Union County Clark Reservoir set for restoration – Union News Daily

An environmental assessment of Clark Reservoir, part of the Union County park system, including water and sediment testing, is currently underway.

CLARK, NJ – The Union County Council of Commissioners has announced that restoration work on Clark Reservoir is progressing. Located along the Robinsons branch of the Rahway River in Clark, the reservoir was built in 1907. It was part of the municipal water supply system until it fell into disuse in the 1990s. was purchased by Union County in 2008 to be kept as an open public space.

“The Clark Reservoir represents one of the last opportunities to preserve a large piece of land in Union County for nature conservation and public recreation, and we are approaching the restoration project with great care,” said the Chairman of the Council of Commissioners, Alexander Mirabella. “Creating a plan for the Clark Reservoir is one of the priorities that I announced as president this year. By investing the time and effort now, we can ensure that residents and visitors to Union County can enjoy this unique natural resource for generations to come. “

“As part of the planning process for the restoration project, we have listened carefully to feedback from local residents and other stakeholders. There are many different possibilities to organize recreational activities as well as nature conservation at Clark Reservoir, ”said Commissioner Christopher Hudak, who sits on the board of directors of the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. and is a resident of Clark.

“Preserving open spaces in our densely populated area has been a priority for residents of Union County for generations. Those who came before us left behind beautiful parks that are used by residents of all ages and that have conservation areas that promote healthy biodiversity. The restoration of the Clark Reservoir will serve as a legacy for our generation for the future, ”said Commissioner Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust.
Members of the public had the opportunity to submit suggestions for the restoration and improvement of the park. Hiking trails, fishing dock, boat launch, gardens and play areas are just some of the many options on offer. Opportunities for environmental education and activities were also offered.

An environmental site assessment is currently underway, including water and sediment analysis.

Union County received two grants from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs totaling $ 500,000 for the cost of the assessment and remediation. Additionally, $ 4 million in funding is included in the New Jersey state budget approved last June.
Members of the public can take an aerial video tour by visiting the county website at ucnj.org/videos/clark.mp4. The video illustrates some of the challenges of restoring the site, which is surrounded by residential and commercial development.

Union County was among the first counties in the United States to establish a county park system. The first parks were established in the 1920s, when environmentalists worried about the rapid development and pollution in the area. Despite the challenges of acquiring open space to preserve in a densely populated area, the county continued to add land to the park system. The initial total of five parks and 2,000 acres has grown into an interconnected network of 36 parks totaling over 6,000 acres.

Union County purchased Clark Reservoir from Clark Township for $ 1 in 2008. In keeping with the original vision of a network of open spaces connected by waterways and greenways, the county also acquired properties adjacent and nearby, including the former St. Agnes property on Madison Hill Road, the former Schwarz and Esposito Farms, and part of Hazelwood Cemetery.

For more information on the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation.

Photo courtesy of Tina Casey

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