The issue of wetlands preservation was first raised during the tenure of Mayor Marco Stiron and the development of the Windmill Pond. The silting of Foote’s Pond was also addressed as part of the hydraulic plan for the entire area.
Jo Ann Casadevall was hired to coordinate a 10-year renovation project. She enlisted both volunteers and professionals. The initiative included implementing pathways, a fireplace, the teaching dock, and footbridge, among other things. The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation (Dodge Foundation) made a grant ($10,000) for the hiring of Jo Ann. As part of this grant, the Dodge Foundation retained the naming rights to the park. They agreed to name it Foote’s Pond Wood (FPW).
CIRCA 1998 / 1999
During the term of mayor Jay Delaney, the Dodge Foundation recommended creation of an Environmental Commission. Jo Ann was the first chair. Kathy Duane was appointed chair in 2002.
Jo Ann Casadevall organized a group of volunteers to clean FPW. FPW volunteers and representatives of the Nature Resources Conservation Service surveyed the property and devised a long-term plan. Based on this work, Morristown received an additional two-year renewable grant ($20,000) to develop the project further.
The Morristown City Council approved Resolution R-171-00, awarding a professional services agreement to Schoor-DePalma to provide professional design services for FPW, funded by The Dodge Foundation ($143,000).
The Mount Kemble branch cleaned the site and removed invasives.
Resolution R-166-03 authorized a change to aforementioned R-171-00 to approve additional work also funded by The Dodge Foundation ($24,470).
2003 - 2004
Schoor-DePalma completed a detailed analysis and design for NJDEP. General permits were authorized in a letter dated February 10, 2005, which was valid for five years to do construction and dredging.
A report by The Great Swamp Watershed Association indicated that all state permits have been received for restoration of FPW. With funding from The Dodge Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Morristown Rotary, and the City of Morristown, the project was put out to bid.
Plant Architect completed the first phase of construction, the footbridge and teaching dock, in Autumn 2006. They won a DX Gold Award as well as Second Prize in the 2007 Torsanlorenzo Awards.
Applicants submitted proposals for dredging, but the estimate of $700,000 was too expensive. NJDOT reported that new pathways, plants, and birdhouses will be added to complete the site ($450,000 over ten years).
The Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program provided funds ($25,000) to complete the stone dust trail connecting the pedestrian footbridge to the classroom dock as well as other work.
The City of Morristown retained Princeton Hydro to assess physical and chemical properties of the pond, which indicated the presence of elevated levels of contaminants in the sediment.
The Foote’s Pond Citizen Action Committee held its first meeting at Christine Miller’s home. The Friends of Foote’s Pond Wood (FoFPW) was formed soon after.
Suburban Consulting Engineers performed a watershed and permitting analysis and made recommendations related to Foote's Pond’s current value as a stormwater attenuation measure.
NV5 completed a hydrology study that estimated professional service costs for dredging ($64,000) or breaching ($74,000) the dam.
Anthony DeVizio from MEC presented the NV5 report that details the three options for the future of Foote's Pond, which are similar to the recommendations of the original studies started in 2010, noted above.
Morristown expanded Foote's Pond Wood with the purchase of a ten-acre parcel of adjoining land from Loyola Jesuit Center. This purchase included:
$1,285,000 from a Morris County Open Space funds, $500,000 from a Trust for Public Lands/Green Acres grant, and $244,150 from a bond ordinance.
Solitude Lake Management is contracted to perform two studies of FPW:
-Quantitative analysis/ bathymetirc study to determine the underwater depth/ topography of the pond ($2,846)
-Pond maintenance – Foote's Pond will be monitored twice a month from April to November and once a month from December to March and remediated as necessary ($3,432 per year).
They also planned to put to public bid/permitting a contract for hydro-raking.
The four foot wide 0.7 mile stone dust trail encircling the pond was completed.
The Morris County Trail Construction Grant Program provided $132,696 toward construction. Additional funding of $105,000 was provided by the City of Morristown.
Bids were solicited for the hydro-raking of the pond.
New sidewalk along James Street in front of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, Loyola Jesuit Center and connecting at the Woodside development was completed.
FOFPW submitted a Historical Marker Application to Peg Shultz of the Morris County Heritage Commission for consideration at their mid-February meeting. This was the result of rigorous research by Marion Harris and Erich Huhn. The marker was not approved.
T.R. Weniger, Inc. was awarded the contract to hydro-rake the pond at a cost of $340,000. Hydro-raking is an NJDEP-approved alternative to dredging used to restore water surface area and water depth in a pond or lake. Work was estimated at 45 days and was completed ahead of schedule.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at FPW celebrates the path, the sidewalk and the land expansion, with participation from Mayor Tim Dougherty.
Installation of the tribute paver near the fireplace on James street in honor of the continuing and tireless support Susan and John Landau.
Creation of the meadow and path at James Street. Installation of a turtle sunning dock in the pond near the teaching dock. Ongoing clearing of invasives, planting of plugs, and sowing of seeds.
Environmental/Conservation Award was presented to Friends of Foote’s Pond Wood by the Morris Park Alliance in conjunction with the Morris County Park Commission as recognition of the ongoing efforts to restore and improve this gem that is no longer hidden. Ongoing clearing of invasives, planting of plugs, and sowing of seeds, and weeding.