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Phase Two of Warren's East County Park Set to Begin, Dog Park, Shade and Trail Extensions Targeted

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Phase Two of Warren's East County Park Set to Begin, Dog Park, Shade and Trail Extensions Targeted Credits: B. Nemcek
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WARREN, NJ - Phase two is about to begin in the development of the East County Reserve Park and will include a dog park, trail extensions and gazebo for shade.

East County Park is located between Dubois Road and Old Stirling Road with an entrance off of Reinman Road. The park is being developed through a partnership between Somerset County and Warren Township. Phase one of four was completed last year and features a walking trail.

On phase one, “Our intent was to try to keep our residents in our town walking around on a nice track instead of going to Watchung Lake,” said Mayor George Lazo at the last meeting of the Warren Township Committee, “It’s been a terrific effort with the county. It's been more than a decade of working with them on what is a beautiful park setting with multiple uses.” 

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“What really has come up as an interest is a dog park. The county has a lot of experience in doing this, and they are gracious to move ahead and want to do this. Mr. Lazo and I felt (the county’s proposal) wasn’t nearly the size it should be, so we doubled it," said Township Committeeman Michael "Mick" Marion. 

The dog park will be close to an acre in size according to Marion.

Phase two will also include the installation of a gazebo and shelter, construction of a bridge and trail connection to both the Duderstadt  and the East County (Pop Warner) turf fields. The project is expected to be completed by year end.

East County Park is “one of the nicest pieces of property in Warren" said Marion.

And it was almost a two-lane road.

The 150-acre tract owned by Somerset County was identified for development.

Mayor Lazo said Committeeman Gary DiNardo and Committeewoman Carolann Garafola “had the vision to know what we needed to move forward.”

“It would never have been there had those two not had such a strong relationship with the county officials and lobbied them to buy this,” Committeeman Victor Sordillo said in commending DiNardo and Garafola for their efforts to make the East County Park possible.

Warren's share of the total cost of the four-phase park development plan will not exceed $750,000, paid from the open space trust fund, according to Township Administrator Mark Krane. 

The total cost based on the county’s cost estimate is $2.6 million.

 
 

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