Closter NJ driveway will become a pocket park for seniors

CLOSTER — The borough will transform a “barren” driveway off Closter Dock Road into a pocket park for its older residents with funds from the 2022 AARP Community Challenge Grant.

The money will be used to create a connection between parking areas used by commuters and shoppers and a central commercial street. The $11,000 grant will provide older residents with green space and make it easier for them to access stores and medical providers.

“We plan to add benches, hydrangeas and plants to transform the seedy place of our borough,” Councilor Victoria Amitai said. “Our residents are aware of the change ahead and this pocket park will be a big transformation.”

The driveway is off Closter Dock Road between Durie Avenue and West Street.

The borough is one of eight municipalities in the state to receive a grant. Approximately 260 grants totaling $3.4 million have been awarded nationally.

Grants focus on the needs of populations 50 and older.

“Closter is pleased to be a recipient of the AARP Community Challenge Grant, which will allow us to create a convenient gathering place for our residents, especially our seniors as they walk from the parking lot to the downtown shopping district. -city,” said Mayor John C. Glidden Jr.

Although the project has yet to begin, according to AARP guidelines, the borough must have it completed by Nov. 30 and must achieve one of the following goals: create vibrant public places, provide a range of perspiration and mobility options, encouraging the availability of a range of accommodations, emphasizing diversity and inclusion, increasing civic engagement or supporting community efforts to build engagement and mobilize funds.

The borough is about to complete its third rendering and hopes to have the benches in place by the end of August and the greenery to be added in October.

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Closter is the only northern New Jersey municipality chosen. Here are other state sites chosen by AARP:

  • Belleville will create a new pedestrian path to connect two streets previously separated by an oddly placed fence. A garden to honor those who have died of COVID-19 will be included.
  • Belvidere will add a bike path to slow traffic and improve livability. Two bike racks, two repair stations and five benches will be included.
  • In Camden, its community partnership will step up its safety measures at the entrance to Cramer Waterfront Park and will include changing cycle and parking lanes to direct cyclists away from traffic and adding crosswalks and ramps.
  • In Elizabeth, the Kean University Foundation will create murals based on a series of COVID-19 stories recorded during the pandemic and told by housing authority residents.
  • In Jersey City, its housing authority will provide Wi-Fi tablets to seniors, who will take one-on-one digital literacy training with students.
  • The Downtown Alliance of Metuchen will create a senior center by taking two downtown parking spots and turning them into a small park, or gathering place for planters, seating and a mosaic-decorated table.
  • In Perth Amboy, two pillars of the bridge that connects it to Staten Island will be embellished with murals.

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