The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders joined with Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp and members of City Council and the Board of Education in breaking ground on two new turf fields at Cedar Brook Park. The fields, which replace existing grass sports fields, are expected to be completed by next summer.
“Cedar Brook park is one of the most popular parks in the County system, and it was designed as much for recreational use as it was for aesthetic beauty,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “We look forward to providing improved recreational amenities in the park for our youth.”
Freeholder Linda Carter, a resident of Plainfield and a member of the Freeholder Board’s Parks Standing Committee added: “Our recreational facilities continue to be in great demand, and the new turf will help ensure that these fields recover more quickly from usage and inclement weather and provide more opportunities for use. Over the past decade, we have continued to make upgrades to Cedar Brook which has elevated its standing as top-notch park and recreational destination.”
Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp added: “Cedar Brook Park is one of Plainfield’s great attractions, and we are looking forward to the upgrades and improvements to the fields that will increase recreational opportunities for our youth and older active adults.”
Others in attendance included: Plainfield City Council President Rebeccca Williams, City Council Vice President Barry Goode, and Councilmembers Joylette Mills-Ransome, Bridget Rivers, Charles McCrae, and Board of Education member Carmencita Pile.
New Jersey State Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22), whose district includes Plainfield, Clark, Fanwood, Linden, Rahway, Scotch Plains, and Winfield, and was involved in the planning process, added:
“Cedar Brook draws visitors from Plainfield and beyond, and these significant new upgrades will ensure that more people can come and enjoy this valuable public asset,” said Green.
Work is expected to begin on the fields in November, and the project will include lighting, sidewalks, small bleachers, team benches and 18 additional parking spots. One field will be multi-use for soccer, football and lacrosse; the other will be a “junior” field for soccer usage.
The project, which is funded by the County, will cost $1.7 million and was designed by the Maser Consulting engineering firm of Red Bank, NJ. The contractor is the Abraham Construction Company of West Orange, NJ.
Over recent years, the County has made a series of improvements to Cedar Brook Park, which contains popular attractions such as its tennis courts and the Shakespeare Gardens, which have received recent upgrades. The County has also installed a new spray park, playground, restrooms, and a new shed for the cricket field.
Over the next year, the County is also planning to install a handicapped-accessible fishing dock at the pond and make passive improvements (walking path and benches) to the Stelle Avenue branch of the park.
Cedar Brook Park was developed in 1925 by the Union County Park Commission, and was designed by the Olmsted Brothers, the noted engineering firm that designed a series of historic landmark parks in urban areas. Their list of projects includes Central Park in New York City and five others in the Union County parks system—Wheeler Park, Warinanco Park, Echo Lake Park, Green Brook Park and the Watchung Reservation.
Cedar Brook Park is on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places. Improvements have been designed with consideration of the original Olmsted Brothers design for the park.
The park is a popular