HOLMDEL – Municipal officials in Holmdel have started a Park Partners program that gives residents a chance to work with the township to provide a cleaner environment in parks, on trails and at public spaces throughout the community.
“This program is great for people who want to get out and help the community,” Mayor Gregory Buontempo said. “Some of our residents have the skillset to help care for our parks and to look for ways to keep the parks well maintained.”
He said the idea to start what became the Park Partners program came about when officials saw residents trying to clean up areas of parks and trails on their own.
The mayor said the members of the Township Committee appreciated the fact that residents were taking pride in trying to keep the community clean and wanted to come up with a defined way to allow people to keep Holmdel’s parks, trails and public spaces in good shape.
That desire led to the creation of the Park Partners program with the goal of building a sense of community, pride and ownership for every park, trail and public space in the township.
Residents and organizations are being encouraged to volunteer and to help maintain a clean environment.
Buontempo said the Park Partners program offers opportunities to Boy Scouts who are working to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.
Projects on which individuals may assist include litter pickup, trail maintenance, graffiti removal, planting flowers, landscape bed maintenance, pruning, washing playground equipment, removing invasive plants, raking leaves and painting.
After an individual or a representative of a group submits an application, he will meet with a Park Partners coordinator to discuss details and create a work plan for a specific location. Work may begin after a township representative signs off on the plan.
The township may provide supplies and equipment necessary to complete certain tasks.
Buontempo said he knows a few people who have begun the process of becoming a partner and hopes many residents will do the same over the next few months.
“One of our greatest resources is our parks and that is why we kept them open for our residents during the pandemic,” he said. “A lot of our residents use the parks. It’s a great outlet for them with everything going on with COVID-19. Our Park Partners program allows residents to volunteer to help clean up the parks and keep them safe for people to use.”