A proposal for a water-shooting playground at Red Bank’s little-used Bellhaven Nature Area has raised hackles among environmentalists. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Wednesday night’s meeting of the Red Bank Council could be a water-balloon fight of sorts.
Members of the Environmental Commission, an advisory group, say they were alarmed to learn recently that the borough Parks & Rec department is considering Bellhaven Nature Area, a wetland preserve created just eight years ago, as a possible location for a ‘sprayground,’ a play area that enables kids to get deliriously soaked by nozzles built into fixed apparatus.
Lou DiMento the lone remaining commission member who was involved in the original preservation effort and others say they were shocked to learn that the town might pursue a $250,000 Monmouth County Open Spaces grant, which it would have to match, in order to build the sprayground.
“That stunned us,” especially after the borough government told the commission that it couldn’t come up with a few hundred dollars for a sign to designate the nature area, nestled against the Swimming River at the western end of Locust Avenue, DiMento said.