Township Administrator James Moran announced at last Tuesday’s meeting that the township is working to clean up approximately five acres belonging to the Southern Regional School District in preparation of starting a municipal tree nursery.
The property located beyond the horseshoe curve on Cedar Bridge Road near the district’s athletic fields is a known location of illegal dumping, according to Moran.
The administrator made the announcement after being asked about the property during the public session by resident Michael McManus, Leeward Drive, who said he jogs in the area and was concerned over the dumping.
A recent inspection of the property by Patch revealed construction debris, electronics, carpeting, car parts and an entire hot tub strewn around the area.
In a follow up interview after the inspection, Moran said while Southern Regional is responsible for the cleaning up their property, they agreed to let the township spearhead the project in exchange for it using the property as a nursery.
Sherry Roth, head of the township’s Environmental Commission, will coordinate the clean up efforts using volunteers, supported by the Public Works Department, said Moran, who added he anticipated Southern Regional will also assist in the effort.
No date has yet been set for the clean up as of yet.
“We also have been in touch with the county to help with any hazardous waste such as computer components and other electronics,” said Moran.
The Ocean County Soil Conservation District has approved the project, said Moran, who added no other county, state or federal permits are required.
Once cleared, the nursery area will be fenced off to prevent further dumping and to keep deer and other wildlife from eating the seedlings, said Moran. An irrigation system will also be installed by Public Works, he added.
The township will receive the seedlings at no charge from the state Division of Parks and Forestry. They will later be replanted exclusviely on township and school properties when grown, said Moran.
Some of the cost of the project will be offset by the township no longer needing to purchase trees in the future, said Moran.
When asked at the meeting about the fencing by McManus, Moran said the overall area will still be open to runners and the general public, and the high school cross country course that runs through the area will not be impacted.
Disclaimer. This Patch reporter is not related to the township administrator, James Moran.