WESTFIELD, NJ — A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for Westfield’s new Foundation Park Saturday. Conceived by landscaper Craig Stock as the Westfield Foundation’s 40th anniversary gift to the town, the park is located in what was a mostly unused green space across from the South Avenue circle near the train station.
Foundation Park, which already has a walkways and concrete patio, will get landscaping and lighting installed in time to be used as a venue for the Downtown Westfield Corporation’s Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival, which begins in July, the foundation's outgoing president, Russell Finestein, said.
“Hopefully, in the next couple of months, we’ll wrap things up,” he said.
The foundation’s motto is “For good … for ever … for Westfield,” according to its website, and Mayor Skibitsky noted, “This park will be an improvement for Westfield forever."
Members of the town council, members of the Downtown Westfield Corporation and past and present trustees of the Westfield Foundation were also there to celebrate.
Finestein presented Stock with a plaque in recognition and appreciation of his time and effort in creating the park, as well as for his extensive community service for the town.
Additionally, he thanked the mayor and town council for their support; Town Administrator Jim Gildea, Town Engineer Kris McAloon and the employees of the Westfield Department of Public Works for their hard work; and Weldon Materials, T. Fiotakis Construction, Harol Landscaping, A & N Landscaping and Craig Stock Landscaping for contributing labor and/or materials to create the park.
Finestein also thanked past and present Westfield residents who have donated or bequeathed funds to the foundation, which he said now manages more than $15 million in restricted and unrestricted funds and uses only a portion of these funds each year to provide grants benefitting the community overall and many art organizations, health-related programs, social service agencies/programs and education.