WESTFIELD — At the beginning of Monday evening’s Westfield Recreation Commission meeting, three students from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School proposed a series of environmental projects for Brightwood Park. Ella Mauer, Bridget Priel and Reese Priel, who recently formed a wildlife-preservation club, want to work with members of the Friends of Brightwood Park to help local wildlife species.
The students said they plan to install five to seven bat houses at the park to help control the insect population; plant new pollinator gardens throughout the park and lay out traps for the spotted lanternflies that have been damaging the trees.
All three projects were unanimously approved by members of the recreation commission.
The girls reported that their newly-formed club stemmed from an environmental class that they took last year in school. The club currently has 105 members, the girls said, and a large population of active freshman members to keep the club going in future years.
In other business, members of the non-profit group Community Options, a national organization providing housing, job opportunities and other services for adults with developmental disabilities, proposed a 5K run for early next year.
The run, called Cupid’s Chase, is designed to raise funding and awareness for Community Options, which is located throughout New Jersey and other states. It was reported that the run will be held in cities throughout the country. It also will be the first time the run will be held in Westfield. The group reported that there are two new houses for people with disabilities in Westfield and in Scotch Plains.
The recreation commission unanimously approved the request. Cupid’s Chase will take place on February 11, 2023, from 10 a.m. to noon, at Tamaques Park.
In other commission business, members also approved bathroom renovations at Tamaques Park, including the addition of bathroom locks and outside security cameras. It was reported that the security measures were in response to recent acts of vandalism at the Tamaques bathrooms.
A Trail Maintenance Training session will take place on Saturday, November 5. It was stated that the event would be the first in a series of trainings for members of the Green Team, Westfield Cycling, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Friends of Brightwood Park and the recreation members. It was reported that the first training would include 12 people from these various groups.
It was further noted that the Edison Field project report is just becoming available as members of the board of education had recently received the report from CME Consultants in Parlin.
Over the summer months, Councilman Scott Katz, governing body liaison to the recreation commission, had announced that the engineering firm CME Associates has been assigned the task of reviewing the plans and making recommendations about the Edison Field Project. It was noted that the report currently is under review by members of the board of education and the town council.