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Future Plans for Califon Island Park

By Councilman Mike Medea

Since its inception, Califon Island Park (CIP) has provided a place to celebrate, participate in sporting events, jump in on a pick-up game of basketball, learn to ride a bike, gather with friends and neighbors, and watch our children run and play. Our dedicated Parks Committee has had numerous conversations about what the park offers and how to improve upon it.

CIP has by no means reached its full potential. We need your help to ensure a successful future for our town’s park. 2011 has marked some notable accomplishments at the park, but I would like to focus on a dominant feature in our park that is in desperate need of attention—our playground. Through a dedicated town-wide effort in the early nineties, our beloved playground was planned, purchased, and installed. Our children have enjoyed this playground for years and it has become a destination for parents with young children for the entire area.

Unfortunately, the years have weighed heavy on the structure and it is showing obvious signs of wear and tear. Additionally, our pressure-treated wood structure no longer meets New Jersey playground safety standards and must be torn down no later than October 2014 - just three years away. Regardless of the reasons, the structure needs to be removed.

Failing to replace it would be incredibly unfortunate! Faced with limited municipal resources, Friends of Califon Island Park (FOCIP) has been the primary force behind fundraising for the playground replacement. FOCIP needs your help! Considerable funds have been raised but there is much to be done. Membership in FOCIP must increase if they are to have the resources necessary to undertake this endeavor.

FOCIP will be meeting at the Park Pavilion on Thursday, September 15, at 7:00 PM and I strongly encourage you to come out! You will hear ideas on what can be built to replace the current structure as well as ideas for raising the needed funds.

Your input is much needed and most welcomed! If you cannot make the meeting, please contact Susan Laffler at 578-2999 or Carolyn Murin at 832-9682 or for more information. Thanks so much for supporting this very important effort!