Trenton will protect and promote access to its natural resources and open space, including natural ecosystems.
Trenton sits at the northern extent of tidal influence, and the navigable reach, of the Delaware River. It is located at the confluence of the Assunpink Creek with the Delaware River and at the contact between the Piedmont and Coastal Plain physiographic provinces. The Delaware River, Assunpink Creek, and the D&R Canal are major environmental corridors that converge in Trenton. Two endangered species, the sturgeon and the bald eagle, as well as two species of special concern, the great blue heron and cobra clubtail, live in Trenton. In addition to these natural resources, Trenton is home to a number of built open space and cultural resources that are well utilized and loved by the community. These include, but are not limited to, Mill Hill Park, Villa Park, Cadwalader Park, and the Battle Monument.
The City has made progress in improving these assets, including recent efforts to daylight portions of the Assunpink Creek, developing a plan for the creation of the Assunpink Creek Park, and constructing the Route 29 Deck Park south of Arm & Hammer Park. However, much work remains. Many of Trenton’s streetscapes, trails, and open spaces are disconnected and underutilized. This deters residents from accessing the recreational, cultural, and historic resources that the City has to offer and prevents the City from capitalizing on its locational advantage, hampering economic development efforts. In addition, many open spaces have not been updated to meet the changing recreational demands of the City’s population: as the City has seen a growing Hispanic population, few improvements have been made to open space to accommodate their needs. As such, the City is in need of a comprehensive effort to improve and protect its natural resources and open space and better connect residents to them.
With respect to the natural resources and open space, the goal is to both restore and enhance natural ecosystems and promote access to those systems so that Trenton’s residents and visitors can enjoy them. To achieve these goals, the City must reduce water pollution and enhance the natural environments through targeted projects like the Assunpink Creek Park Project and the Assunpink Daylighting project. These efforts will serve both goals: improving the natural environment and creating destinations that residents can enjoy. Strategic greening of the city complements this effort. By undertaking efforts such as adding open space areas and conducting tree-planting programs, the City can make a more enjoyable environment for residents and help mitigate harm to natural environments caused by urbanization.
For these efforts to be successful, however, residents must have access to these natural resources and open space. Increased use will not only increase stewardship but will also make Trenton a more enjoyable place to live and visit. This will support efforts to promote economic development and housing that seek to make Trenton a choice destination to live and work. As a result, the City must coordinate the initiatives in this section with the Comprehensive Capital City Regional Trail Network Initiative
identified in the Circulation Report.
A map of the proposed and existing open spaces in Trenton is provided below.