Grenloch Lake Park has a long history. Years ago it was an amusement park, complete with carousel and other rides. Later, it fell somewhat into a state of disrepair, becoming a haven for vandals and drunks.
But the park’s most recent incarnation has helped local residents reclaim the trails and lakeshore for their own use. Grenloch Lake is now open for dogs, but not only dogs are finding the park a fun place to be.
“It was drab,” said James McKeever, Washington Township’s director of Public Works, on the recent conditions of the park. McKeever has presided over a cleanup of the lake and surrounding walking trails, as well as upgrades to access points and facilities.
“We’ve actually increased the user-ship 10 times,” he said. “People are actually here to enjoy the park.”
The cleanup was handled by a group of workers for whom the labor fulfills a court-mandated community service. Such crews usually handle large jobs, McKeever said, such as the cleaning up of retention basins, though they may be broken up into smaller groups to do work as simple as weeding flower beds.
McKeever called the program “Invaluable.” What the township saves in labor costs, “comes out in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.