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January  20

The Cans Go Marching One By One


It's really freakin’ weird walking around Montclair’s Anderson Park these days. Last week, as part of the $900K demolition renovation, the Essex County Parks Commission planted installed about 50, count 'em 50 new trees trash cans (ok, they're green). We measured some as close as 35 feet apart.  Was anyone What were they thinking? Baristanet contacted Scott Kevelson, park neighbor, advocate, and founder of "Friends of Anderson Park", a group committed to restoring the park to a natural haven. "We are talking to the County Parks Commission, asking them to remove some of the garbage cans and use them in another park. There are just too many, and garbage has never been a problem here,” Kevelson said. He hopes that may free up funds to pay for some tree and shrub plantings. At present, the county plan calls for adding only 9 trees to the entire park. Looks like a horrible design mistake.  And that's not the only one.


Dozens of the park's grand old trees almost ended up as firewood when an electrical contractor started digging trenches for new lighting too close to the trees’ root base. "We hired a certified tree expert to come and evaluate the situation." With Parks Commission officials on hand, the expert confirmed our fears. We were able to put a stop to it. The contractor was able to reroute the electrical cables.  And what about the playing field, which now resembles an open pit mine? Kevelson confirmed that irrigation and new sod is scheduled to go in for a soccer and lacrosse field, but FAP doesn’t want to see any significant increase in using the park for sporting events. FAP supports the installation of public restrooms and hopes the new lighting won’t be too intrusive to the homes facing the park. The county has been very receptive to hearing our concerns,” said Kevelson, who is seeking additional FAP members.  Contact him at [email protected].

January 20, 2006 in Controversy | Permalink


What a waste!

Posted by: g | Jan 20, 2006 8:33:09 AM

Truly bizarre! Your taxpayer $$ at work.

Posted by: Rich | Jan 20, 2006 8:40:11 AM

Reminds me of Christo's 'installation art' - The Gates, which graced Central Park in New York City.


Posted by: Franklin | Jan 20, 2006 8:40:49 AM

I think the county means well...perhaps as suggested some of these garbage cans can be utilized elsewhere in the county park system.

While it sounds as if this particular renovation is being somewhat mismanaged, more work has been done on our parks in the past 3 years than probably in the previous 20 years combined. This county administration is very pro-park and if sometimes is misguided in priorities at least is trying to get things done and has helped local groups get a lot of funding to fix the parks.

When we first moved to Bloomfield no one would go into Watsessing Park. Now it is used by everyone, has a dog park that brings people from all over, and is much better kept up than in the past. If there are "growing pains" along the way to fixing up the parks give them a break. They are trying, which is more than the previous Treffinger group ever did.

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Jan 20, 2006 8:43:26 AM

County must qualify park designers, amongst other vendors, by measuring their contributions to JoeyD's re-election/retirement fund.

I thought with this whole Abramoff thing that might become passé.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Jan 20, 2006 9:06:42 AM

I will second Maulgirl's comments on the dog run. It is surprisingly well designed and maintained. For one who often criticizes the county govt they did this one well

Posted by: jmo | Jan 20, 2006 9:08:29 AM

Send those extra garbage cans to Watsessing Park - we'll take them!!!!

Posted by: Anne Prince | Jan 20, 2006 9:10:03 AM

These cans are expensive! Probably running $1000./each with this type of installation.
Nice! but too many. They also have to pay someone to empty them all, and keep bags in them.

Posted by: njholdem | Jan 20, 2006 9:14:20 AM

Totally ridiculous! Is someone getting a commission on the number of trash cans they sell?

Posted by: Miss Martta (8T) | Jan 20, 2006 9:17:31 AM

Probably Miss M. I love the attention the county parks are getting because they've been let go for so long but anyone can see this is a rediculous waste. County gov't is a waste.

Kevin is right. And the man is always campaigning with one silly press conference after another. I made the mistake of getting on a county mailing list and they send out so much crap, and I swear his face is on the cover of every piece of junk mail.

Posted by: State Street Pete | Jan 20, 2006 9:38:17 AM

The goofiest park around is "Green Garden Park" across from the A&P. It is none of Green, Garden or a Park!

Posted by: Appletony | Jan 20, 2006 9:39:58 AM

Can any better argument be made that Montclair lacks an On-Staff Certified, World-Class, Solid Waste Receptacle Placement Outreach Coordinator?

Posted by: Right of Center™ (8T) | Jan 20, 2006 9:43:47 AM

Unfortunately, even if they remove the garbage cans we'll still be left with all of those concrete pads. I was wondering what they were for, since there were so many so close together that they couldn't possibly be for garbage cans....

Maybe they can put something else on them (another water fountain maybe?).

Posted by: lss | Jan 20, 2006 10:00:47 AM

Now I know where to take my dogs for agility training.

They can run at full speed and weave around the cans jumping up and leaping along the benches to miss the metal dividers. It'll be *great* exercise and training.

Thank you Essex county!!

Posted by: badd_patti | Jan 20, 2006 10:16:58 AM

OOoh, a doggie obstacle course...love it!

Posted by: Miss Martta (8T) | Jan 20, 2006 10:24:31 AM

Call Christo ... we have an inspiration for his next project, "The Cans" ...

Posted by: Jim | Jan 20, 2006 10:24:34 AM

"Maybe they can put something else on them (another water fountain maybe?)."

How about statues of present and former Essex Counthy Executives tastefully cast in concrete?

Posted by: badd_patti | Jan 20, 2006 10:24:36 AM

Unused concrete pads can display outdoor art sculptures instead ...

Posted by: Jim | Jan 20, 2006 10:26:34 AM

Obviously somebodies brother-in-law owns a garbage can company.

This is Essex County, right?

Posted by: PixelPusher | Jan 20, 2006 10:26:45 AM

Maybe the county bought them in bulk at Costco?

Posted by: David | Jan 20, 2006 10:30:28 AM

OK so the County may have set off on the wrong foot on this one.

But you have to give them credit. When the neighbors started expressing concern the County stopped what they were doing and met with the people. And Joe D. himself was personally involved. At least they are listening to people's concerns!

I also think Kev's comments about Joe are unfair. Has anyone been up to see the new Environmental Center in Roseland? It's very, very nice! Joe managed to get all sorts of matching funds and put together the place for very little money. He also helped out other groups who wanted to refurbish parks.

Joe brings people into the process and tells folks upfront that he welcomes their input, that he might not have all the answers.

Both Joe, and his Parks Department Director, Dan Silvante are, in my book, doing a good job. They've cut expenses, slashed employment and produced outstanding results.

And no, I'm not a vendor to the County, am not on Joe's reelection committe, and the only political campaign I've ever contributed to was Ed's.

Posted by: cary | Jan 20, 2006 10:36:05 AM

There will be a meeting to discuss the garbage cans and benches on Monday the 30th of January. We will meet at the corner of Parkside and North Mountain Ave. We will meet at 10:45 AM. Please try and attend. Email if you would like to help us restore the Park's natural beauty that Olmsted created.

Posted by: Kevelson | Jan 20, 2006 10:42:48 AM

Well, you're right, at least the County is listening and communicating, unlike the township who gave permission for those two beautiful large healthy shade trees to be cut down at Walnut and Midland.

These garbage cans do look particularly bad- do you think that they'll remove the concrete pads as well as the cans?

Posted by: badd_patti | Jan 20, 2006 10:54:49 AM

New Jersey and Garbage Cans: Perfect Together

Posted by: Miss Martta (8T) | Jan 20, 2006 10:59:44 AM

funny, Miss M.

New Jersey: We Know Garbage

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 20, 2006 11:01:43 AM

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