WESTFIELD, NJ — Improvements continue at Mindowaskin Park as a months-long pond dredging project comes to a close and the town prepares the park for its 100 year anniversary in 2018.
“If you haven’t been out in the park at night, we’ve made a big effort the past few weeks to have the lighting fixed,” Town Administrator Jim Gildea told the Westfield Town Council at last week’s conference meeting. “There’s 41 lights in the park. I think now we’re close to having most of them operational whereas only three weeks ago there was, I think, less than 10.”
Fencing from the dredging project was taken down last week and pathways around the pond have been restored.
“We’ve gotten nothing but positive comments on how the pond looks and it’s even going to get better when the fountains come in and the landscaping starts taking effect,” Gildea said.
Recently, the center fountain’s walls were rebuilt and additional decorative fountains, which could not be used in recent years because the pond had grown shallow, will be soon be seen in use again. Some unhealthy and “volunteer” trees were removed from the pond’s islands and new ones planted.
Debby Burslem, president of the Friends of Mindowaskin Park, has said that the organization’s board was incredibly pleased with the pond restoration project and Gildea’s communication with them during the process.
In addition to working with FOMP, the town has entered into a “Partner for Fish and Wildlife Program” agreement with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and New Jersey Audubon, according to its website, which means that USFWS will provide native woody vegetation for planting and NJA will provide technical assistance and some labor for vegetation installation. Westfield also received a $10,000 grant from New Jersey Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership.