WESTFIELD — After wrapping up another summer season, the Westfield Recreation Commission is already looking ahead to next year.
“This is an exciting time of year,” said Megan Schaffer, the town’s recreation director, speaking during a regular meeting of the commission on Monday. “We’ve had the chance to evaluate our programming and have started to come up with a list of ways to improve. No matter how well things are going, we can always do better.”
Plans for next year include the installation of new, accessible playground equipment at Memorial Park and upgrades to the community pool’s security and filtration systems.
“We had a great summer even though we ended up with a few more rainy days than we would have liked,” Ms. Schaffer said. “We would like to get an earlier start on our pool memberships next year, though, which will hopefully give us more time to prepare for the season.”
The commission also will be working closely with the town’s administration to increase transportation and programming options for seniors and residents with disabilities.
In other recreation news, the commission granted its approval to two new projects on Monday night: a 5K fund-raising race to benefit local Girl Scouts and a native-plant installation at Brightwood Park.
The 5K race will benefit the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Council of the Girl Scouts of America, which provides services and experiences for Scouts in Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Somerset, Union, southern Warren, and parts of Middlesex counties.
“Girl Scouting has been very active in this area since the 1950s. At the moment, we have more than 1,150 members in the Westfield community,” said Vicki Paulson, the council’s vice president of fund development and advocacy.
The race will be held next fall in Tamaques Park. All proceeds from the event, Ms. Paulson continued, will be used to support life skills, STEM, entrepreneurship and outdoor- skills programming for local Scouts.
The Friends of Brightwood Park, meanwhile, were given the green light to plant new native trees, shrubs and undergrowth in certain sections of the park now that many invasive species have been removed.
“We’ve been left with a lot of bare areas, and now we’re looking to fill that space with native plants that will support our local pollinators,” said Jim Lewis, the organization’s vicepresident. All of the new greenery, Mr. Lewis continued, will be purchased, planted and donated by the Friends.
The next meeting of the Westfield Recreation Commission will be held on Monday, October 2, at 7:30 p.m., at the town hall. For more information about upcoming events and other commission happenings, visit www.westfieldnj.gov/521/Recreation.