Posted Monday, June 4th, 2018

Stobaeus-Briarwood Trail is First Trail Financed Via County Open Space Preservation Trust 

The new Stobaeus-Briarwood Trail in Florham Park had a ceremonial opening over the weekend, as the county Board of Freeholders, Park Commission and Florham Park officials joined to cut a ribbon that not only celebrated a local green space but one of countywide importance.

Freeholders and Park Commission Join Florham Park to Open New Stobaeus-Briarwood Trail

Scouts help Florham Park Councilman Charles Malone (center) cut ribbon for the new Stobaeus-Briarwood Trail. Freeholder Doug Cabana and Park Commissioner Betty Cass-Schmidt stand to his right.

This is the first completed trail project in the county funded through the Morris County Preservation Trust and its offshoot, the new county Trail Construction Grant Program, which has a long-term goal of connecting the county’s many open spaces, to make them accessible to county residents.

“Construction of new trails is a great way to encourage residents and visitors to explore and enjoy the beautiful landscape of Morris County,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “The trails make our plentiful open spaces accessible to everyone, connecting greenways, enhancing recreational opportunities, and improving the quality of life for all residents.

“We are proud to be the first completed project in the Morris County Trail Construction Grant Program and are very excited to open the newly constructed Trail, fittingly on National Trails Day,’’ said Florham Park Councilman  Charles Malone.

photo of (l/r) Florham Park Councilmen XXX XXX and Charles Malone, Freeholder Doug Cabana, XXCXX, and Florhham Park Recreation Director John Timmon,

(l/r) Florham Parks & Recreation Director John Timmon, Councilmen Charles Malone,  Freeholder Doug Cabana, and Councilmen William Zuckerman and Scott Carpenter

The impetus for creation of the county’s Trail Construction Grant Program stemmed from a 2014 Freeholder Board initiative to ask to municipalities, like Florham Park, about their open space and recreational needs.

Nearly all of the county’s 39 municipalities said trail development was the highest priority, that it would be a wise investment in our future.

County voters, by a 3 to 1 margin, subsequently agreed to permit using a portion of the county’s open space trust fund for trail development. In 2016, the Freeholders acted on that vote and approved the new Trails Construction Program.

Florham Park began seeking county open space funds as early as 2009, as the borough purchased segments of land needed for the trail.

The county trust fund provided a total of $720,000 for 2.93 acres covering six properties as a planned addition to Stobaeus Park, which is now linked by the new trail to the Briarwood School.

Many other trail projects are underway across Morris County. The Freeholders in 2016 approved $661,000 in recreational trail construction grants for 13 projects in Chatham Borough, Denville, Florham Park, Harding, Long Hill, Mendham Borough, Mine Hill, Montville, Morristown, Morris Township, Randolph, Roxbury and Washington Township.

In 2017, the Freeholders approved another $583,000 for trails projects in Hanover, Jefferson, Madison, Morris Township, Washington Township, and Wharton.

The 2018 application process for the next round of grants is currently underway: https://morriscountynj.gov/2018/04/morris-county-kicks-off-third-year-of-recreational-trail-grants-program/