BRICK – Normandy Beach residents Rita Ciocca and Janet Keating attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Bayside Park along with the township administration, department heads and employees.
“It’s really awesome, they did a fabulous job,” said Ciocca. “It’s a wonderful addition to our community, because it looked disheveled before.” She said that before the renovation, there was nothing for children to do there.
“They’ve added so many nice features,” she said. “I’ll be bringing my grandchildren here.”
Keating agreed, and said the park and its new gazebo would be great for seniors as well.
“They can sit in the shade, watch the boats go by, and enjoy the beautiful sunsets,” she said. “They did a wonderful job with the landscaping – there are so many different plantings, and the flat walkway is easy on your feet.”
The renovation of Bayside Park, located in the Normandy Beach section of the township opposite Brick Beach III, has been on the township’s radar since before Superstorm Sandy.
The new design includes a large and improved playground, picnic areas, benches, shade areas, two bait stations, two concrete corn hole games, a concrete patio and more.
“People have already contacted me who want to have their weddings here,” said Mayor John G. Ducey during his comments before the ribbon-cutting.
The neighborhood park will be a great gathering point for everyone on the barrier island, he added.
Bayside Park had been used as a staging site for dredging after Superstorm Sandy and for the Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project, Ducey said.
“This was supposed to be done before Memorial Day weekend, but then COVID hit and the factories shut down,” he said. “And then we missed the planting season, but the park persevered and made it through.”
The construction cost, $722,022, was contracted to Precise Construction of Freehold, which has also constructed other township parks. Separately, Albert Marine of Waretown was awarded the $84,690 contract for the replacement of the park bulkhead and boardwalk there.
This was the seventh township park to undergo renovations, which is part of Ducey’s long-term plan for the township.
Other township parks that have undergone renovations in recent years include Herbertsville Park (formerly Colorado Park), Lake Riviera, Windward Beach, Angela Hibbard, Hank Waltonowski Park (AKA Birchwood Park) and Bernie Cooke Park.
Bayside, Hank Waltonowski and Birchwood Parks were partly funded by a $2 million Green Acres multi-park grant. The $2 million was subtracted from the total cost of $3,507,447 for the rehabilitation of the three parks, said Township Planner Tara Paxton.
She said there could be an opportunity for Brick to ask for more funds if there is a future funding round because the township is an Urban Aid Community and is funded 75 percent/25 percent for project costs.
Additional non-park improvements over the past few years include the Forge Pond tennis courts, which were rebuilt; a new pavilion building at Brick Beach 1; and upgrades to the shower platform, walkway and parking lot at Brick Beach 3.
Two other parks, Arrowhead and Frede, were completed before the current administration.
The township has just two more parks on the list to be renovated: Mallard Point Park and Cedar Bridge Manor Park.