RED BANK: BELLHAVEN MAKEOVER IN SIGHT

christine ballard red bank nj bellhavenConsulting engineer Christine Ballard details the Bellhaven plan for the council last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After years of revisions, and no small amount of controversy, changes to the Bellhaven Natural Area in Red Bank could be completed by this summer, officials said last week.

Once again, the project has been scaled-back from a version of a plan that called for a spray park and triggered loud protests four years ago, they said.

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RED BANK: BELLHAVEN PLAN SCALED BACK

Trees were taken down recently at Bellhaven Natural Area in preparation for an observation deck being built there, according to Business Administrator Ziad Shehady. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials have quietly started prep work for a project at a site once mired in controversy: the Bellhaven Natural Area overlooking the Swimming River.

The end result, however will be a “scaled-back” version of a plan that once called for a spray park and triggered loud protests three years ago.

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RED BANK: OUTDOOR DINING WEATHER

Takeout sushi for breakfast? From his Red Bank office Wednesday morning, lawyer Sean Byrnes spied this osprey eating a fish atop a utility pole behind the Woman’s Club on Broad Street, a good half mile away from the nearest body of water.

Humans might also find themselves in the mood for some outdoor dining Thursday, when temperatures are expected to peak in the low 60s under partly sunny skies, according to the National Weather Service (Photos by Sean Byrnes. Click to enlarge.)

 

RED BANK: NEW BELLHAVEN PLAN WINS PRAISE

The new concept plan for Bellhaven Natural Area includes an observation deck, similar to the one shown for illustration purposes above left; playground equipment; and a play area covered with a rubberized safety surface, shown in light green. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after residents gave a thorough hosing to a plan for a spray park in a West Side wetlands, Red Bank officials unveiled a new plan for the Bellhaven Natural Area Wednesday night.

This one got a warmer reception.

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RED BANK: NEW STINK OVER BELLHAVEN COSTS

A 2012 image outlines the extent of wetlands at Bellhaven Natural Area at the western terminus of Locust Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after abandoning a controversial “sprayground” proposed for the Bellhaven Natural Area, the Red Bank borough council is moving ahead with plans for a playground at the site.

At its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the council approved nearly $20,000 in additional engineering costs for the site, a move that prompted fresh objections.

“This is deja vu all over again,” said Bill Meyer, owner of a downtown commercial building. The borough has already spent $73,000  engineering fees on the site, and “that money was burned and wasted,” he said. Read More »

RED BANK: BELLHAVEN SPLASH PAD SPUTTERS

bellhaven 110915An entrance to Bellhaven Natural Area on Locust Avenue. A proposed playground would be sited within the of loop the path shown above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A controversial plan for a spray park in Red Bank’s Bellhaven Natural Area has all but officially sputtered out.

The borough-owned riverfront lot at the western end of Locust Avenue is still envisioned as the site of a much-needed West Side playground, according to Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, the governing body’s liaison to the parks and recreation department.

But a spray park or a splash pad that shoots jets of water skyward? That’s done, she tells redbankgreen.

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WHO FIXED THE NAVESINK OSPREY NEST?

OSPREY NEST 1 050214The osprey nest as see Friday morning, above, and a year ago, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

osprey nest 050913 2A precariously leaning home to ospreys in the Navesink River has been fixed, according to a report on a conservation website.

The pole, a decommissioned channel marker between Fair Haven and Middletown, was nearly toppled during Hurricane Sandy, according to the original report by Ben Wurst, habitat program manager for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

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RED BANK: POND CLEARED FOR TROUT SEASON

rb mohawk pond 033014 2rb mohawk pond 033014About a dozen members of Monmouth County sportsmen’s clubs turned out in a cold drizzle to clear debris and phragmites from Red Bank’s Mohawk Pond Sunday morning, in anticipation of this week’s annual restocking of the pond with trout by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Afterward, participants watched a pair of ospreys soar above the pond and a admired a blue heron, right, as it fed a the pond’s western edge. According to the state, the pond is slated to receive a total 960 rainbow and brown trout this season, which opens Saturday at 8 a.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

NAVESINK RIVER OSPREY NEST NEEDS TLC

osprey nest 050913 2The osprey nest as seen last May. Below, adult ospreys sunning on a Red Bank dock last April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

ospreys 3 042413Wildlife conservationists are looking for help to save the precariously leaning Navesink River home to an osprey nest before it falls over, according to a report on newsworks.org.

The pole, a decommissioned channel marker between Fair Haven and Middletown, was nearly toppled during Hurricane Sandy, according to the report, based on a blog post by Ben Wurst, habitat program manager for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

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