Environmental improvements proposed in Ocean Township


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Staff Writer

OCEAN TOWNSHIP — A local environmentalist has proposed several initiatives, including a greenway trail on Cindy Lane and a rain garden at Ocean Township High School.

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Faith Teitelbaum, a trustee with the Whalepond Brook Watershed Association, said during the Sept. 22 Workshop meeting that a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) grant can help fund a mile-plus greenway trail that could connect to other trails throughout town.

“Now what we want to do is have a greenway from Cindy Lane to Route 18,” she said. “We have a grant from the DEP trails and recreation for about $5,000 to buy tools and to put up a kiosk.

“So, we thought this would be the first entrance to the greenway.”

Teitelbaum said the township will need to obtain an easement with a property owner to move forward with the project, but the owner has indicated he is in favor of the idea.

Township Manager Andrew Brannen said another complication might be there is a proposed affordable housing project slated for Cindy Lane.

“I think when we went out there the trail is already there for the most part,” he said. “I think the only thing we don’t know is how that family affordable project that is being proposed for Cindy Lane — there may be some overlap between this project and what they are doing there.

“He’s (the developer) going to be in for final site plan approval probably by the end of the year so once we see that we’ll know how these things could work together.”

Teitelbaum also said the original plan to construct a rain garden on West Park Avenue was scrapped, and the rain garden will now be built at Ocean Township High School.

“I was working with the high school science teacher and she got 30 kids to join the science club, and she wants to put a rain garden right outside the cafeteria doors,” she said. “Rutgers said they would pay for it, and Rutgers is going to do the training and the class for the students.”

In recent years members of the Whalepond Brook Watershed Association have partnered with the governing bodies of all five municipalities within the watershed on mitigation plans for issues related to the brook, including flooding and pollution.

The Whalepond Brook Watershed is the land area where surface water run-off empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It encompasses Ocean Township, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Eatontown and Tinton Falls.

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