EDISON, NJ — Edison Township plans to name a scenic swath of land along the Raritan River as “Riverside Park” to encourage more people to visit and enjoy it.

The new Riverside Park – which is accessible from the Edison Boat Basin at the end of Meadow Road – features a half-mile long walkway and gazebo, park benches, interpretive signs, a native butterfly garden, and birding areas.

The Township Council introduced an ordinance to name Riverside Park at its public meeting on Wednesday, and will hold a final vote in June.

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Edison Township, working with the Edison Wetlands Association and Conservation Resources Inc., completed work on the riverfront amenities in 2010, but few people know it is there and that it is open to the public.

“Our hope is to encourage more people to visit and use this distinctive recreation area,” said Mayor Thomas Lankey, noting the new park offers visitors a variety of recreational options including kayaking, canoeing, picnicking, walking and hiking.

It is also an ideal site for bird-watchers to see Peregrine Falcons, Black Skimmers, Osprey and Great Blue Herons. The area is home to a range wildlife including river otters, various types of turtles and it is occasionally visited by harbor and harp seals.