Strategic planning efforts based upon interviews, research and a spatial analysis identified that riverfront nature parks were an excellent opportunity to combine goals of recreation, economic development, habitat restoration and water quality improvements. However, many municipalities reported that riverfront nature parks were challenging to construct. Two barriers identified were 1) local partners often did not know where to start with the complex planning process, and 2) landowners were unclear how to navigate the numerous permits that might be required to enable them to add amenities to their sites.
Based upon this feedback, in 2018 the team wrote a brief, easy-to-read guide for municipalities and non-profits interested in creating riverfront nature parks, titled Permits for Riverfront Nature Parks in New Jersey: A Pocket Guide. The guide includes success stories, lessons learned from past projects, and a table walking the reader through the more common questions and requirements regarding permits. Guides like this are important because one single organization cannot complete many projects, so this guide enables the work to scale up, by building the capacity of dozens of organizations to enable more projects to be completed.