Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Working to Get Back on Track

The Monmouth County Park System family extends its heartfelt compassion and support to residents who suffered damage or other disruptions from the recent storm. We join with the entire Monmouth County community as we start the long but hopeful journey of rebuilding our homes and businesses.

We also extend a warm “thank you” to those who assisted with the storm relief supply center at Thompson Park, Lincroft. More than 1,000 volunteers assisted in sorting the goods that arrived, from non-perishable food to baby items, clothing and blankets to cleaning supplies. Each and every volunteer came ready to work, smiles on their faces. And to those who donated much needed supplies, you can be assured that you made a positive difference for your neighbors in their time of need.

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Fishing Pier at Bayshore Waterfront Park
Henry Hudson Trail near Atlantic Highlands Marin
After Hurricane Sandy there was much to do within the Park System. During the week following the storm, our Rangers were in the parks evaluating the damage and beginning clean up. Lack of power was the least of our worries. Most of our parks fared well, but some areas took on quite a bit of damage like the SkatePlex at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, the marina at Monmouth Cove, and the fishing pier at Bayshore Waterfront Park. There were many trees and large tree limbs down all over the parks, especially on our trails. And the winter storm that followed only a week later just made things more difficult and brought more of a mess. Even as of today, quite a few park trails remain closed due to safety issues from damaged and fallen trees. These include a large portion of the Henry Hudson Trail northern extension (Keyport to Highlands) and those at Huber Woods Park.

But the Park System is working hard to get back to normal. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the parks again, to have a place to de-stress and wind down. Most of our programs are back to normal again, and we've even gotten our Winter Program Directory out. All of our playgrounds have reopened, giving families a great place to visit and let loose. Many other park facilities have reopened, including our off-leash dog areas at Thompson Park and Wolf Hill Recreation Area, as well as our Environmental Centers at the Manasquan Reservoir and Huber Woods.

If you're looking to go for a run or a bike ride to let off some steam, there are trails open within Hartshorne Woods Park, Locust (paved trails at Rocky Point and some at Claypit); Shark River Park, Wall; Tatum Park, Middletown (Holly Grove and Dogwood Hollow); Manasquan Reservoir, Howell; and Thompson Park, Lincroft, to name a few. For the most up to date information on reopenings, please click here

We wish everyone well and hope for a hasty recovery during this holiday season.