METUCHEN — It was smiles all around for the many children who came out to the dedication of the Oakland Park improvements.
Borough Council President Ronald Grayzel said many entities came together to make the upgrades and improvements possible, which were constructed by Maser Consulting, P.A., Red Bank.
“Last year Mayor [Peter Cammarano] tasked me with implementing a design for Oakland Park,” he said during the dedication ceremony on Sept. 23.
Grayzel said with the help of the Metuchen Accessibility Committee, the Metuchen Recreation Department, the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and many other committees and organizations, the design came to fruition.
Cammarano said the new playground is completely handicap accessible.
“All of the equipment is new and expanded except for the dinosaur that was saved,” he said adding that the dinosaur is somewhat legendary with the kids in the community. “There is a rubberized safety surface and different equipment for younger and older kids.”
Cammarano said two handicapped parking spaces on Oakland Avenue with accessible sidewalks were also put in place.
The park was funded by a combination of county funding, a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which paid for the handicap parking and municipal funds.
Freeholder Deputy Director Charles Tomaro said Grayzel reached out to him in April 2016 to ask if the county would have any money available for the design of Oakland Park.
“We said ‘Yes’,” he said, adding that it was great to see the excited children.
Vivian Cacace attended the dedication with her young grandson.
“We live by the high school and he loves the park and he loves to run and play,” she said. “This is the closest park to us … I didn’t know there was anything beyond the tennis courts. I’m glad this is in our neighborhood.”