Officials celebrate opening of Lawrence Hopewell Trail through – not around – Dyson Tract
Lawrence Hopewell Trail board members joined with former Lawrence Township Councilman Robert Bostock and other dignitaries and guests to celebrate the opening of a beautiful new segment of the LHT during an official ribbon-cutting ceremony today at the Dyson Tract off Princeton Pike. The cleanup of a ten-acre portion of the Dyson Tract was made possible by Bostock’s success in securing a major grant from the N.J. Economic Development Authority to remove dredge spoils at the former Dyson Farm.
“I was really gratified that the cleanup of the dredged materials on the site allowed the LHT to be routed through – rather than around – such a beautiful piece of land. Riding or walking on the trail enables you to get in touch with nature in a really surprising way, given the hustle and bustle of Route 1 just a stone’s throw away,” said Bostock.
“I found out about the condition of the dredge spoils in late 2006 and decided to get involved immediately,” Bostock said. In running for township council, he pledged to clean up the Dyson Tract, if elected. He began fulfilling that pledge when he accepted an invitation from DEP to attend a statewide conference about remediating brownfields.
“All members of Council were in agreement that we should apply for available state funding,” Bostock said. The $2.9 million project was funded through a $2.053 million EDA grant and $643,000 from Lawrence Township. Bristol-Myers Squibb provided $200,000 for trail construction and pedestrian safety improvements at Princeton Pike and Foxcroft Drive.
“We were thrilled with Bob’s advocacy and the Lawrence Township Council’s support for the cleanup and their enthusiasm and support of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail,” said LHT Co-president Eleanor Horne. She noted that instead of constructing the trail around the field, the removal of more than 60,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil cleared the way for the LHT to run the trail through the field and for a 20-car parking lot to be built.
“The Dyson Tract is a major segment of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail. Bob’s efforts allowed us to finish an LHT segment from Foxcroft Drive across Princeton Pike and on toward Meadow Road. Instead of our having to skirt the entire 10 acres and plant a dense vegetative screen to keep people off the contaminated field, we took the trail directly across the field,” said Becky Taylor.
About the Lawrence Hopewell Trail
The Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT) is a 20+ mile bicycle and pedestrian trail and transportation corridor through public and private land in Lawrence and Hopewell Townships in Mercer County, N.J. The idea for the LHT grew out of a commitment to improving the quality of life for all of those who work in the region. The LHT supports an active, livable and sustainable community with alternative forms of transportation to reduce the reliance on automobiles. It also promotes health and fitness, recreation and outdoor education. For more information please visit www.lhtrail.org