Cranford Riverwalk Restoration Project Resumes Activities

Cranford Riverwalk Restoration Project

The Cranford Heritage Corridor is a 5,000-foot recreational area that spans across Cranford’s most recognizable landmarks along the Rahway River.

The Riverwalk Committee hosted a Riverwalk Restoration Project on Saturday, September 12. Though COVID-19 interfered with maintaining the grounds, it was deemed safe for volunteers to return and follow CDC guidelines. Participants wore masks and practiced social distancing while cleaning up and performing other maintenance to the grounds.

A monthly Riverwalk cleanup and maintenance of the grounds will continue the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (weather permitting). The next is scheduled for October 10th. Volunteers are to report to either the intersection of South Avenue and Lincoln Park East in Cranford, known as the Heritage Plaza, or behind Droescher’s Mill on Lincoln Park East, also in Cranford.

The Cranford Heritage Riverwalk, a part of the Union County parks system, is as old as Cranford itself. Committee members are calling upon people within the community to come forward and help revitalize this area so it becomes a focus of celebration once again. In particular, the Riverwalk Committee hopes that this space will become a central focus of Cranford’s 150th anniversary in 2021.

Participants both young and old can report to the volunteer stations located on either end of the Riverwalk and offer their time and energy to contribute. Tasks such as mulching, weeding, clearing the pathway and more are constant needs. Volunteers are asked to wear masks while the COVID-19 pandemic is still occurring. They are also asked to bring work gloves and any gardening tools that may help in this effort.

“Safety, of course, is paramount to our group,” stated Mason when asking for volunteers to participate. “The path itself is eight-feet wide, allowing us the recommended six feet of distance between each person. Using these measures, we feel comfortable inviting the public to help be a part of history. Children will benefit by learning more about the town and seeing history come to life right before their eyes, and adults will find another section of Cranford transition from being forgotten, to becoming a gem for passive recreation.”

The Cranford Heritage Corridor includes the parklands from Orange Avenue at the Cranford Canoe Club from the 19th century, and meanders through town following the Rahway River to the Williams-Droescher Mill from the early 18thcentury. The century-old stone walls and iconic stone columns are still in place, but are in need of restoration and preservation. Future plans include repairing the Kaltenbach Estate Skating Pond, Victorian Footbridge and Squire Williams Picnic Grove. There are over 20 special projects that are a part of the master plan.

“Cranford is known as ‘The Venice of New Jersey’, complete with river carnivals, boating, fishing and skating on the Rahway River. Residents and visitors gather here for fun and relaxing all the time. We hope that the Cranford Heritage Corridor will once again be returned to its former glory,” said Mason.

You can follow ‘Cranford Heritage Corridor Riverwalk’ on Facebook for the latest news and information on the project’s progress.

ABOUT CRANFORD HERITAGE PLAZA AND RIVERWALK COMMITTEE — The Cranford Heritage Plaza and Riverwalk Committee was envisioned in 1971 by former Cranford High School teacher and township historian, the late Laurence Fuhro. Since that time, a group of dedicated volunteers have taken up the mantle in an effort to see the Riverwalk re-established and become a central part of the Cranford community. The Cranford Heritage Corridor, part of the Rahway River Parkway, Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, is a 210-acre recreational area that spans across Cranford’s most recognizable landmarks along the Rahway River. The Cranford Heritage Plaza and Riverwalk Committee hosts regular cleanups and advocates to restore the Riverwalk back to its original glory. Follow the Riverwalk on Facebook for the latest news and information.

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