Newark Natural Resource Inventory

In 2015, Newark implemented a natural resource inventory in partnership with Beck Pond Limited. The goal of this inventory was to map and identify important natural resources found in the town, so that future recommendations could be made on high priority areas for conservation. In partnership with Dr. Fritz Gerhardt of Beck Pond LLC, an extensive study was performed which looked at relevant literature available in both state and federal databases. Maps depicting the distribution and concentrations of important ecological resources in Newark were included in the study, as well as inventory data collected from on-the-ground field work. The results of the Natural Resource Study will be incorporated in Newark's new Town Plan which is expected to be completed in 2015. The Natural Resource Inventory Study and consultation services provided by Senior Planner Alison Low of Northeastern Vermont Development Association were provided through a grant awarded to the Planning Commission of Newark by the State of Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development.

Project Contact: Kim Fried
Project Contact Email:
Year Completed: 2014
Project Lifespan: 2014-2015
Regional Planning Commision: Northeastern Vermont Development Association
water, wetland, wildlife
Project Accomplishments:

Highlights from the natural resource inventory will be integrated into the 2015 Town Plan and will be incorporated in the regional plan soon thereafter. The study found that Newark is characterized by large blocks of contiguous forest habitat, several lakes and ponds, and aquatic and riparian habitats. Newark is home to wetlands, vernal pools, rare and uncommon natural communities, deer wintering areas, mast stands, and several rare, threatened and endangered species. The forest blocks in this town act as connecting habitat to other important wildlife areas in Vermont, northern New England, and Canada. In light of the rich biodiversity in the town, the inventory study found that there are many opportunities for conservation and restoration of these resources.

With this plan, Newark aims to conserve high priority conservation areas, and to start recreational or conservation type activities on riverfront and shorefront land under town ownership. Additionally, Newark hopes to take a close look at regulatory aspects regarding water and flood resiliency in order to improve these issues. Looking forward, Newark hopes to launch a formal conservation commission whose efforts will continue to focus on natural resource conservation in the town. Future initiatives may involve more field work, both in order to confirm some of the information compiled from the literature reviews, and to add to the study so that it offers a more detailed account of the land. During the natural resource inventory, Newark was able to build relationships with neighboring towns, and they look forward to establishing potential future partnerships.

Project Partners:

Newark Planning Commission
Beck Pond LLC
Northeastern Vermont Development Association
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development

Critical to Success:

Dr. Gerhardt, a resident of Newark, held great expertise in the fields of ecology, conservation science, and applied ecological research. The expertise and support provided by Dr. Gerhardt was essential to the natural resource inventory. The funding for the inventory was made possible by a Municipal Planning Grant from the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development. Newark is a relatively small town, and having the funds and volunteer efforts of its citizens was crucial to the success of this project. Lastly, this project greatly benefited from the dedication and leadership of its planning commission, selectmen and community members.


Trying to keep all of the citizens involved and informed was a frequent challenge encountered during this process. It can sometimes be difficult to get community members involved in such a small, rural community, but these efforts proved greatly beneficial to the success of the project.