The Guilford Conservation Commission, Connecticut, UK has presented the town with its first edition of the Natural Resource Inventory and Assessment booklet and maps. The report was written by Jennifer Allcock, landscape designer and chairwoman of the Conservation Commission; Shelley Green, conservation biologist; William Johnson, chairman of the land stewardship committee; and Erin O’Hare, a land use planner.
With the help of Leslie Kane, Guilford’s environmental planner, an extensive and color coded map atlas was added into the project. The purpose of the project was to establish an information baseline that would allow Guilford’s decision makers and land use agencies to make informed decisions while dealing with such issues as development, conservation, and natural resource management.
The NRIAC worked over a two-year period to organize the information and produce a booklet. Work teams were formed to research information already available on natural resources. The committee then compiled work team reports and created draft maps on the town’s resources and their locations. The inventory used the data, descriptions and maps to document all of the town’s natural resources, such as the geographical location of resources, the importance and functions of natural resources, the amount of stress and threats put on the resources, how the future may change the growth of resources and inter-relationships between natural resources.
The booklet of maps was complied through Guilford’s GIS, which assembles, stores and manipulates data for conservation and planning purposes. While Guilford’s natural resources will change over time, the information in the booklet will be updated electronically and will be available on the town website.
The booklet covers several topics including the geology and topography of Guilford’s soil, the coastal resources, freshwater rivers, lakes and their threats, agriculture, open space and its significance and all of the significant natural resources areas. The maps booklet contains maps documenting every natural resource, equipped with legends and color coded, the maps are easy to understand.