LITTLE EGG HARBOR – Township officials and VFW members came together recently to designate with a sign, the spot where the new Veterans Park will be built.
The site for the future park is located on four vacant lots, which are bordered by Radio Road, West Calabreeze Way, Falcon Drive and Grace Drive.
According to Committeewoman Lisa Stevens, the park has not broken ground yet, the spot has just been marked.
“The township expects to move forward as soon as possible, hopefully by late summer, early fall. There are many factors involved,” said Stevens.
She added that she has met with various local veteran groups, such as the local American Legion Chapter, Local VFW members, the Cranberry Creek Veterans Group and others to discuss the park project.
The land that the park is to be built on is part of the Open Space/Green Acres fund, which has monies set aside for passive recreation. There is not an exact cost estimate yet as to how much the project will run the township, but Stevens noted that it will be partially funded via the Open Space fund as well as through fundraising.
“Since the township cannot do fundraising, it will be up to the local Veterans Organizations to support the project,” she added.
While the project is still in the works, residents can expect to see a reflection area honoring all branches of our Armed Forces, flag poles, plaques, walkways, sitting areas, and ‘green space’ for events when complete.
“The idea of a Veterans Park goes back at least 10-15 years ago. I have personally been working on it for 4-plus years now,” she said.
Stevens has a personal connection to the project, noting that before she moved to Little Egg Harbor some 17 years ago, every town she had lived in had its own Veterans Park.
“It’s just been a part of my life,” she said.
Another aspect of the project is to provide the veterans with “their own space” rather than just a memorial spot. With a population of over 2,000 veterans, it is well deserved.
While there is a small section at the Township’s Recreation Field that is already dedicated to veterans, officials and local veterans alike agree that the township needs a more appropriate space to this purpose.
The township does hold an annual Memorial Day Parade; however, it doesn’t even reach this section of the field. Since it does begin at Radio Road, a Veterans Park at this location would remedy that.