Hats Off to The County and Monmouth Conservation Foundation

August 31, 2015
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THE MONMOUTH COUNTY Freeholders and the Monmouth Conservation Foundation should be commended for their tenacity and ability to work cooperatively to make a more than a decade dream of a waterfront park in the River Plaza community come true. A combination of private and public agencies working together in this manner is a classic example of collaborative efforts to improve the quality of life in Monmouth County.

The $3.81 million sale of 14 acres that will soon become Swimming River Park, on the west side of the Hubbard’s Bridge is expected to be finalized this week.

Now known as Chris’ Marina, the Monmouth Conservation Foundation and the county have overcome numerous obstacles to make this park, which will have an improved boat ramp and parking for boat trailers as well as passive recreation along the water.

This joint venture is impressive in that besides long-term negotiations and huge environmental hurdles, neither the county nor the foundation lost sight of the dream. We’re lucky to have a county that cares about the quality of life in the Two River Area and the Monmouth Conservation Foundation is a gem. A countywide land trust, established 37 years ago, its mission is to preserve open space and farmland in the county. And they have truly met that mandate. To date the foundation has directly preserved more than 6,500 acres and collaboratively saved 16,000 acres. That’s impressive. In this case, the foundation contributed $200,000 toward the site’s purchase, including a State Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres $100,000 grant.

The foundation doesn’t just raise funds. William Kastning, the executive director and his team, put in countless hours of negotiations, research, and sorting through reams of government red tape to get things done. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We thank the county and the foundation for preserving what defines the joy of living in this area – space, and in this case, riverfront space.

It doesn’t get better than that

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