PATERSON – The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection through its Green Acres Program announced a $1,375,000 grant to the County of Passaic for upgrades and renovations to the Garret Mountain Reservation – a sprawling 568 acre recreation and forested area traversing the City of Paterson and Woodland Park. Garret Mountain receives thousands of visitors per year and is home to the historic Lambert Castle and recently reopened Lambert Observational Tower. Passaic County was one of only eighty seven local or county governments to receive funding from the Green Acres program this year.
“Once again Passaic County government is demonstrating its commitment to outside the box funding sources for important projects like the renovations to the Garret Mountain Reservation,” stated Freeholder Director Hector C. Lora. “By aggressively pursuing grants from State, federal, and non-profit sources, the County continues to make important investments in our County Park system with no additional burden on the taxpayers.”
The grant agreement allows the County to install new ADA-compliant restroom facilities and two new pavilions in the Great Meadow section of the Reservation and undertake restroom renovations in the Rocky Hollow and Stony Point sections. Additionally, the auto park lookout area will be refurbished, along with important infrastructure improvements to the pathways and access roads. The Barbour Pond will be dredged and a new dock will be installed for better water access. Finally, the County will add new picnic tables, benches and litter receptacles throughout the Reservation.
“Investing in our County Park system is paramount to protecting property values, our environment, and maintaining a high quality of life for our residents,” stated Freeholder John W. Bartlett. “The County has been investing in our parks, historic sites, and recreational facilities because of the important role they play in driving economic development and attracting tourists to our County. These improvements are going to improve Garret Mountain for years to come and make it an even more attractive place to spend an afternoon.”
In July 2014 the Freeholder Board adopted the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan, a long-term planning document for preserving and protecting Passaic County’s assets. Since. The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders has invested over $5 million dollars in grant and Open Space Trust Fund dollars to improve and renovate the nine County Parks located in each of the distinct regions of Passaic County, along with major renovations to the Preakness Valley Golf Course in line with the Master Plan.