UNION, NJ – In advance of the second community meeting to discuss the Kennedy Reservation proposal, Tapinto Union has learned the Township will not be moving ahead with plans to add walking and bike trails and a dog park within the Reservation.

“The purpose of the first community meeting was to listen to and hear our resident’s concerns,” said Township of Union Mayor Suzette Cavadas, “and we have considered their wants and needs.”  That meeting was met with opposition from residents, who were concerned about an increase in traffic, trash and incidents involving Kean students and others using the reservation.

The original plan included two sections:  Five acres owned by the County to include playground equipment, two separate play areas for different aged children, restroom facilities, picnic facilities and a parking lot, and forty acres owned by the Township, with the proposed trails and potential dog park. 

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“The County portion of the project will move ahead,” said Township Business Administrator Ron Manzella.  “In the meeting, residents expressed support for the new playground.”

In addition to the first community meeting, Cavadas said she met with about a dozen residents earlier this week to walk the Reservation and hear their concerns.

“Quality of life within Union is a priority and anything perceived to adversely affect that is taken seriously by the Township Committee,” said Cavadas.  She said the Township routinely holds community meetings to discuss upcoming projects and cited recent community meetings regarding the Streetscape project in Union Center and the Hawk’s Tavern project in Vauxhall. 

“We always make it a point to get the input of the community before making a decision on a project,” added Cavadas.  “We’ve heard our residents, looked at alternatives and ultimately decided to leave the 40 Township-owned acres as is.” 

The second community meeting to review the updated proposal will be held tonight, Wednesday, March 22, at the Union Senior Center, 768 Bonnel Court, beginning at 7:00 p.m.