CRANFORD - The Cranford Riverwalk Committee is hosting a Riverwalk Restoration Project this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and everyone is invited to join.

According to the release, volunteers are advised to bring masks, gloves, rakes, and garden shovels. Social distancing will be enforced to ensure everyone’s safety.

“The Cranford Riverwalk has proven to be a central component for the community as we all heal from the social effects of the virus,” said Michael Mason, chair of the Cranford Heritage Plaza and Riverwalk Committee. “Residents have been frequently escaping to its picturesque surroundings, remaining close to home yet being fully immersed in nature. In the beginning of the lockdown, children came out and decorated fairy homes to dot along the path. Now, as we come out and physically distance, we can come together in order to celebrate the historic beauty right outside. It’s Cranford's backyard.”

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Though COVID-19 interfered with maintaining the grounds, it is now presumed safe to return as volunteers follow CDC guidelines.

“Safety, of course, is paramount to our group,” added Mason. “All projects that we will be tackling this weekend will be done while maintaining social distance, and with masks required. The path itself is eight feet wide, allowing us the recommended six feet of distance between each person. Using these measures, we feel comfortable inviting the public to help be a part of history. Children will benefit by learning more about the town and seeing history come to life right before their eyes, and adults will find another section of Cranford transition from being forgotten, to becoming a gem for passive recreation.”

The Cranford Heritage Corridor includes the parklands from Orange Avenue at the Cranford Canoe Club from the 19th Century, and meanders through town following the Rahway River to the Williams-Droescher Mill from the early 18th Century. The century-old stone walls and iconic stone columns are still in place, but are in need of restoration and preservation. Future plans include repairing the Kaltenbach Estate Skating Pond, Victorian Footbridge and Squire Williams Picnic Grove. There are over 20 projects that are a part of the master plan.

As Cranford makes plans to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2021, advocates and volunteers hope that the Heritage Plaza will be restored in time to be a part of the celebrations.

“Cranford is known as ‘The Venice of New Jersey’, complete with river carnivals, boating, fishing and skating on the Rahway River. Residents and visitors gather here for fun and relaxing all the time. We hope that the Cranford Heritage Corridor will once again be returned to its former glory,” states Mason.           

You can follow the Riverwalk on Facebook for the latest news and information on the project’s progress.