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Sea Bright Officials Hope To Begin Construction Of New Park In 2017

SEA BRIGHT: The borough is in the beginning stages of creating a new park on the site of the old Anchorage Apartments.

The site that once housed the apartments, which were demolished in 2014 after being severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy, is now owned by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection after it was acquired through the state's Green Acres Program with the intention of turning it into a park. The site is located just north of the Rumson/Sea Bright Bridge.

The state designated Sea Bright as the manager of the property and now the borough has showed preliminary plans to the public for the firs time. Mayor Dina Long stressed that the plans are a "starting place" and created by a landscape architect for free (see photos above).

The plans were presented during a special meeting on March 15 to get input from the public on what they would like to see in the park.

A gazebo, riverfront boardwalk, paved walking path, benches, landscaping, two green spaces and a meditation circle. The park will also be buffered on the northern part of the property by trees as there are residences in that area.

The public agreed that the park should be used for passive recreation and should not be overcrowded.

The borough will take the public's comments under consideration and will present a revised plan later this year.

Once the designs are finalized, the borough can apply for a Monmouth County Open Space grant, where up to $250,000 is available for similar projects.

Until that time, the borough will seed and water the lot through a new sprinkler system with the hope of ultimately beginning construction on the park in 2017. Construction will likely be done in three phases.

Jena Cosimo, Director of Acquisitions for the Monmouth Conservation Foundation has been working Sea Bright to help facilitate the passive development of the park.

"We often assist municipalities, the county and other non-profits in facilitating projects like this," Cosimo said.

Once the final design for the park is chosen, the foundation will help the borough come up with a plan for the funding, including applying for the Monmouth County open space grant.

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