EDISON, NJ - Mayor Thomas Lankey, town officials and the family of late Mayor Thomas J. Swales Jr. unveiled improvements that were made to a municipal park named in the former mayor’s honor.
Enhancements at Thomas Swales Jr. Park, located at Park Way and Elm Street, include new plantings and playground equipment, and renovations to its basketball courts and pavilion, according to the Township.
The work is among improvements that the township made to eight of its parks over the summer Seven parks were initially identified to be most in need of improvement, but Swales Park was added to the list after the Swales Family and Beautiful Edison, a non-profit corporation, made a $37,500 donation to pay for upgrades at that park.
“Our Township is grateful to the Swales Family and Beautiful Edison for their fundraising effort and their sizable contribution to helped pay for the beneficial neighborhood enhancements at Swales Park,” Mayor Lankey said.
Mr. Swales served as Edison’s mayor from 1955-58. He was also owner of Edison Lanes bowling alley and president of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, a post he relinquished when Gov. Brendan Byrne appointed him to the N.J. Racing Commission, where he served until 1980. He was also former board chairman at JFK Hospital. Mr. Swales died in 1991 at age 81.
This summer, Edison also made park and playground improvements to Beatrice Parkway Park at Kingsbridge Drive and Beatrice Parkway; Blossom Street Park at Blossom Street and Jefferson Blvd.; Edison Woods Park on Karen Place and Rinear Drive; Gateway Park on Howard Avenue; Old Post Park on Gurley and Stevens Roads; Polansky Park on New Dover Road and Grove Avenue; and Stephen J. Capestro Park at Grandview Avenue and Roosevelt Blvd.
The cost of those renovations was about $700,000, funded by a matching $350,000 grant from the Middlesex County Open Space Trust Fund. The Administration credited Freeholder Charles Tomaro, a former Township Councilman and lifelong resident, for securing the funds.