BRICK – The Township Council held a Zoom meeting for public feedback on planned improvements and upgrades to Mallard Point Park, which the administration has deemed to be in need of redevelopment and modernization.
A public notice was advertised on May 28, 2021 in accordance with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres Program, which requires that a public hearing be held while the township intends to apply for Green Acres funding to solicit input from the public.
This year’s funding request is part of the township’s overall goal to maintain and enhance playgrounds, parks, and other recreation areas in town, said Councilwoman and Recreation Chair Andrea Zapcic.
The township has already begun the process of soliciting input for the design of the park from residents within that community, who all received a letter asking for their input on park amenities. The data from online surveys and those sent by mail is still being collected and will be used to direct professionals on the park design, she said.
The estimated cost for design and construction of the Mallard Point Park is $950,000. The funding formula is 75 percent grant with a 25 percent match by the municipality. The township is seeking grant funding in the amount of $712,500 and a $237,500 state loan to fund the project.
“This is an application for the Urban Parks Program and Green Acres Development – two pots of funding the state is making available for this project,” Zapcic said.
Brick has successfully redeveloped seven neighborhood and regional parks over the last seven years with the assistance of the Green Acres program, she said. The playground and park reconstruction projects include new turf at Drum Point Sports Complex, Herbertsville Park, Lake Riviera Park, Angela Hibbard Park, Hank Waltnowski Memorial Park (aka Birchwood Park), Bernie Cooke Park, Bayside Park, and the reconstruction of the municipal tennis courts.
“In all of those projects, the township leveraged funds as much as possible to lessen the financial impact,” Zapcic said. “This application will provide the township with sufficient funding to pursue the Mallard Point Park project.”
Mallard Point Park is a small neighborhood park, located on Tunes Brook Drive. It is similar in nature to two other parks in terms of its waterfront component: Bay Harbor Beach Park and Cedarbridge Manor Park.
Waterfront parks require permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Environmental Protection to address the required shoreline stabilization.
At Bay Harbor Beach, the township implemented a unique approach which has been successful, Zapcic said. A 200-foot bulkhead, 2,000 cubic yards of sand, and 300 cubic yards of stone were used to build two stone revetments that resemble small jetties.
“Therefore, we used that success to facilitate a similar approach at Cedarbridge Manor Park,” she said. “Those permits are under review, but we have funded the design and construction at the Cedar Bridge Manor Park project and will start construction as soon as all permits are in hand.”
The renovation of Mallard Point Park is critical due to the fact that the park serves both the passive and active recreational needs of that neighborhood, Zapcic said.
The township has set aside some 15 percent of its land for recreational or conservation purposes, including over 675 acres of active recreational land that needs to be maintained, improved and upgraded, she said.
There was no public comment at the end of the meeting. There will be another opportunity to provide input on this project during the July 13 Township Council meeting.