On October 3rd, 2010 Princeton Township and Friends of Princeton Open Space celebrated the opening of a new pathway along the scenic Stony Brook. The pathway includes new 125-foot and 60-foot pedestrian bridges, completing a critical linkage enabling cyclists and pedestrians to travel from the Princeton Battlefield and Institute Woods area to Mountain Lakes Preserve and Woodfield Reservation.
The new pathways and bridges can be accessed from Rosedale Road at Greenway Meadows Park or from Route 206 at Hutchinson Drive, north of the service entrance to TPC Jasna Polana.
Leading up to the celebration, Steve Hiltner, Naturalist for Friends of Princeton Open Space, led a walk from Greenway Meadows to the bridge, and members of the Princeton Joint Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee lead a bike ride along a different route.
The celebration recognized the many partners who have worked for over fifteen years to achieve this important pathway linkage, which Friends of Open Space advocated through a brochure and video they produced in 1997. After Friends of Princeton Open Space obtained Township Committee’s support, other partners have worked to make the project possible including the New Jersey Department of Transportation, D&R Greenway Land Trust, TPC Jasna Polana and The Hun School of Princeton.
Special recognition was given to longtime Friends of Princeton Open Space trustee, Helmut Schwab, who has advocated tirelessly for this project for almost two decades.
Linking Princeton’s parks to each other and to the surrounding communities has been a goal of Princeton Township and Friends of Princeton Open Space since the early 1990s. In 2002, the Township Engineering Department obtained a $500,000 Federal Transportation Enhancement grant for the construction of the main bridge. A National Recreational Trails grant, a State Livable Communities Grant and a State Bikeway grant were also received, which provided an additional $290,000 in grant funding to finance the $950,000 construction project. With the help of D&R Greenway Land Trust and Friends of Princeton Open Space, the Township purchased land above the Stony Brook to enable handicapped accessibility on the pathway. Let It Grow, Inc. of River Edge, New Jersey constructed the bridges and new pathway linkage to Route 206. Friends of Princeton Open Space constructed the pedestrian pathway along the Stony Brook to connect the bridges and southern pathway to Greenway Meadows Park and Rosedale Road.
Awards Given for Bridge Concept and Installation
On May 24th, the Princeton Township Committee specially recognized Helmut Schwab, Robert von Zumbusch and the Friends of Princeton Open Space at its meeting for their contributions to the creation of the Stony Brook footbridge near Jasna Polana/the Hun School, and for developing the concept of a loop trail around Princeton.
Helmut came in for special commendation as the person without whom it would not have ever happened and for his long years of work on the project, and Robert for his help as a member of the Historic Preservation Commission in working out those aspects of the project.
Robert Kiser, the Township Engineer, received an award from the NJ Engineers’ Society for this project. A lot is also owed to Anthony Soriano, another member of the Engineering Department, who – starting when he was an intern – successfully put together grant applications that provided 80% of the total funding.