BORDENTOWN CITY – The residents of Bordentown City will have their voices heard in helping restore the beauty and accessibility of the parks and trails throughout the downtown area.
Following the success of the Bordentown Water Advisory Committee in helping the city get its water system back to compliance last summer, Bordentown City Commissioners have started up a General Parks Committee to improve the accessibility of the open spaces across the city.
“It’s exciting,” Bordentown City Commissioner Joe Myers said about the new parks committee. “Mayor Lynch, Deputy Mayor Brodowski, and I have for the last couple of years tried to be more engaged with the community and meet with residents before any decisions are made on work in the city. We have strived to make sure we are being transparent and maintaining open communication with the community.”
Myers heads the parks committee that currently has 10 members, who include James Greenfield as a representative from Public Works and Cathy Eliott-Shaw from the city’s Environmental Commission. All other eight members are residents of Bordentown City.
The purpose of the parks committee will be to connect and engage with residents to improve the overall accessibility of current and future parks, trails, and open spaces around the city, said Myers.
The city commissioner believes that the involvement of residents was a big part in helping the city and the water department create an asset management plan to get its entire water system back to compliance.
Myers will take a similar approach with the parks committee as he did with the water advisory committee, including dividing up a 10-year plan based on the inventory taken of parks and trails in the city for future upgrades, improvements, and accessibility.
“We want to improve the accessibility of parks and trails for our residents and engage with them on future improvements and additions needed for each of the parks,” Myers said.
To begin the process, the parks committee will assess the feedback they receive from a survey that will be given out to all residents in the city to hear what they know about each park.
One park the city is currently looking to revamp this spring is the 0.12-acre municipal park on West Street, said Myers.
The city also owns another 0.11-acre of open space on West Street and Myers said that the goal will be to turn that into a park as well.
It was back in January that the city received a $260,000 grant from the state to help repave the road and sidewalks on West Street for residents to drive and walk safely on.
West Street is a direct route people take to attend both Clara Barton Elementary School and the McFarland Intermediate School.
Myers said the resurfacing of West Street with help make each park more accessible for residents to use.
The recent acquisition of the Division Word Missionaries property that used to be Joseph Bonaparte’s Point Breeze Estate is another use of land that Myers and the parks committee will look to make accessible to residents.
“It’s a great piece of property,” Myers said. “Bordentown City has a great system of parks, open spaces, and trails, and this will only grow as the city moves into the former Divine Word property.”
Myers said the parks committee looks forward to working with D&R Greenway Land Trust on creating trails and open spaces for residents to have access to in the future.
The parks committee held its first meet virtually through Zoom on March 4.
Myers said that a lot of residents voiced their thoughts on the parks at the meeting and at the Board of Commissioners Meeting that was held on March 8.
“We’re still in the very beginning stages of the process,” Myers said. “We heard some concerns in our first meeting that we hope to replace soon. Starting a parks committee is a good first step.”