Ewing suffered substantial losses to its tree canopy in its public parks as a result of a microburst in July, followed by Hurricane Sandy in October. Since then, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), identified by a Rapid Ash Survey completed by the Rutgers Urban Forestry Program and NJ State Forestry Services in the summer of 2015, confirmed the presence of this destructive invasive insect in Ewing. The Survey identified more than 890 infected ash trees on public property. To protect the integrity of the tree canopy, and to increase Ewing’s tree cover overall, the township needs to begin a management program to replace the trees with non-invasive and native trees.
The Emerald Ash Borer Threat
In March 2016 the EGT received a $20K grant entitled Partnering for the Restoration of the Community Forest: The 3P Plan, Partnerships-Plan-Planting. It will fund development of partnerships (the County, Rutgers, PSE&G, DEP…) to manage the spread and removals of trees infected with the Emerald Ash Borer on Ewing municipal lands. It also include partial replacement of Ash trees (100) lost to the EAB. And, it will include community outreach and education. We will be working with NJ State Certified Tree Expert, Bill Brash to manage the grant.
With the EAB infestations beginning to be detected in NJ, there is a need for a well thought out, researched, planned and implemented response to the threat. Ewing will be demonstrating a leadership role in management of this issue as we intend our process to serve as a model for other communities to follow.
More News about our Tree Canopy
Ewing Twp. has also has negotiated with the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission for replacement of trees lost from the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement project under the No Net Loss Program (NNL). The Twp. has been notified that there will be funding for planting approximately 600 trees on municipal lands. These will probably be planted during 2017.
Open Space and Bike Plans
Providing safe and accessible trails for the residents of Ewing is one of the best ways to connect residents with the natural world around them, encourage healthy habits like taking walks and rides, and to add to the overall value of the community. Developing a trail network that provides access for hikers of all levels and that provides access to off-road bicycles is no small task. A strong partnership with the municipality will need to be established in order to engage in work on public property and do so in a manner that will be consistent with Township policies regarding the use of open space.
more coming soon…