Red Bank officials are seeking funds for the Bellhaven Park nature area on Locust Avenue. Below, a map from the 2006 waterfront plan. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Bellhaven Park, an oft-overlooked waterfront parcel in Red Bank’s inventory of natural areas, could use a little help any kind of help, says borough Engineer Christine Ballard.
Sequestered away from the public eye at the western end of Locust Avenue, it’s never gotten the kind of use or attention from residents that other parks see. Now, general neglect at the park, designated as a passive natural area, has led it to become a little bit too natural, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.
The Swimming River has swallowed up at least half of a floating dock at the park, and the heavy brush of native and invasive species has made some winding paths almost impassable.
“It’s like a jungle down there,” Menna said. “It needs to be accessible and safer. Even our own (police) patrols can’t even go in there because of the overgrowth.”