FANWOOD, NJ -- The Fanwood Borough Council passed a resolution authorizing Phase 1 improvements at Forest Road Park at its virtual meeting on Monday, May 4, 2020.  

“The master plan for improvement of Fanwood’s parks is a long-term project and is tied to a substantial New Jersey Green Acres grant that Fanwood applied for and received from the state,” Mayor Colleen Mahr told TAPintoSPF.

The borough will be replacing basketball course, which is in critical need of improvement. Also in the works are two new pickleball courts, repaving a large section of the asphalt that is in disarray, adding park benches, and installing low level lighting along the walking path.

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“The Recreation Commission has been working for years on a phased improvement for Forest Road Park. It has been funded through state and the Union County Kids Recreational Trust. The money will be used for what we call phase 1 of the Forest Road Park improvements,” Mayor Mahr said. “The final sign-off comes from the state DEP. Then we will put out a bid for the work.”

The total cost of phase 1 will be $800,000, with more than 50% being funded from Green Acres. Much of the rest comes from the Union County grant. Additionally, Fanwood’s Recreation Department contributes from a fund that is filled with money generated from entrance fees for the Fanwood 5K Race and other events.

“The Forest Road Park improvements are not a new program. The preparation and the planning have been years in the making,” Mayor Mahr said. “We have been very successful in raising money through grants.”

The mayor said that the second phase will include removal of the tennis courts because they constantly flood. Instead, a gazebo will be added. The park will also get new playground equipment tied to additional grants the mayor said will be secure.

There will be improvements to LaGrande Parks by leveraging improvements. This is a long game. It will happen over years. We have plans for both parks and it will be done in a systematic way to leverage federal, state and county grants. LaGrande added the sun shelter, totally surfacing the tennis courts and redoing the basketball court. There were also upgrades to the restrooms. This is all part of the master plan, so we are not making need jerk decisions without having a plan. We do what we can afford, based on what we received."

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