Why Open Space?
Open space is critical to our town's health and happiness for several fundamental reasons:
- It safeguards our natural resources - The presence of trees, plans, and animals beautify the township and offer physical and psychological benefits. Plants filter out harmful chemicals from the ground. Forests offer wind buffers and shade, reducing building heating/cooling costs. Natural areas also offer myriad recreational opportunities.
- It protects our watersheds - West Windsor features two main watersheds. In the north, water is funneled the Millstone River – and ultimately the Raritan River about twenty miles north - and in the south, water drains to the Assunpink Creek, and thus ultimately to the Delaware River in Trenton. Disrupting these watersheds doesn't just hurt the environment; it can also lead to flooding issues that dramatically impact our quality of life.
- It lowers tax increases by limiting residential development - Many households in West Windsor take more from the township than they give back in taxes. School children require the township to spend lots of money on the educational system, residents in general all place a burden on transportation/energy/water infrastructure, and more residents means more municipal services that we need to pay for. Open Space offers an alternative that all current residents can enjoy.
- It provides recreational opportunities - Open space doesn't just mean wildlife areas. It also means acquiring and maintaining land for cricket and football fields, skate parks, dog parks, rowing/sailing venues, and much, much more, for people of various age groups and from all walks of life.
- It connects us to our collective history - West Windsor was, from the mid-1700s to the mid-1900s, almost entirely farmland. Before that, it was entirely nature. One thing that all West Windsor residents share is our collective township history, whether we've lived here for 5 days or 50 years. Preserving and promoting this history through open space and community groups is critical. To learn more about our town's history, visit the Historical Society of West Windsor's website.