Chatham Historic Riverside Trail Dedicated on Celebrate Trails Day

Published on April 30, 2024

2024 04 29 Chatham Riverside Trail.jpg

Ribbon Cutting for One of First Trails Funded by Morris County Trails Program

For “Celebrate Trails Day 2024,” Morris County Commissioners Stephen Shaw and John Krickus joined the Morris County Park Commission, Chatham officials and residents in Shepard Kollock Park on Saturday to dedicate Chatham Borough Historic Riverside Trail with a ribbon cutting.

“Our trails have become an essential refuge for so many people. Morris County is routinely ranked as one of the healthiest counties in the nation with some of the cleanest air in the U.S. There are certainly plenty of reasons to get out and enjoy some fresh air with more than 26 miles of trails to walk, hike and bike throughout the county,” said Morris County Commissioner Deputy Director Stephen Shaw.

2024 Morris County Trail Construction Grant Program Open to Applications

Shaw was joined in a ribbon cutting at the park by Commissioner Krickus, Chatham Mayor Carolyn Dempsey and others.

The Historic Riverside Trail was one of the first local recreational trails to be funded by the Morris County Trails Construction Grant Program through a grant of $93,710 in 2016. Voters overwhelmingly supported the dedication of a portion of open space dollars to trail construction in November 2014, a little over a year before the program officially launched.

More than half of Morris County municipalities have been awarded 45 grants, totaling more than $5.2 million to design, build and enhance more than 26 miles of trails for residents to enjoy on preserved land.

“Our Historic Riverside Trail at Shepard Kollock Park has become one of the jewels of Chatham. It truly is a “return to the river” for our residents. In reading the historic kiosks along the trail, we learn how generations of local people have had a connection with the Passaic, from the Lenni Lenape crossing the Fishawack to the trolley which used to lead into Summit,” said Mayor Dempsey.

The Trail Construction Grant Program offers municipalities design and construction grants to expand their trail systems. Most municipalities initially apply for a design grant to develop plans and to identify issues and costs involved in developing a trail. Once designs are completed, municipalities apply for a construction grant.

“We are so grateful to be able to preserve this beautiful piece of nature which allows neighbors to reconnect to the river. Thank you to Morris County for supplying the grant funding which made this trail possible. We hope this is only the beginning, and that we can look forward to reclaiming our riverside with more trails in the future,” Mayor Dempsey continued.

The 2024 Morris County Trail Construction Grant Program opened its ninth annual application process last week. Nearly $2 million in grants for recreational trails will be available to Morris County’s 39 municipalities. An Application Workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon to review the overall program and application process.

The workshop will be held in person at the Morris County Park Commission Cultural Center at 300 Mendham Road in Morristown or virtually via Webex. Please register to attend by submitting a Registration Form to: [email protected]

Grant awards are expected to be announced before the end of the year.

Application materials and other resources are available on the program website, including a program Fact Sheet, which provides a brief summary.



Photo 1: Commissioners Stephen Shaw and John Krickus, Mayor Carolyn Dempsey and others on the Historic Riverside Trail along the Passaic River in Chatham Borough.




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