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Morris County and Denville Township officials open Den Brook Trail

Denville Trail is Latest Built Through Morris County Trail Grants

DENVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – Morris County Commissioners joined Denville officials Tuesday in opening a large section of the newly constructed Den Brook Trail with a ribbon cutting at the trailhead off Openaki Road on the south side of the township.

“I just want to thank the County Commissioners, the township Open Space Committee and the Morris County Park Commissioner,” said Mayor Tom Andes, before cutting a ribbon at the trailhead while surrounded by local and county officials connected to the project.

The trail is one of 28 funded to date through the Morris County Trail Construction Grant Program, which was created after Morris County voters approved a referendum in 2014 to use a slice of the Open Space Trust Fund annually to build trails.

“The first grant was issued in 2016, and since 2016 we have awarded $3.3 million that has created or enhanced more than 17 miles of trails in Morris County on preserved land. It has been a phenomenal program,” Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw said.

Commissioner Deputy Director Deborah Smith, a Denville resident, also attended the ribbon cutting along with a large group of local officials deeply involved in township preservation efforts. Mayor Andes noted the township has protected 1,300 acres in the past 20 years, which is about 16 percent of the township.

Find applications for trail grants and learn more on the trail program website.

The Morris County Board of County Commissioners approved a recommendation in November 2019 to grant Denville Township $95,656 in trial funds to construct the first .62 miles of the gravel-based Den Brook Trail. Following the completion of a second phase of improvements, the trail will eventually stretch over a mile along Den Brook from where it begins at Openaki Lake downstream to where the brook flows through Den Brook Park and under Mount Pleasant Road.

Just last month, the application process opened up for another $1.6 million in new recreational trail grants for 2021, as the sixth year of the Morris County Trail Construction Grant Program kicked off, said Denise Chaplick, Director of Park Planning & Development at the Morris County Park Commission.

View the Director’s visit last month to Liffy Island & James Leach Boardwalk Trail in Jefferson Township when the 2021 grant application program opened.

Trails have become a particular source of refuge during the pandemic.

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy says trail use around the nation grew by 200 percent last year. The Morris Park Commission reports that they counted 3 to 4 times as many people walking and riding Morris County trails over the past year.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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