Local residents gathered at Hopatcong Borough Hall on Tuesday night to get a first glimpse at preliminary plans for Open Space and Greenways plans for the borough, which also include a “blueway” water trail for boat and kayak travel.
“This is the first step,” said Jerry Scanlan of the Hopatcong Planning Board, who has spearheaded the effort to create a master plan for Hoptacong’s open space and greenways.
“We want to hear your ideas, we want answer your questions,” said chairman Robert Daddis. “We’re thrilled with the public turnout.”
Eugene Reynolds of the Land Conservancy of New Jersey spoke to those in attendance about the goals of the open space program and the greenways and trails planned for the area. “We can change some or all of it,” he said, adding that a second meeting, which will include a presentation that incorporates public feedback, will likely be scheduled for January. “We need the dialogue with the borough to get us where we’re supposed to be.”
Open space and recreation, he said, “very much go hand-in-hand.” For one thing, he said, people are more likely to take care of something if they use it recreationally.
Those in the public had few questions. One resident requested “a public park that we can go to in the summer that’s on the lake.” Unfortunately, Daddis said, there is little open land left on the lake. Others asked about the “town core” trail, which is likely to be a trail that includes streets and sidewalks. “The [plan] includes a town core greenway and wilderness environments,” said Reynolds. “It all goes together, it is connected.”
The goals of the open space program (shown below) and trail maps will be available for public critique in the coming weeks. For more information, go to www.hopatcong.org, or visit the borough hall at 111 River Styx Road in Hopatcong to see the maps in person.