PARKS, RECREATION, AND CONSERVATION BOARD MINUTES
Date: May 23, 2017
Attendance: Present: Chair Rich Brooks, Vice Chair David Sayles, Mary Mogerley, William Riker, Michael Winogard
Absent: BOE Liaison Jim Morgan, Parker Weil, Village Council Liaison Ramon Hache, Lou Lembo
Also Present: Director Tim Cronin, Deputy Director Nancy Bigos, Diane Walker, Sarah Taggart, Jim Bostler, Ralph Curry
Public Comment: None
Director’s Report: April 2017, No questions
Approval of Minutes: April 2017 Approved, no changes
Presentation: Children’s Sensory/Butterfly Garden – Diane Walker
Girl Scout Gold Award Project – Sarah Taggert
The Children’s Sensory/Butterfly Garden will be located at the Stable. This project is proposed by The Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands and in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department.
This design for the Children’s Garden encompasses a fun, interactive and educational experience for children, their families and those with disabilities. It will be ADA compliant to accommodate all who would like to derive pleasure from this special place. S.Taggert mentioned she is going to incorporate Braille signage for the sightless. Many will benefit when the existing concrete patio is utilized to bring nature, science and ecology into the outdoor “classroom”.
The first phase will be the hardscape. This includes a walkway, fence and quarry work as well as irrigation for the many plants (perennials), shrubs and three large trees which will be planted in the second phase. There are also plans for a vegetable garden. The third phase will be to build a pergola along with additional amenities to be part of the “Fun Zone”.
Chris Raimondi will be the horticultural consultant as well as Tim Cronin and Chris Rutishauser who will also implement some of the hardscape work and the irrigation. There are going to be volunteers from Ridgewood High School and the families of volunteers as well to plant and water.
The budget for the Children’s Sensory/Butterfly Garden is $20,000.00 - $30,000.00. The money will be raised in a variety of ways and events. The rock for the walls and walkways will be donated. Ben and Jerry’s had a Free Cone Day with “suggested contributions” collected throughout the day donated to the Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands to start the fund raising for the Butterfly Garden. Raymond’s of Ridgewood will have a “Butterfly Garden/ Drink of the Week” with all proceeds donated to the project, resulting in approximately $800.00 a week. As of today, one third of the funding has been raised. There is also a naming opportunity for elements of the garden to provide funding and support. The sponsors’ names will be recognized in the Children’s Sensory/Butterfly Garden various zones.
A motion was put forward to accept and approve the project as presented and all were in favor to go forward with the Children’s Sensory/Butterfly Garden to be located at the Stable.
Cynthia Halaby and Chris Raimondi will present the project to the Village Council for their approval.
Committee Survey Report Findings – Jim Bostler and Ralph Curry
Each municipality that receives Green Acres funds is required to have an Open Space and Recreation Plan. The plan is divided into required sections, with the largest and most important section being a needs analysis. The Open Space Survey is the first step towards that end.
The Open Space Survey was created by members Jim Bostler and Wendy Dockery, and directed towards the Village parks and open space in an effort to obtain knowledge about the parks located in the Village, how residents use the parks and how the parks can be improved. It was sent to a sampling of Village residents chosen at random from the voters list, 2100 were sent out and there were 413 total responses (about 20%) received, which is considered a great response ratio.
Some of the data in the survey results included:
• Needs – over 60% of the respondents would support more acquisition of open space. People are satisfied with the parks but would like to see improvement. There is however, no consensus as to how to fund these improvements or acquisitions, although there is a willingness to invest.
• Balance – The use of open space must include both active and passive facilities, over half of the respondents wanted a combination of both. This is a specific issue that should be carefully considered.
• Awareness – There needs to be better communication on the location and accessibility to all the parks.
• Website Use – Although 90% of the respondents are aware of the Village Website, half of the people rarely use it. Further investigation is needed to determine the reason they do not.
