PEAPACK AND GLADSTONE NJ - At its February 14, 2017, meeting, the Peapack-Gladstone Borough Council will continue the process of choosing a professional to advise the borough on proposed upgrades to Liberty Park. The council will interview one of three finalists for the position.

For nearly a century, Liberty Park has been the centerpiece of the borough. Located on Main Street across from the borough hall, the park was established by residents in remembrance of World War I. The park is home to memorials to borough residents who served in each of the nation's foreign conflicts in the past century.

The park also hosts a variety of community events. Each May, the Peapack-Gladstone Recreation Commission sponsors and produces Community Day. Each September, the borough holds Art in the Park, and during the winter holidays, the holiday tree-lighting celebration takes place in the park.

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The park is home to a pond which was once fed by water from the Peapack Brook. In recent decades, many borough residents have noticed that the water quality in the pond has deteriorated, and caused an overall decline in the beauty of the park.  In 2014, a group of interested residents formed the Liberty Park Association, which has met regularly to research and investigate the needs of the park, and to bring forward recommendations on how to restore the park.

The next step in the process is to hire a landscape designer. At Tuesday's meeting, the council will interview the one candidate. The council will interview others at meetings in February and March.

Editor's Note: Tim Howes is a member of the Liberty Park Association.