Three Montclair parks are getting $1.75 million in upgrades this summer.

Nishuane Park on High Street, which contains fields, tennis courts, a playground, swimming pool and outdoor stage on 17-acres, will undergo upgrades to the pathway, tennis courts and basketball courts resurfacing and bench replacement, Montclair communications director Katya Wowk said. 

New garbage receptacles and water fountains will be installed. Some trees will be removed and replaced with new plantings, she said.

Benches that contain artwork will remain, Fourth Ward Councilman David Cummings said.

The 9.9-acre Essex Park on Chestnut Street will get a new pathway and lights, the bathroom will be renovated and the playground will be replaced. Landscaping will include some tree removals and new tree plantings as necessary, Wowk said.

The renovations are covered under Green Acres Funds granted in 2019.

The project and funding were approved by the Township Council in 2020, before elections that year that put the governing body’s current lineup in place, but the coronavirus pandemic prevented the work from starting until this year, Cummings said. 

Montclair's Edgemont Memorial Park bridge, adjacent to the Edgemont Park House, suffered substantial damage during tropical storm Ida. KATE ALBRIGHT/FILE PHOTO
Montclair's Edgemont Memorial Park bridge, adjacent to the Edgemont Park House, suffered substantial damage during tropical storm Ida.

"I’m glad the work is being done. These two parks in the Fourth Ward have traditionally been locations of fun for families and children in their respective neighborhoods. I look forward to the renovations’ completion,” Cummings said.

In  March, the Township Council accepted a bid by Picerno-Giordano Construction for the Essex Park and Nishuane Park Improvements project, in the amount of approximately $1.5 million. 

A smaller project at Edgemont Park’s playground is also taking place. The playground safety surface will be replaced with a new poured-in-place safety surface, Second Ward Councilwoman Robin Schlager said. It is the second time the surface has been replaced on the playground, built in 2008, Schlager said. A few pieces of broken apparatus such as a steering wheel and a swing will also be replaced.

On May 3, the council approved Picerno-Giordano Construction’s bid of $250,250 for the project. The playground will be closed for two weeks, starting June 6, Schlager said.

Wowk and Cummings did not have completion dates for Nishuane and Essex parks.

The bridge behind the Edgemont Park House house, which has been closed on and off since being damaged in tropical storm Ida, will have to be completely replaced, Schlager said, but that will not happen before the end of the year.

“In the interim, there will be a temporary fix in mid-June,'' she said.

The bridge will have to undergo a redesign and Department of Environmental Protection permitting. Schlager said both are currently being pursued.

An earlier version of this post misstated the amount of the contract award to Picerno-Giordano Construction.
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