Prospect Park Committee
Richard Dinar, Chair
Art Altman, Marc Cotugno, Jim Downey, Stan Kay, Murray Lieber,
Sandy Newman, Ken O’Neil, Elina Polonsky, Renee Resky, and Michael Schofel
The Prospect Park Trail Development Project
Who We Are: The members of the Prospect Park Committee (PPC) are Livingston residents committed to further developing Prospect Park for enjoyment. The site offers approximately 29 naturally wooded and untouched acres of land which is owned by the Township of Livingston, located at the intersection of Shrewsbury Drive and Laurel Avenue.
The Committee members are working to make the park more accessible to the public by building multi-purpose trails. Doing so will allow Essex County residents to enjoy 29 acres of forest right here, at home.
Plan: We plan to build a system of trails to be used for hiking and biking, as well as cross country skiing and snow shoeing. In the initial stage, approximately two miles of 6-8 foot wide trails and a parking area will be created. A section of trail will serve as an educational Nature Trail and will contain environmental markers to educate residents and encourage school trips. A small area of plank-type seating arranged in a circle will serve as a “classroom” and meeting place for school groups and nature clubs. Another trail section will be dedicated to those who are physically challenged. All trails will follow the natural contours of the terrain to minimize the project’s impact on the environment.
The project will be made possible with the help of volunteers from Livingston and other communities, assistance from the municipality with both direct financial and physical labor support, donations from local corporations and interested individuals, and state and county grants.
Needs: We have estimated the total cost of the initial phase of this project to be about $180,000. This includes:
- surveys and mapping
- parking lot construction
- trail clearing and building
- development of nature and handicapped accessible trails
- bridges and boardwalks over streams and wetlands
- signs for directional and educational purposes
- ongoing site maintenance
We expect to fund the project through a collaboration of both public and private sources.
On the public side we have applied for:
1. $55,000 grant from the Essex County Open Space Local Aid Grant Program
2. $25,000 grant from the NJDEP Office of Natural Lands Management, 2004 Recreational Trails Program
3. $25,000 from the Livingston Open Space Trust fund
4. $25,000 worth of services from the Township of Livingston Department of Public Works
In addition, the Township has agreed to a guarantee of up to $25,000 if the NJDEP grant is less than the full amount requested.
How You Can Help: The PPC is looking for “Trailblazers” to donate time, money or materials to help make this project come true. Benefactors who contribute above a certain level will be recognized on a sign featured in a kiosk at the entrance to the park and will be mentioned during the opening day ceremony. Our monetary goal for donations from the private sector for phase 1 of the project is $90,000. These funds will help offset shortfalls in grants and cover ongoing maintenance of the site.
The development of Prospect Park will be a proud accomplishment to be enjoyed and treasured by residents and future generations alike.
If you have questions or would like more information, please call Art Altman at 973-716-0553