WARREN, NJ - Reportedly, less than half of all adults get the recommended amount of physical activity, and the hills of Warren Township pose some challenges.
Few sidewalks, blind curves and speeding cars make walking and biking difficult. Even residential neighborhoods with posted low speed limit and children present signs are subjected to speeding cars.
Law enforcement can't police every driver in Warren to slow down, so Warren residents are discussing some solutions to the problem.
At the last Township Committee meeting, a plan was discussed to transform a beautiful piece of open space into a family friendly park area complete with walking paths able to accommodate strollers and bike trails for families to be able to bike together.
Somerset county has approved the plans for the new park between Duderstadt and Pop Warner(East County Reserve) and former Geiger farm.
Somerset County Freeholder and Park Commission Liaison, Patricia Walsh, and Warren Township Deputy Mayor, Mick Marion, have announced that the Freeholder Board and Warren Township Committee have entered into a joint management agreement to develop, manage and maintain a loop trail at the East County Park located in Warren Township.
The Board of Freeholders, Township Committee and County Park Commission have agreed to jointly undertake the development of certain phases of the 150-acre park, which is bordered by Dubois, Reinman and Old Stirling roads.
“The County and Township have a history of partnering on the development of athletic fields within the park,” said Freeholder Walsh. The county provided the Township access to County owned land to allow the construction of one synthetic soccer field and one natural turf soccer field and the County, with Township financial support, constructed a synthetic turf/football field. The current design concept proposes a network of multi-use trails throughout the park that will connect the existing uses and make more of the park accessible to the public.
The first phase of the trail development concept includes the construction of an 8-foot-wide stone multi-use loop trail approximately four-tenths of a mile long. A 26-space paved parking area, accessible from Reinman Road, will be constructed as part of this phase. Construction has commenced on Phase One and is expected to be completed this spring. This portion of the park currently is closed to the public and will be officially opened following the completion of the trail.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with Warren Township to realize the full vision of East County Park,” said Freeholder Patricia Walsh. “Construction of the first phase of the trail network will open up the most scenic portion of the park to the public and allow for the future development of additional passive recreational uses.”
“It’s very exciting to see this park concept become a reality. Warren residents have asked the Township Committee to explore further recreational opportunities in the Township,” said Deputy Mayor Mick Marion. ”Given our past positive experiences working with the County Freeholders and County Park Commission on the Pop Warner Complex and Duderstadt property, it was a natural progression. This area is one of the most picturesque pieces of property in the Township; it represents the Townships rural heritage. The trails will provide a family friendly location designed for the public to enjoy walking, running, biking, or pushing strollers. After a long tough winter, residents will look forward to and be excited about a spring opening.”
The Freeholders, Township Committee, and Park Commission, will review the overall concept on an annual basis and agree to the development of additional phases of the trail and other park amenities including enhancements to the ponds as budgetary conditions allow.