By Henry M. Holden
Located on 267 rolling acres of the northern New Jersey Highlands, Turkey Brook Park offers many upgraded amenities from its 2003 opening. Among the amenities are, two tennis courts, two volleyball courts, two basketball courts, a 32-foot octagonal outdoor pavilion (Gazebo) and seven grass soccer fields. Turkey Brook Park also has a two-area Dog Park so keeping Turkey Brook Park clean is no small job.
Nine-year-old, fourth grader, Sanad Elaiwat, attends Sand Shore Elementary school in Mount Olive. He decided to help keep the park clean because he said, “It’s a very nice place and I care about the community.”
“It wouldn’t be a nice place if you go to the park and see candy wrappers on the ground and cigarette butts in the parking lot. There is litter all around, and someone has to pick it up. I cleaned up the soccer field and picked up litter and in the parking lot. It made me feel very happy to see the field clean.”
One day Sanad cleaned up the soccer field all by himself. “And there was a lot of litter to clean up,” he said. He also helped clean up Mount Playmore which offers 11,000 square feet of swings, slides, see-saws and more fun!
“There are no signs that say Do Not Litter, or cameras that I know of in the park,” said Sanad’s mom Sahar Elsaddi. “But people should not have to be told to pick up their trash.”
“I think Sanad got the motivation to become an environmentalist when a friend of mine announced on her Facebook page that she was mobilizing the cleanup and wanted me and the community to come along. I told my son that I was not going to be home on Saturday, and I told him where I was going. I think I said it was something important and for a good cause. My son said he thought so too and wanted to be part of the effort. I have become super proud of him since this effort.”
“It is very unfortunate and disheartening that we found hundreds of cigarette butts in the parking lot,” said Sahar. “You can’t even blame the children! This is an adult situation. They are probably sitting in their cars smoking and throwing their butts out the window. Don’t cars still have ash trays? We found lots of gum, candy wrappers and empty plastic water bottles in the parking lot.”
“We were in charge of the parking lots after the soccer games. The last soccer field we cleaned up took us over an hour.” (A soccer field is a large area approximately 69,000 to 86,000 square feet.)
Sanad plans on continuing to help this cleanup effort in the future. “I am on the soccer team so I could ask my teammates to help clean up,” said Sanad.
Check the township website www.mountolivetwpnj.org for seasonal activities such as ice skating, the PAL fishing derby, the Mt. Olive Week Carnival and much more!
Mount Olive is located right off of Interstate 80 and Route 206 highway corridors. The physical address is 30 Flanders Rd, Budd Lake, NJ, 07828. Call 973-691-0900 ext. 7260.