The Visioning Committee is an ad-hoc committee that supports the positive development and conservation of the Upper Delaware River Corridor.
The committee aspires to facilitate communication among existing groups, interested individuals, organization and municipal governments in order to promote the cultural and recreational opportunities, natural resources, ecology and sustainable economy of the river corridor.
Important issues in the visioning process
- Preservation of the natural beauty of the river valley
- Supporting township and county planning efforts
- Encouraging multi-municipality and multi-state planning
- Encouraging communication and collaboration between governments and organizations
- Supporting strong and vibrant local communities and economies
- Encouraging citizen participation in all levels of community life
- Consideration of the Upper Delaware River Valley as a region and a destination
How the visioning process began
The visioning process grew out of a community journalism project initiated by The River Reporter in the beginning of 2001. A February 2001 "Today's Business" set the stage for exploration of the issue.
- Two forums, each attended by over 75 people, were held on visioning and smart growth in the Delaware River corridor in late 2001 and mid 2002. The meetings encouraged collaboration between New York State and Pennsylvania municipalities and certain private sector groups.
- Based on the success of the first forum, a visioning committee of local leaders from both sides of the river was formed.
- The committee, meeting monthly, has been holding discussions in towns and townships along the river to get to know the real challenges that are unique in each locality.
- A regional Geographic Information System (GIS) committee was formed to facilitate information sharing in the three-county area.
- As a result of an involved citizenry, the area was chosen to be a pilot project by the University of Maryland, in collaboration with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Woods Hole Research Center, to use satellite photography to chart the effect of growth over time.
- A third forum was held on November 5 for municipal officials on both sides of the river. This forum explored conservation subdivisions, which preserve important natural features while creating vibrant residential neighborhoods, and innovative land practices of Monroe County, PA.
- The committee seeks to encourage an atmosphere of creative collaboration and regional thinking, in order to strengthen our community and its organizations in preparation for the growth that is coming to the area.
The visioning process is important to the future of the Upper Delaware River Valley.
Here are some quotes about the need to be visionary in our planning process:
"Conventional zoning has been described as "planned sprawl" because every parcel is converted to front yard, back yard, streets, sidewalks or driveways…Nothing is left over to become open space."
Author, lecturer in land-use planning
"Sad but true, the future that faces most communities with standard zoning and subdivision codes is to witness the systematic conversion of every unprotected acre of buildable land into development uses."
Growing Greener: Conservation by Design
"I'm not telling anybody to do anything. I'm simply trying to show people there is an opportunity to do things differently."
Presidential Award Winner for Sustainable Development