If you’ve ever spent a perfect spring morning biking from Ridgewood to Saddle Brook or hiking a Ramapo mountain trail, or a snowy weekend day skiing at Campgaw Mountain, or a fall afternoon feeding animals and pushing your little one on the swings at Van Saun Park, you know what a unique treasure our Bergen County Parks system is. But there is always room for improvement and now is your chance to give input to help build the parks system for the future.
In September 2016, Bergen County Executive, James Tedesco III and Bergen County Parks Director, Jim Koth, announced the first ever comprehensive Bergen County Parks Master Plan. And they need you.
Have you wished for more accessible playgrounds? Are you committed to preserving natural and open spaces? Do you wish the parks had better food options, more bathroom facilities, additional hiking or biking trails or a full schedule of cultural, educational or ethnic programming? Do you believe in situating art in outdoor, public spaces? Are there sports programs you’d like to see represented? Take the Master Plan online survey before it closes on June 1st. You will have the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas with the Bergen County Parks Department as they work to shape the parks for the next decades. And who better (or more important) than parents with young children to share their thoughts on the parks system?
Some exciting ideas already being considered include bike paths that provide connected, safe access to a network of parks across the county, all without ever having to load your bike and your baby into the car before the outing, a zoo expansion which, though still pending, could increase the size and scope of our existing Bergen County Zoo at Van Saun Park, and golf course upgrades intended to offer an enhanced golf experience on the five Bergen County public courses.
Want to know what the Bergen County Parks system has to offer today? Be on the lookout for the full schedule of summer programming, including Zoo Flicks, the summer movie series at Van Saun Park, and a list of concerts in area amphitheaters. Plus, if you happen to be in the Mahwah area, stop by and visit the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization (MEVO) farm located at the Campgaw Mountain Reservation in Mahwah. CSA memberships are now available.
The naturalist, John Muir said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” Lucky you –fill out the parks survey and you’ll have a chance to influence the nature you, your children, maybe even your grandchildren, are able to seek.