Crews from Tree King of Lansing, NJ cut down 14 trees from Memorial Park in Chatham Borough Friday.
Borough Mayor Nelson Vaughan and Engineer Vincent J. DeNave said the tree cutting is the first necessary step to the planned improvements to Memorial Park and the Chatham Borough Municipal Pool.
The project was awarded to Z-Tech Contracting Inc. for $840,224.50. It includes a new multi-purpose field between the two baseball fields, some grading and sodding and an additional 14 parking spaces. Changes to the pool include new decking, an elevated and enlarged kiddie pool and some retaining walls.
Plans for the project, which are available for public viewing at the Chatham Borough Municipal Building, show that a total of 26 new trees will be planted as part of the project, including 10 evergreen trees along the northern park boundary and 16 deciduous trees along North Passaic Avenue.
The 10 evergreen trees will act as a visual buffer between the park and the neighboring residence on North Passaic Avenue. The 16 deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in the fall, will shade the park and the roadway.
Vaughan and DeNave said construction of the new park will begin in earnest after Sept. 10, so as not to conflict with the borough's planned Sept. 11 memorial service.