From Farmland to Parkland
With the blank canvas of a farm field it is easy to get excited about all of the possibilities of what could be done to make it most useful and enjoyable to the community as a recreation facility. This past month we met with the Borough engineer to review the plans for the property to turn the farmland into parkland. The plan includes handicapped accessible parking, a lighted handicap accessible path, a pavilion, a playground, an open recreation field, and trails around the property that will connect with the Elephant Swamp Nature Trail and the adjacent existing ballpark recreation facility. The challenge in the next few months is to nail down the costs for various components of the plan so that we can evaluate what we can accomplish with the funds we have, as well as to figure out how to leverage the funds we have to get more public and private contributions for the entire project. We hope to have the first phase of the project, handicapped parking and the accessible lighted path, done by the end of the year thanks to the funds received from the Salem Health and Wellness Foundation through the New Jersey Healthy Communities grant.
About the Grantee
Elmer is a small town in rural Salem County. Incorporated in 1893, it has historically served as a hub of activity for the surrounding farm community. It has a hospital, churches, banks, restaurants, a library, grocery, drug store, dollar store, gift & flower shops, medical & dental services, accountants & lawyers, salons, gas stations, & a lumber yard packed into one square mile.