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Sherrill Briefed On Pending Groundbreaking of Boonton Reservoir Park

November 2, 2021 by Dan McCue
Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. tours the Boonston Reservoir area, soon to be the site of an 8-mile hiking trail, in New Jersey. (Photo via Twitter)

WASHINGTON — Home from Washington during a recent district work week for members of Congress, Rep. Mikie Sherrill wasted no time getting back to the swing of things, holding sessions with citizens groups and highlighting often overlooked resources available to them and their families.

But perhaps the most fun she had was viewing the new trail design and renderings for the Boonton Reservoir, a critical, 700-acre piece of property that has served as a source of water and recreation ever since the facility was opened 113 years ago.

“The public trail surrounding the reservoir will be nearly eight miles and will be an excellent addition for our community to enjoy this beautiful space,” Sherrill said via Twitter after she trekked the property with local officials, environmentalists and members of the Open Space Institute, which partnered on the project with the  Morris County Park Commission. 

The reservoir, located in Sherrill’s 11th Congressional District, has served as the water source for Jersey City and Hoboken since 1904.

The effort to retool it began in September 2019, when the Jersey City city council executed a 40-year lease agreement with the Morris County Park Commission to develop and manage trails at the Boonton Reservoir. 

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. left) on the shore of the Boonston Reservoir in New Jersey. (Photo via Twitter)

That vote allowed the Open Space Institute to move forward with the creation of a master plan for public use of the property, which was later drawn up by consultants Greener by Design and Amy Greene Environmental.

After a delay caused in large part by the coronavirus pandemic, the first section of the project is expected to open sometime in 2022.

The reservoir was originally built to serve a village called Old Boonton, which was submerged beneath its waters in the late 19th century. Visitors to the park on a typical weekday claim it’s possible to see the sunken town at low tide.

In addition to creating the trail, the project entails many site improvements including the installation of the addition of at least three parking areas and improved stormwater management. 

The site currently purifies an average of 50 million gallons of water a day that are then sent on to Jersey City and Hoboken residents.

According to the Open Space Institute, the project is expected to cost just over $4.9 million and is being funded through the use of multiple grants.

Following her visit, Sherrill took to Twitter to say she was proud “this long-awaited project is coming to life” and to have had the opportunity to play a role in its unveiling.

“I am thankful to the Open Space Institute for all of their work to expand access and improve the water quality of this beautiful space and I’m excited to follow this project as it develops,” she said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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