By Kathy and Nan, Friends of Jackson Woods
Spring has brought more and more visitors to Jackson Woods, a dog friendly 13 acre wetlands park. The April 9th Country Picnic and Ribbon Cutting was a great event. The daffodils have been dancing in the breezes and the community has embraced the park as never before.
There are many wonderful new additions to the park thanks to community involvement. A huge thank you goes out to The Portuguese Club of Long Branch, The Escola Lusitana, Chop Riderz, BR Help Center, Galinda’s Kitchen, Pax Construction, Solio’s Millwork, Peddler’s Bike Shop, Weekend Friend’s Group and all our volunteers for your untiring efforts on behalf of the Jackson Woods. Your efforts are making such a difference!
The new trail signs are helping visitors navigate the trails and learn a little bit about Long Branch history. Thank you to Janice Grace at the History Room of the Long Branch Library for sharing your research with us. You can find a trail map in the message center at the Ocean Ave. entrance to the park. More information about the trail history (and more!) can be found on our new website.
Three new benches will be installed shortly and several local artists are contributing their talents. One artist is creating a sculpture called Reach for the Stars to sit upon a hill in the park. We are working to find ways to improve the trails for walking, and are testing the water quality at Avenel Boulevard and the pond, sending results to Monmouth University for evaluation. We have also created several tree nurseries where we are nurturing native trees to be transplanted elsewhere in the park as we clear areas of invasives. Invasive Japanese Knotweed is our nemesis and we are hoping to be awarded an ANJEC grant to help us in this fight.
We continue our Tuesday cleanup days from 9:00 to noon. If you can volunteer an hour or more to help we would greatly appreciate it. This Saturday May 7, weather permitting we will be working in the park from 9:00 to noon if you can help, and again on Saturday, May 23. Our T-shirt sales are going well and our Got Sneakers! collections are, too. Every volunteer and donation makes a difference.
Come see the changes, enjoy a stroll down any of our many trails and enjoy the peacefulness of the woods and the many birds that have come to the park.
Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Cinco de Mayo,