"This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Florham Park, the small town I have always called home, was once a fairy-tale village nestled amongst a backdrop of sprawling hills, dales, marsh and meadow. In what seems to have been a blink of the eye, my town has breached its moorings. As a poster-child of sprawl, Florham Park has transformed the landscape from a game-rich, biologically diverse area, located at the heart of the Piedmont physiographic zone, into just another faceless town where track-homes, banks, and Starbuck coffee shops rule the day.
How did we get here? What was the mind-set of those who governed during the last 40 years when Florham Park's expansion was at its highest levels? How could a town forgo its inherent aesthetic and ecological attributes at the expense of its own natural heritage? Can strip-malls, office buildings, airports and industry do more for the human psyche today than the quality of life giving natural areas and greenways? Does it really matter if there are no more bog turtles inhabiting the remaining wetland patches within our town's borders? Have people been so anesthetized by convenience that the remaining life outside their door has ceased to matter? This program will explore and ask the question - is the benefit of chasing the ratable a myth or an unavoidable consequence of fiscal solvency that all towns must face? Is a ratable the main source of cordwood that fuels the fire of sprawl?
The history of build-out in Florham Park in a nanosecond of geologic time will be fully explored and discussed in this 1 hour Power Point Presentation. This program will explore the mechanics of sprawl and suggest alternatives, solutions and ways for a town to turn back the clock and reclaim some of that "back-in-the-day aura", lost in the wake of human mismanagement.
The Once Common Bobwhite Quail of Florham Park