MENDHAM TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – The Morris County Board of County Commissioners joined Mendham Township officials Monday in breaking ground on what will become the Historic Park at Pitney Farms off Cold Hill Road in the township.
Once grading and soil work is complete, landscaping efforts will aim to remove invasive plants, install native species and enhance existing woodlands. Signage with historical information will also be erected along with grassy areas for passive recreation, picnicking and general outdoor enjoyment.
The site will include a half-mile trail that will be accessible to people with disabilities.
Two key grants are making the project possible, including $377,500 in state Green Acres funding recommended in 2019 to build the park and $264,753 in Morris County Trail Grant funding provided by the County Board in 2019.
State Sen. Anthony Bucco joined the ground breaking with Mayor Sarah Neibart, Morris County Commissioner Director Stephen H. Shaw, Deputy Commissioner Deborah Smith and Commissioners Tayfun Selen and Kathryn DeFillippo. Among the other dignitaries in attendance were former Mayor Diana Orban Brown, Deputy Mayor Nick Monaghan and Mendham Township Committee members Tom Baio, Jordan Orlins and Amalia Duarte.
The groundbreaking is the latest in efforts to preserve the former estate of the Pitney Family, who settled the site in the early 1700s. The township initially purchased 12 acres at the location, which included the three-story family home. Attempts to preserve the home ended with an arson-fire in 2016, which destroyed the structure and prompted the township to sell off about five acres on which it stood.