The Citizens’ Parks Advisory Committee (CPAC) is looking for citizens interested in serving on the Committee. This is a new Committee and members are appointed by the Township Committee. If you are interested, please fill out the ‘Citizen Leadership Form’ form and send it to Cindy Philips in Town Hall.
The Citizens’ Parks Advisory Committee (CPAC), established by the Harding Township Committee (TC), will serve as the conduit for Harding citizens to register their views as to the use, maintenance, long-term plans, and other relevant matters regarding Harding Township’s four parks. The CPAC will communicate as needed with the TC regarding parks matters. The CPAC will be composed of interested citizens, interested citizens with expertise in topics relevant to parks, liaison members from interested Harding bodies including the Environmental Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Garden Club, the HT Recreation Association, the HTGV Bridle Path Association, and the Wildlife Management Committee, as well as the Superintendent of the Township’s Department of Public Works. The Harding public properties under the ultimate purview of the CPAC will include Bayne Park, Memorial Park, the “Show Grounds,” and Barrett Field. Initially, the CPAC will concentrate its efforts on Bayne Park. It is expected that, within a year, the CPAC will employ experiences gained from that park to the other three public park properties. The next public park to be addressed with a strategic plan will be at the discretion of the CPAC, using information derived from Harding citizens.
CPAC will develop a strategic plan for the use, maintenance and long-term future of Bayne Park, building upon, and using as much as possible, the plan originally developed by the former Bayne Park Committee. This original plan contains many important elements such as the history and past utilization of the Park, and such elements should be retained. The original plan should be carefully vetted in terms of its time line and advice on use and maintenance, with those elements retained that are consistent with citizens’ reasonable expectations for their Bayne Park. Those elements of the strategic plan deemed essential will be executed as per the plan. Prior to execution, the elements will be evaluated in terms of public manpower availability and resource availability. Where deficiencies in public employees and/or resources may be lacking, the CPAC will discuss such matters with the Township Administrator, and appropriate actions taken, including outside contracting, use of volunteers, and public overtime. At the discretion of the Administrator, appropriate recommendations will be made to the TC. The CPAC will be solely responsible for encouraging and/or responding to individuals or organizations who volunteer to make contributions to Bayne Park’s use, maintenance, and facilities. Such offers will be welcomed. Before acceptance and proceeding, such offers will be vetted with the Township Administrator for legal, liability, and conflict of interest considerations.
CPAC will also consider ways to start generating income from some of the Township’s parks and fields. For example, CPAC should work with the Bridle Path Association, the Spring Valley Hounds, and the different horse stables in town to see if we could get horse shows on weekends at the Show Grounds. We would have the interested parties provide their own insurance and charge the organization a fee for use of the grounds. This could also be done with Barrett Field, renting it out to corporate softball teams, soccer teams, etc., and again have the groups provide their own insurance and the Township would collect a fee for use of the grounds.
The Township is in a very tight financial position, and, in order to improve the parks and grounds, we have to try to make the parks self-sufficient for their upkeep. It will take a lot of work on CPAC’s part and we will need to get other groups involved.