So long as all goes according to the plans of Mahwah’s Beautification Committee, and the Boswell McClave Engineering Company, the Memorial Day unveiling of the new Veteran’s Park in the center of Mahwah should be, “ a very special day,” Councilwoman Lisa DiGiulio, who heads the committee, said.
Construction on the new park, which includes a new wall, stairs, three handicap-accessible walkways, various shrubberies, a center flagpole, a relocation of the existing monuments, and decorative street lights, has already begun.
According to a status report released by the engineering company on March 30, Vincent J. Construction, LLC, has since March 14, when construction began, removed the existing asphalt, begun building the foundations, and starting building the rear wall.
Slight tweaks have been made to the original site plan, photos of which can be browsed in this article’s photo gallery.
“We originally proposed to have these trees,” on the perimeter of the part along Miller Road and East Ramapo Ave., “pruned,” the status update said.
However, it has been decided that the trees were in such poor condition that the DPW should remove them entirely. The engineering company is currently in the process of drawing up a revised plan for the trees at Veteran’s Park.
The Town Council approved this renovation, partially paid for by a grant from the county, at its Feb. 24 meeting, which DiGiulio said was “necessary.”
“A lot of our community areas are in bad shape,” she said at at Tuesday night meeting of the Beautification Committee.
“We need people to start beautifying Mahwah.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony, appropriately scheduled for Memorial Day of this year, will be “all about the veterans. This is their day,” DiGiulio said.
The plan for the day, which is being worked out in conjunction with the township’s veterans and the DPW, could tentatively include the roadways being closed off, a short ceremony, the high school's band, and a ribbon cutting by the oldest veteran present.
“Although I’d like the entire beautification committee to be there, and recognized for all the work we’ve done, and I’d like to recognize the Chamber of Commerce for donating the funds for the lights, and politicians will be there, I really want this day to be about the veterans,” DiGiulio said.
“I don’t think it should be about politics that day,” she said.
The Committee also discussed other measures that they may ask townspeople to partake in on Memorial Day, including having the businesses surrounding the park have patriotic displays up, and asking every resident to fly an American flag.
Work will likely continue on the site up until and even after it’s unveiling in May. This will include new dedicated plaques, at least one for each war in which Mahwah veterans served.
“I am hoping that once people see the park, they will come forward to donate the plaques,” said DiGiulio.
“If not, we will fundraise for that money.”
DiGiulio said she would also like to see a continued renovation of the area surrounding the park.
“One thing that Mayor Martel always wanted was a big clock at the train station, like other towns have. I’d like to see that too,” she said.