The big issue is where the Village is going to find open space. The Upper Ridgewood Tennis Club (30 acres) and the PSE&G Right of Way (15 acres) were both mentioned as possibilities.
90’ Diamond Study: There was an update from R. Brooks. He had attended a meeting with H. Mailander, J. Albano, T. Cronin, N. Bigos, R. Hache and J. Mehandzic regarding the 90 foot baseball diamond the previous week. Since the 2015 resolution for the development of Schedler Park (which included a 90’ diamond) was rescinded there has been a study done and alternate proposals discussed regarding the placement of another 90’ baseball diamond. A proposal for reconfiguring Veteran’s Field for two 90’ diamonds had been considered, but after engineer J. Mehandzic studied it he stated that it would not be possible. The other proposal was for Lower Hawes, which he thought would be possible but indicated that it will require a lot of construction. There are wetlands and also two dry areas that are in the “500 year flood plain”. It would also require the felling of a number of trees as well as parking, community access and neighborhood concerns. Another issue is the two Oak trees 225 feet down on the right (which would be the right field line of the baseball diamond) and the displacement of animals. Also mentioned was the property at Citizens Park eliminated three fields and Ridgewood High School.
M. Winogard distributed a draft of discussion points pertaining to the 90 foot baseball diamond. It encompasses a history of the Schedler property procurement, field options and financing. The template was that the “90 foot baseball diamond would fit into the confines of the area with an overlay multi-purpose field for lacrosse and soccer in the outfield along with a significant amount of space for passive recreational space.”
A discussion concerning the placement of the baseball diamond ensued. The pros and cons for each location were discussed; Schedler was credited as having the best attributes for placement of the diamond. It was suggested that the PRC meet with the Schedler neighborhood group to discuss a revised plan for the usage of the Schedler property. It has been eight years since its inception, which had a 90 foot baseball diamond included in each of the subsequent plans for usage of the property.
Green Acres Diversion Update – There aren’t any developments that can be brought to the public. The original property they were looking at fell through; T. Cronin recommended another parcel of land. Also, the Quakers contacted the Village and would like to reopen negotiation for their property offering.
2017 Graydon Pool: National Register of Historic Places
Graydon Park was put forth to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the State Historic Preservation Office and was found eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Village Council passed Resolution No, 17-135 on April 12, 2017 to go forward and submit an application to the State of New Jersey for the placement of Graydon Park on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Once the ordinance has passed there will be a lack of control of what we can do at Graydon Park. For instance skylights will probably not be allowed and it will not be easy to renovate the baths. Once a place has been deemed historical you cannot change much without permission from the Historical Preservation Office.
New Business: None
Liaison Reports Village Council – R. Hache
Board of Ed - J. Morgan
Open Space Committee - M. Mogerley
The Open Space Survey results were discussed earlier
- Bergen County Master Plan
The Ridgewood group that attended the hearing voiced their displeasure at the neglect of the Ridgewood Duck Pond. The Bergen County Parks representative indicated that the infrastructure of the Duck Pond is ineffective; the clay basin is perforated and there are leaks in the pipes. Apparently the pond has become a flood basin.
The Bergen County Parks representative advised all to go to the Bergen County website for information. Bergen County is working in concert with Rutgers University. The County Executive is a big fan of parks and is trying to raise awareness and support for the Bergen County Master Plan.
Fields Committee – R. Hache/ R. Brooks
No report, this was covered with the Open Space presentation.
Shade Tree Commission – T. Cronin
There was an open public meeting – Right Tree, Right Place
Community Center Advisory Board
. No report
The planting that was done the previous weekend looks great.
Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands - N. Bigos
The Mothers Day plant sale, a major fundraiser for the Conservancy was rained out two weeks ago. Plans are to move ahead with the design and fundraising for the Children’s Sensory /Butterfly Garden.
Ridgewood Arts Council - L. Lembo
Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Council (REAC)
Next Meeting Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at the Stable, 7:30 pm
Adjournment 10:30 PM