Preliminary Plans Unveiled for New Township Park

The Catalpa Farm property is targeted for a new township park.

The Catalpa Farm property is targeted for a new township park.

There may be a new park in the township’s future.

Preliminary plans for a new township park on the Catalpa farm property were presented Oct. 15 to the Open Space Advisory Committee.

Under its current configuration, the park – as yet unnamed – would feature two cricket pitches, six tennis courts, two softball fields, three soccer fields, a picnic pavilion, trails and two bathrooms.

The property is bordered by South Middlebush and Old Vliet roads.

Township manager Bob Vornlocker told the committee that the plans before them were preliminary, and no action is anticipated before next year.

“I won’t anticipate putting this in front of the council until early 2014,” he said. “This is a concept idea for a park. We’re at that stage.”

Township engineer Tom Zilinek stressed that the plan is “totally a concept at this point. The first thing that has to happen is the layout has to be agreed to.”

Once that happens, he said, the real design work begins.

CME Associates, with an office in Monmouth Junction, prepared the preliminary layout at a cost of $20,000.

Township manager Bob Vornlocker said the plan’s next stop would be to the Recreation Advisory Committee for its input.

“Come back at next month’s meeting with thing you like, things you don’t like,” he said. “This is just for you to get an idea of what our engineers came up with for this property.”

Vornlocker noted that a resident in the nearby housing development constructed a large “tree house” that sits on township property. That will have to be removed, he said.

The property is currently being farmed by Albert Puchalek, Vornlocker said after the meeting. Puchalek operates a small farm stand at the corner of South Middlebush and Old Vliet, at about the area slated to be turned into cricket pitches.

“There’s a small portion of the property that he’ll still be able to farm,” Vornlocker said. “Not as much as he currently is.”

Puchalek owns the house on the property and will stay there, Vornlocker said.


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