Union County Freeholder Vice Chairman Bruce H. Bergen and Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski joined Springfield Mayor David Barnett, Deputy Mayor Margaret Bandrowski, Summit Mayor Ellen Dickson, Summit Councilwoman Sandra R. Lizza and Councilmen Richard J. Madden, Albert Dill and Mike McTernan in cutting the ribbon officially opening the newly restored and improved Briant Park in Summit and Springfield.
The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders awarded a $275,000 grant from the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund toward the restoration of Briant Park. The grant was matched by a state Green Acres grant received by the Briant Park Olmsted Conservancy.
The new improvements include a gazebo to provide a sheltered seating area and a new nature trail featuring wood chips to complement the natural feel of the park environment.
Other improvements include new plantings and soil restoration, pruning and removal of dead trees, new benches including wheelchair access to seating areas, period sign posts, restoration of a retaining wall on the west slope, and aesthetic improvements to an existing footbridge.
The Union County parks system includes 36 parks totaling more than 6,700 acres. Briant Park is 51 acres.
Since its inception in 2000, the Trust Fund has enabled Union County to restore and improve services at County parks, contribute to local preservation and recreation efforts, and add hundreds of acres of preserved open space to County parklands including brownfields reclaimed for public recreation.
(Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)