Committee Of Mahwah Moms Working To Rebuild Winter's Park
Volunteer group is working with the township's administration on a plan to 'revitalize' the park and connect it to Winter's Pond
A committee of seven volunteer Mahwah moms is working with the township’s administration on a project to revitalize Winter’s Park.
The Winter’s Park Playground Committee is looking at the area as a “unique, beautiful spot that has gotten a little weathered. It needs to be loved so it can really be a place the community can enjoy,” Chair Kim Bolan said.
The committee has already worked out conceptual design plans for the park that include new GameTime park equipment. “It has a very natural feel to it,” Bolan said of the pieces they’d like to see in the park. “We wanted to keep the area as green and natural looking as possible because it’s such a gorgeous space.”
There are also many aspects of the park, Bolan said, that don’t pass by her “mom radar;” things like “trip points,” where kids could easily fall and get hurt, and the three entrance and exit points built into the fence around the playground area. The new plans for the park call for fixing trip points and creating one centralized, easily-accessible entrance.
According to Mayor Bill Laforet, who tapped Bolan, a member of the township’s Beautification Committee, to be the head of the Winter’s Park group, the Winter’s Park project is part of a “bigger picture.”
After the dredging of Winter's pond last year, the township is now working on a “mini Master Plan” for the entire area. The hope, Laforet said, is to build up Winter’s Pond and the park, and connect the two into a unified recreation area.
The plan for the area calls for phased improvements, including more and better parking areas, and “more opportunities for passive recreation, so things like walking paths throughout the whole area that will connect the pond to the playground,” Laforet said.
According to Bolan, community groups working on Winter’s Park is nothing new. The playground that is there now was planned out by a group of volunteer parents in 1992. Bolan’s family donated money to the creation of the park on behalf of her late father, Perry Niforos, who was killed in a plane crash a few months before the park was built.
“My father loved this town as much as I do, and I know he’d be proud of what I’m doing now,” Bolan said. “I think just like they did 20 years ago, people and families in this community will wrap their arms around this project because it’s just going to become something great for our kids.”
Bolan and the other moms on the committee – Sophie Brewster, Michelle DeSilva, Tori Jensen, Kate Kezmarsky, Michele Streker and Dawn Zeig – have already set up a Facebook page to create community awareness of the project, and will have a table set up on Mahwah Day about the revitalization of Winter’s Park.
Though the township is applying for grants to fund some of the improvements at the park, Laforet said the committee will also be relying on local business and resident donations to help fund the project.
“Once we have the plan all set, we will be reaching out to all of the community groups in town to help,” he said. The magnitude of the project, which he estimates will take a few years to complete, will be determined by the amount of “community support” the group can render, Laforet said. “We can only do this with the help of businesses and residents in the community. But, watching this group of younger generation parents who are so excited about this and coming up with so many great ideas is really encouraging.”
The group already has its first Winter’s Park fundraiser planned.
This Friday, Sept. 14, Field of Creams Café, inside Continental Soldiers Field, will be donating 20 percent of all sales made between 4 and 8 p.m. to the rebuilding of Winter’s Park. Get more information in the attached flier.