LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston’s Trails and Greenways Committee is working to fulfill its action plan of maintaining a “high-quality system of parks, trials and greenways that will increase the desirability of residing and raising families in Livingston” by moving forward on plans to connect the township’s existing walking paths and researching potential future projects that include a kayaking site.
Committee chair Richard Cornell recently explained to the mayor and council that if the committee can get high school students, local Scouting groups and other volunteer organizations involved, the project to establish a trail around Livingston that would connect the existing trails for walkers and bicyclists is something that can happen in the very near future.
“I think it would be very interesting to properly, with time and with effort, figure out a way to get these walking paths around town in shape and usable for the residents of Livingston," said Mayor Ed Meinhardt. "I think it would be a wonderful thing to be able to connect Livingston by these paths.”
Although a site has been identified to establish a kayaking program, Meinhardt said these plans are a little more difficult because the proposal includes land owned by both the county and the state. He explained that the site currently being looked at is an area behind the Okner Parkway fields, where walkers and bicyclists would eventually reach a body of water if a trail is created.
Ultimately, Meinhardt said the township is looking at this as a “two-prong” endeavor: the walking trails being an easier project that everyone is agreeable to, and the kayak/canoe project, which is going to take “a lot longer to figure out how to work with the county, the state and all the other parties involved to get this going.”
“The kayaking portion [of this project] is something that we still need a lot more information on,” he said. “We need to coordinate with the county and the state, we need to get our insurance discussed, we need to figure out where these canoes can be housed and stored safely and properly—so there’s a lot more that needs to get done.”
Meinhardt said that he looks forward to working with the committee, the town, the county and the state to have the paths up and running as soon as possible. Cornell agreed to return to the council in the coming weeks with more information.