When: 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25
Where: The Bradley Beach Maritime Forest, near the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Lake Terrace
What: Dedication of the Maritime Forest to Julie Schreck, former mayor of Bradley Beach, and recognition of completing the next step in the restoration project
On Tuesday, May 25 the American LIttoral Society and others will recognize completion of the next phase of the maritime forest in Bradley Beach and dedicate the restored coastal green space to the town’s former mayor.
Bradley Beach Borough will dedicate the forest to Julie Schreck, who was mayor of the town from 2008-2012 and passed away in 2014. She was instrumental in launching the restoration project, which began in 2013.
The ceremony will also mark completion of phase three of the maritime forest project, which included adding more shells to the access road, new plants in the truck wash down area, the creation of two walking paths, and additional benches for public seating.
In addition to renaming the forest for Mayor Schreck and unveiling new signs, the ceremony will include remarks from dignitaries, family, and friends, who will also have the opportunity to tour the forest after the dedication.
The project began when a small army of volunteers, Monmouth County Master Gardeners, and borough and county staffers, came together to return a long-time beachfront parking lot at the end of the Bradley Beach boardwalk to its natural state, using plants common along the Jersey Shore before humans began developing beachfront property.
The borough’s maritime forest has been described as an oasis of natural beauty in an area of the state some would argue is overdeveloped. It was created after Hurricane Sandy as a demonstration of the resiliency of vegetation to storms, to enhance the local ecology, and to further protect the town and Fletcher Lake. The Maritime Forest has since been recognized nationally and received numerous awards.
The maritime forest provides a number of benefits, including localized storm protection, habitat for wildlife, a decrease in rainwater runoff, and improvement in water quality of the adjacent lake because of the natural vegetated buffers along the shoreline.
Phase 3 funding was provided by Bradley Beach Borough, members of the NJ Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, and the Bradley Beach Environmental Commission. The US Fish and Wildlife Service donated plants and Atlantic Lifts of Point Pleasant donated the bench and seating materials. Special thanks to the Bradley Beach Department of Public Works.