I live directly adjacent to the south edge of Brightwood Park and know it well. It's a wonderful place to briefly escape the bustle of city living, and it gives the visitor a chance to experience what the area might have looked like hundreds of years before the suburbs engulfed the surroundings.
Unfortunately, the town is considering "improving" the park with mountain bike trails and other objectionable items that will destroy the very nature of "nature." Along with the bike trails, there are plans for restrooms, picnic areas, a playground, a fitness area, a dock and boat launch. These "improvements" have largely been left out of the back and forth communications that I have read thus far and need to be addressed along with the issue of bike trails.
A statewide organization, JORBA, Jersey Off Road Bicycling Association, (jorba org) brought forth the idea of mountain bike trails in Brightwood after its failure to obtain permission to do the same in Watchung Reservation. JORBA is somehow a stakeholder in the proposed "improvements" while having no recognizable financial interest in the town of Westfield. JORBA uses children as volunteers to build and maintain the trails and it holds events and rallies that will cause large numbers of people to descend on the park. The statewide nature of the organization cannot be stressed too strongly.
It goes without saying that large groups, bike trails, bathrooms, playgrounds, picnic area, etc., will be the end of Brightwood Park as the nature sanctuary that was its intended use. I'm asking that the Mayor, Town Council and the Recreation Commission recognize that Brightwood Park is a gift of nature to the citizens of Westfield and not proceed with the proposed changes.