The D&R Canal Commission, who is responsible for planning for the Canal Park's future, sees an important role for the park that extends beyond its value as a water supply system and as a popular recreational destination. The Commission envisions the park as a spine for a network of preserved wildlife habitat and recreation sites that extends across central New Jersey, reaching into every community in the region and giving definition to the region.

The central New Jersey region is characterized by rolling hills that are drained by a network of streams that all come down to the D&R Canal Park. By preserving corridors along these streams, as well as other associated natural and historic sites, a continuous network of open space and historic sites will be created that will assure the preservation of the most important physical and historic character of the region.