Rumson pond could become the newest classroom for students
RUMSON — An unattractive pond between two schools, if all goes as planned, will be rehabilitated and transformed into an outdoor educational experience for young students in the district.
A partnership between the school district, the borough and Monmouth University aims to make the most out of the small body out of water that, over time, has been packed with sediment and vegetation.
"The idea is to clean the pond up, to do some dredging ... and then we'll actually add some fish back into the pond and rehabilitate the edges," said Tom Rogers, borough administrator.
Students in science classes, across a number of grades, would follow the project as it moves along, he said.
"And the school district is very interested in putting an outdoor classroom adjacent to the pond that would allow the kids ... to take water samples at different times of the year, investigate plant life, things like that," Rogers said.
Testing and surveying of the small body of water between Deane-Porter Elementary School and Forrestdale School has already taken place, courtesy of Monmouth's Urban Coast Institute.
"It's something we have expertise in, so we're glad to help out wherever we can," said Jim Nickels, marine scientist with the Institute. "We played a very small part in a much bigger picture."
Testing has ensured the site is safe for use and not contaminated.
The university and borough have worked in conjunction on a number of projects over the years. In September, the two entities unveiled plans to develop an environmental field station on municipal property located on the banks of the Navesink River.
The next step is gaining approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection for the dredging project. According to Nickels, it could be another year before the pond is completely transformed for use.
Part of the plan includes Monmouth professors and students visiting the site as well, to work with and educate the district's elementary and junior-high children.