As part of the ’s Clean Community Grant project, the Livingston Environmental Commission met up on Tuesday night to conduct a clean up of debris and garbage at Prospect Park.
Seven Livingston residents donned gloves and walked through the path with recyclable trash bags, picking up any debris they could find in the woods. This was the first park clean up conducted by the commission as part of this grant.
"We thought this would be a nice idea for doing an environmentally conscientious event, while also building comradely between the commission members," said Gary Schwartz, Chairperson of the Livingston Environmental Commission.
According to Schwartz, Prospect Park was chosen as the first site to be cleaned due to concern over whether it had fully recovered from last fall's snow storm. In late October 2011, , including Livingston.
Established in 1973, the commission studies and makes recommendations to the Township Council on issues relating to the protection, development or use of natural resources, including water resources and open space, located within the township. They also undertake various projects meant to improve environmental conditions in town.
Among the volunteers who cleaned Prospect Park on Tuesday was nine-year-old Sasha Altman. The young resident, who accompanied her father Art, a member of the commission, said that she was glad to do her part to keep Livingston clean.
"I wanted to come clean the junk in the park," said Sasha. "I hope it helps save the environment."
Prospect Park opened in October 2010. It is 29 acres of wooded area with pathes all along it. Owned by the township, the park is located at the intersection of Shrewsbury Drive and Laurel Avenue.
The volunteers found numerous items along the path, including a unique metal doughnut-shaped piece of debris. Each volunteer filled their bag with garbage left on the side of the path.
Al Anthony, a candidate for town council and a member of the commission, said he regularly participates in clean up operations throughout the state, including a recent clean up of the Rockaway River.
"I think keeping the environment clean for the town is important for building a better community," Anthony said.
Schwartz said that he wasn't sure yet of the next project that the commission would be undertaking, however he has started scouting out ways that the commission can make a difference as part of the grant.
"If we feel that we can create a change, then it's something we can apply for," Schwartz said regarding the next project that the commission will participate in. "We try to reach out to the community with events like this so that they see what we are doing and and say 'maybe I can get involved'."