Berkeley Island County Park officially opens up to public TODAY
Nearly five and a half years after a Jersey Shore landmark was destroyed, one of many by Superstorm Sandy, Berkeley Island County Park has now opened back up for all of Ocean County and beyond.
Ocean County Freeholder John Bartlett who's also the liaison to Parks and Recreaction, says there are a number of reasons why it took so long to build.
"The first reason is that there were other priorities that had to be faced first, this county was devastated pure and simple," Barlett said. "After that, we had to get all kinds of permits that cost money and take time and take studies and all of those other things that go with it. That's done through our park system, we have a limited staff, you can't snap your fingers and make the sky fall."
After Sandy destroyed many shore spots including Berkeley Island, Bartlett says they've made improvements in the re-build to increase storm protection at the park.
"The bathroom facility, which is really a major focal point of the park is nine-feet above sea level, it's on pilings, the ground is tapered up to it" Bartlett said. "The park is higher and can withstand storms because this place gets storms all the time."
There's many great family friendly activities for you and the kids to enjoy.
"There will be fishing and crabbing as there was before on the dock," Bartlett said. "What's new here is a kids splash park."
Bartlett says he was impressed by a couple splash parks he saw in Philadelphia and wanted to install one at Berkeley Island.
Depending on the maintenance work it requires, there's a possibility more could pop up on Berkeley Island.
There are some other noticeable and major upgrades that were made to the park as well.
"We've rebuilt a pavilion that you can have picnics under, there's a lot of picnics that take place here," Bartlett said. "We have cooking grills available for people and there are walking paths along the water."
Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato says there's plenty to enjoy.
"The park is open, it's beautiful and it's going to have great amenities for our township," Amato said. "This splash park is the first the county put in and Berkeley is very pleased to be able to host it."
This is a park people from across the county and beyond will come to and enjoy as well.
"We have a crabbing pier, a fishing pier, a pavilion for group picnics, picnic areas, a tot lot for children to play in the splash park...it really is a good park," Amato said.
The park is open to everyone, kids, families, friends and anyone who wants to enjoy the beautiful scenery here at Berkeley Island County Park or set up for a day of fun or a picnic.