This survey was authorized by the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors with the recommendation and oversight of the Open Space Review Board. The purpose was to inventory the plant species and communities of the Township, paying special attention to the location and quality of native plant communities, the distribution of alien invasives, and the presence of state listed species of special concern. The information gathered in the inventory can be used to help establish conservation priorities including locating, determining, and evaluating specimen vegetation or Exceptional Natural Areas (ENAs) in the Township. It can also be useful to direct restoration efforts, as a guide for open space purchase, in attempts to control alien invasive species, and as a baseline to monitor the botanical and broader ecological health of the Township. Specific objectives for conducting a botanical survey in New Garden Township include:
- Assisting with prioritization of individual land parcels for acquisition of interests in open space.
- Enhancing the competitive position of the Township for potential receipt of State and/or County land preservation funding.
- Achieving a maximum amount of environmental protection with a minimum amount of land.
- Recognizing that natural systems operate in larger patterns and at larger scales than the scale typically represented by individual properties.
- Creating a blueprint for the protection and restoration of contiguous networks of wildlife habitat.
- Providing context and environmental considerations for new subdivision and land development projects, as well as for PENNDOT and Township road projects.
- Offering a focus for New Garden landowner education and outreach, and for the consideration of Township-provided incentives for landowner participation in land stewardship efforts.