A myriad of volunteers and partners have contributed their time and talents to the Summit trailhead project. From the beginning, City and County employees have informed and enriched the process. We’ve also benefitted from the graciously donated expertise of professional landscape architects and designers from Bosenberg and Company, Cording Landscape Design and Jarret Kest. Local
partner Jackie Kondel of the Reeves-Reed Arboretum led widely enjoyed trail walks in June. Even with all those significant and essential contributions, the true key to our success has been the numerous residents who have provided their time, energy and occasionally back breaking labor.
One Summit resident whose enormous contributions have
anchored our project is local dentist Jeff Hankinson. To the benefit of our entire community, Jeff has been working on area trails for seventeen years; as he explained, “I started cleaning and defining the trails when I got my first dog, Riley.” For our project, Jeff built both the attractive kiosk and the sturdy bench that are situated at the trailhead. Jeff installed these features with an enthusiastic team of volunteers from the Summit Jewish Community Center. In addition, Jeff ingeniously fabricated concrete stepping stones to provide a picturesque path where an inlet of the Passaic interrupts the trail. The hardy Temple volunteers installed these weighty blocks too.
Jeff explained that, “The Overlook grant is a game changer. The funds provided will allow for better signage and environmentally correct landscaping to define and improve the trailheads. It helped to consolidate the various groups doing trail work in Summit into a cohesive … group… working with the County and the City of Summit. Jeff continued, “The best siting I see while down working along the River is the families that come down with their dogs and children and enjoy throwing a stick in the river and have the dog retrieve it. Then they bump down the river a bit and share conversation and the natural world. all are smiling. That’s why I do it. For myself and others. I get the better half……”