Summit Tackles Trail Project

 

Summit JCC Mens' Club Turns Out for Trail Work

Summit JCC’s Mighty Mens’ Club Turns Out for Trail Work

We were so excited last August to get a $10,000 grant to improve a neglected Passaic River Park trailhead in Summit, but our elation quickly dissolved into apprehension.  While we had experience with parts of the project like communications, planning and publicity, construction was way beyond our expertise.  Using power tools, digging deep holes in rocky soil, building kiosks and pouring cement  were not in our repertoire.   Lucky for us, where our knowledge foundered, Summit City staff and dedicated volunteers filled the breach.

City Employees Helping Out: Gus Reyes digs while Rich Caputo and Rick Matias look on

City Employees Helping Out: Gus Reyes digs while Rich Caputo and Rick Matias look on


A key contributor,  Summit City Assistant Engineer Rick Matias,  ably answered all our building-related queries and frequently met us at the site  to  work through construction issues.  Rick explained when it was appropriate to secure a structure with gravel (in our case, the bench) and when cement was required (for the
kiosk).  When it seemed that a task would be near impossible for our team of volunteers (like digging four foot deep holes in rocky soil), Rick arranged with Summit’s

Dan Chomuk of Cording Landscape Design at the trailhead

Dan Chomuk of Cording Landscape Design at the trailhead

Superintendent of  Public Works Paul Cascais and Director of Community Services Beth Kinney for City employees to help.  Rick supervised while Foreman Rich Caputo and Senior Maintenance Worker Gus Reyes dug in challenging conditions with a mechanical auger.

In the days before the holes were dug, Union County Environmental Specialist Betty Ann Kelly revisited the site when  Cording Landscape Design Project Manager Dan Chomuk carefully marked the holes’ locations.  Dan graciously returned early the following Sunday morning with a donation of 10 eighty pound bags of Quikrete for the kiosk installation.

The construction of the kiosk required a dedicated volunteer who knew his way around a tool box.  Here we were so fortunate to

Dr. Jeff Hankinson works on the kiosk in his garage

Dr. Jeff Hankinson works on the kiosk in his garage

have Summit resident Dr. Jeff Hankinson step forward.   Dr. Hankinson built the fabulous kiosk in his garage and disassembled it for transport to  the  site.  There, with help from the spirited Mens’ Club of the Summit Jewish Community Center, the kiosk was  set and the Quikrete poured.

The kiosk takes shape as Dr. Jeff Hankinson and Peter Eliot constructing the  roof

The kiosk takes shape:  Dr. Jeff Hankinson and Peter Eliot constructing the roof

The flurry of  activity at the trailhead and our blogging  has created a buzz around the trails.  Many other volunteers have stepped forward to help, including father and son team Jason and A.J. Bernstein, who are painting  yellow blazes to mark the trail.  Residents will appreciate these  blazes on Sunday June 14, when the Summit Conservancy hosts guided hikes at its family-friendly Party at the Dump. While our project is still a work-in-process, we can’t wait to show off all we’ve accomplished!

Trout lilies bloom on the trail in April 2015

Trout lilies bloom on the trail in April 2015

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s