Open Space Advisory Committee looking for new members

There are four seats available

The Monroe Township Open Space Advisory Committee is in search of new members.

Councilman Pat O’Reilly made an announcement at the council meeting on Jan. 14.

“I attended the Open Space Committee reorganization last week, there are some available slots still open if anyone has any knowledge of anyone that wants to get involved,” he said. “There are a couple alternate spots, and I’m looking forward to what they’re going to be doing this year. They have a lot of great ideas, they’re working with the county on a lot of financial opportunities for grants. There’s more to come on that.”

The open space advisory committee evaluates land for purchase for preservation of open space. Not only do they make recommendations to council for things to do with open space in terms of recreational use but they help with expansion and improvements to existing trails and bike paths.

Len Fritz, the chair of the open space advisory committee, spoke of his goals for 2019.

“We’re looking to add more land to the park systems within our township,” he said. “Specifically the Scotland Run park as well as the Mary Mazza Duffy Park and Owens Field.”

To do these things, the committee works hand-in-hand with other entities in town such as the environmental commission, Sustainable Monroe, the parks and recreation department, public works as well as the council.

“Our recommendations go to council, we don’t work independently,” Fritz said.

According to Fritz, there are two open seats on the committee plus two alternate seats.

“We’re a committee of seven and two alternates, right now we have five,” he said.

There is no deadline to apply, and the application for membership can be found at monroetownshipnj.org under the open space advisory committee tab.

The membership is for three years and can be renewed at the end of the third year. Fritz said you can step down at any time.

“We’re looking for additional members, we have a good active group on board. We always welcome additional members to help us achieve our goals,” Fritz said. “We want their two cents as well.”

The only requirement to join is residence in Monroe Township and a willingness to spend free time to improve the park systems and trails.

“It doesn’t require special talent, just a drive and will to participate” Fritz said.

One of the ongoing projects the committee and council are working on is updating the zoning ordinances in terms of working with outside agencies to achieve additions and improvements to the parks.

The open space advisory committee meets on the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the municipal building. The meeting is open to the public.