An Essex County park which has remained undeveloped for 43 years now looks like a million bucks.
That’s how much the county spent this summer to improve Becker Park, a 146.73 tract in Roseland and Livingston, to make it safer and more accessible to the public. The work started in May and was completed in three months, the county announced Monday.
The county partnered with the Becker Park Conservancy, NJ Green Acres program and the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Advisory Board on the project, which was funded with a New Jersey Green Acres grant received by the Becker Park Conservancy and a grant from the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund
The park land was once part of the Becker Farm, which used the fields to grow crops and graze dairy cattle.
Essex County purchased the property in 1969 with county, state and federal funds, and the land has sat undeveloped since then. The park is contiguous with Essex County Riker Hill Art Park and Essex County West Essex Park.
“Becker Park is a hidden resource in our historic Park System where visitors can enjoy open space in its natural state,” Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo stated in a press release.
The nearly $1 million project included the following:
- The rehabilitation of the Locust Avenue Bridge, which provides primary access into the park.
- A water line was installed across the bridge to bring water to the park.
- Locust Avenue leading into the park was repaved.
- An open-air pavilion was installed to provide covered seating areas for the public, and benches and trash receptacles were installed.
Boswell Engineering from South Hackensack received a $142,000 professional contract to design the improvements. Let It Grow from River Edge was awarded a publicly bid contract for $857,000 to perform the construction work.
Conservancy member Sue Fershing said Becker is known for bird watching and hiking.