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Environmental Inventory Could Use Residents' Help

Montville received $3,500 matching grant for update to township's resource inventory.

Montville is in the process of gathering information and photographs of the township's environmental resources and officials have asked residents to help.

The township will be updating its Natural Resources Inventory (NRI, also known as an Environmental Resources Inventory), a comprehensive document that catalogues all of Montville's typography, vegetation and natural features. Municipalities utilize NRIs for planning and development purposes and look to the document for answers about the restrictions applicants may face in the approval process for new construction.

According to the township's Principal Planner Meghan Hunscher, Montville's NRI has not been updated since 1992. The township has already begun drafting the new document, which Hunscher said will include mapping features that could potentially be linked up to the Morris County PRIMA GIS program, allowing officials and the public to access and view the information there.

The update is possible thanks to a $3,500 grant from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. Hunscher said the township has agreed to match the $3,500 amount to complete the cost of the endeavor.

"The Environmental Commission is reviewing the document as part of [a] volunteer effort," Hunscher said. "The goal is to have the Planning Board adopt [it] in April or May as part of the overall master plan."

Hunscher also said that while the draft NRI currently contains secondary information sourced from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the hope of the Montville Environmental Commission is to include more primary information in the document.

As part of that, the township is hoping to collect information, including photographs, submitted by residents.

"It would be great if we could get residents to contribute photos of Montville, especially the scenic areas," Hunscher said.

Those interested in submitting photos should contact Hunscher at 973-331-3319.

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