FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stephen Mountain
May 16, 2009 – A noontime overcast sky was illuminated by a bright new star in the township’s recreation inventory as the Mendham Township Committee dedicated the town’s newest playing field at India Brook Park, on the former Seeing Eye property off Ironia Road.
The field is the result of collaboration between the township and the West Morris Soccer Club (WMSC). Funding for the $550,000 project came from the Mendham Township Open Space Trust Fund which was used to leverage grants from New Jersey Greenacres and the Morris County Open Space program, with a major contribution by the Soccer Club. It is the latest in an ongoing series of new fields and recreational facilities brought to fruition and underway by the township.
The dedication was presided over by members of the Township Committee: Mayor Frank Cioppettini, Brian Phelan, the Committee’s liaison to Recreation, Deputy Mayor Phyllis Florek, Richard Krieg and Jack Schrier. Also present were representatives of the township Environmental Commission, Recreation Commission and the West Morris Soccer Club.
In his remarks, Mayor Cioppettini noted, “India Brook Park is a jewel of a property, one of our many fine parks made possible through the township’s 15-year Open Space program.” In addition to the full-sized multi-purpose athletic field, visitors will enjoy an ample new parking area, improved access road and attractive area landscaping.
Chair of the Township Recreation Commission, Amalia Duarte, said, “This new playing field is an exciting step in our efforts to support the growth of youth sports programs in our community.” She added, “We anticipate the opening of additional fields in the coming months as well as a jogging track at Ralston Park and improvements to Brookside Beach.”
The new field will be used by the West Morris Soccer Club and the Mendham-Chester Lacrosse programs. Bill Hauser, President of the Soccer Club, noted that “WMSC was an early supporter of India Brook Field. It extends our long history of working with local communities on field development. Club member Kathy Kimber made great contributions in seeing this project through to completion and Herb Freedman also played an important role. We look forward to seeing our local youth enjoying this new field.”
As if on signal, a WMSC match began play on the field immediately following the dedication ceremony.
The field was designed by Suburban Consulting Engineers, Inc., of Mt. Arlington, NJ, and constructed by Viersma and Sons of Allamuchy, NJ. Mayor Cioppettini commended Suburban and Viersma for “creating a field that is seamlessly integrated into the Park’s natural beauty which includes an extensive trail network.” A pedestrian bridge now connects the India Brook Park trails and the adjacent Buttermilk Falls Preserve across the waterway. The bridge, a project of the township Environmental Commission, was dedicated last November.
More information about the West Morris Soccer Club can be found at www.westmorrissoccer.org. Mendham Township’s web address is www.mendhamtownship.org and the Recreation Dept. phone number is (973) 543-4555.