Morristown Rings in the New Year by Doubling the Size of Foote Pond Park

Over 25 acres accessible to nearly 1,500 residents within a 10 minute-walk from the historic Morristown Green

January 2, 2019

The Town of Morristown and The Trust for Public Land today announced the acquisition of an 11-acre surplus lot from the Loyola House of Retreats to be permanently protected as an addition to Morristown's Foote's Pond Park. This acquisition will nearly double the size of the popular park, which is just a mile from the historic Morristown Green. An expansion of the trail system is also planned. This acquisition is the fourth open space preservation project in Morristown in the last five years, including the newly opened Hillcrest Park, the Early Street Community Garden, the forthcoming park in the Speedwell Redevelopment Area, and the pocket park at the corner of Schuyler and Washington Streets.

"Acquiring this land from the Loyola House of Retreats allows the Town a unique opportunity to merge two historic properties into a newer and bigger one for the future," said Mayor Timothy Dougherty. "The Town and I are excited for the finished results, which furthers our commitment to open space preservation in Morristown."

The Loyola property has been a priority for conservation for many years and was highlighted as an opportunity in the Town's 2011 Open Space Plan. In addition to its proximity to Foote Pond Park the property is an important element in local watershed protection. Located in the headwaters of the Great Swamp watershed, preventing future development will eliminate potential impacts to an already stressed watershed that's also important for ground water recharge.

"We are so excited to have helped preserve another great resource for the community in Morristown," said Greg Socha, Senior Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land. "The Town has a great vision for parks and open space and it is particularly exciting to have been able to build of the success of the Early Street Community Garden acquisition in 2013."

Funding for the $2.1 million purchase was provided by the, the Morris County Preservation Trust, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Green Acres Program, and Morristown. The property will be owned and managed by the Town.

"The high quality of life in Morris County is directly connected to the preservation of open space, as well as farmland and historic properties, financed by residents of Morristown and the entire county through funding specially dedicated for these purposes," said Morris County Freeholder Christine Myers. "Open spaces in Morristown and across the county are used to create parks, connect trails, offer recreational opportunities for our residents, help our environment, and ensure that we have green spaces in each of our towns as places to think or breathe."

Foote's Pond Park is a popular spot for local wildlife observers, birders and photographers. As of today the property is open to the public and can be accessed at the trail head off of James Street near Thomas Jefferson School.

About The Trust for Public Land:
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

About the Town of Morristown:
Morristown, also known as "Historic Morristown" or "The Military Capital of the American Revolution" was incorporated as a town on April 6, 1865. A Town that is rich in culture, commerce, healthy initiatives and recreational spaces, Morristown's 18,411 residents and daily visitors find a thriving downtown, centered on the Revolutionary-era Morristown Green. Several local parks and recreational open spaces are available to the public, including Foote's Pond Park, Cauldwell Park, Lidgerwood Park, Burnham Park and Kleitman Woods Park.

https://planning.morriscountynj.gov/divisions/prestrust/

 

Source: 
Morris County, NJ