By: J.L. Shirley
Upgrades and additions at Horseshoe Lake Park are on the horizon as Roxbury Township officials examine what will best benefit the community.
“The township is reviewing draft plans for the final phase of the recreation master plan which was completed years ago,” states Councilman Fred Hall.
The master plan in question was developed nearly nine years ago and has been developed in different ways over the years.
“This has been a multi-phased approach to delivering quality recreational improvements and programs to our residents,” says Hall.
Over the years different renovations have been made, allowing for new avenues of progress. Recently a major effort to establish a park at the Landing area part of Roxbury Township was completed.
“This implementation of this new facility provided residents with new parks containing softball fields, walking paths and a playground,” explains Hall.
“With the completion of that facility we are now in a position to start to retire the softball fields at the Horseshoe Lake facility and create additional multipurpose fields,” Hall explains.
In order to implement these changes a decision will have to be made on the best configuration which will allow for optimum usage of the fields. Some of the goals which Hall notes as priorities in the plans for the Horseshoe Lake facility included many topics which have been brought up by the township and the community.
Some of the goals Hall noted to be on the list include enhanced safety, such as improvements to field repairs by resting fields that are often used, expanding use for soccer/football/lacrosse by opening Dell and Landing complexes, enhancements to the existing parking, improving access to the Black River trail, addressing drainage concerns and also improving lighting for spots activities and walkers.
Hall notes that at this time the township is still in the preliminary stages. There are many concerns that need to be addressed before moving forward with a plan.
“We have an extensive list of questions that the governing body has asked us to research,” Hall explains.
The Roxbury Recreation Advisor Committee is working in unison with the town council and administration to devise the best way to fund and move forward with the plans proposed so far.
“We also need to invite the stakeholders in to review the plans and, of course, we need to hold public hearings to obtain any concerns or potential modifications with the plan,” states Hall regarding the next steps.
As plans progress, more information will become available regarding the time of completion as well as the projected cost of the project.
Along with the other project goals a turf field is also under consideration to be a part of the Horseshoe Lake park renovations.
“Since the high school turf field was implemented in a shared service effort with the Roxbury BOE we have seen the far reaching benefits of this field for our high school sports programs, extracurricular activities, as well as Roxbury recreation and the high school music program, primarily our exceptional band program,” Halls states.
“I think the way the plans are progressing is just great and I am very excited,” he adds. “Roxbury recreation is second to none and the emphasis that has been placed on improving facilities and programs in Roxbury is heart-warming.”