Mahwah May Look To Add Neighborhood 'Mini Parks'
Where would you like to see new parks in town?
Bergen County’s Parkland might get a few more green spaces added to its roster.
As part of its ongoing reworking of the township’s Master Plan, the Planning Board last week discussed including a recommendation for more “neighborhood mini parks” in the township. The recommended parks would be smaller facilities that service a fewer number of residents – like Riverside Park, which caters to a neighborhood in West Mahwah, or the Airmount Rd. Park, which is used by residents in that area of the township.
According to an analysis by Burgis Associates Planner Brigitte Bogart, who has been working on the latest iteration of the plan for the township’s future, most of Mahwah’s parkland, like Ramapo Reservation or Darlington County Park, serves “a much larger group than just a neighborhood. Many of [Mahwah’s] parks serve the whole county.” These parks would be designed and built for smaller sections of the community.
Bogart said she put together a preliminary map indicating neighborhoods that would be eligible for a new mini park based on national standards. “I indicated sites that were underserved when compared with national neighborhood recreation standards,” Bogart said. “There are a lot of places where parks could be added.”
The map is not very detailed, and does not point out particular parcels of land that would be viable mini park locations. Nor does the Master Plan suggest how the township would acquire new parkland or finance any future neighborhood park project.
The Master Plan, which is in the middle of being entirely rewritten for the first time since 1989, just lays out an ideal future for the township, and makes generalized recommendations for future developments. According to board members, if any of the suggestions in the document were to become realities, more research and planning would be needed.
In order to add any municipal parks, action would need to be taken by the town council. Planning Board Attorney Peter Scandariato pointed out last week that the recommendations made in the Master Plan have no legal weight, unless the town council takes the suggestions put forth in the document and crafts new laws that are in line with them.
For now, the board decided no more specific details or further research on the mini parks was necessary. If and when the council decides to pursue the suggestion, the board said, more work would be needed to determine where the parks would be located, and how the town would build them.