“That’s the number one for our special projects,” she said.The wallpaper and ceiling upgrades will cost an estimated $6,800 each. Thegroup will also replace four antique cane chairs at Longstreet with hand-wovenseats and also replace some of the heirloom fruit trees at the property. In Colts Neck, the new Sensory Lions’ Den project was recently completed in Dorbrook Park’s Challenger Area, thanks to the Friends of the Monmouth County Park System and the Colts Neck Lions Club. It is designed for people of all abilities, but especially for the visually impaired. In 2020, the group will pay off an additional $2,100 for the playground for additional site work that was not included in the original plan, Wojciechowski said, like extra surfacing areas. “It really looks nice,” she said Dec. 16. MONMOUTH COUNTY – The Friends of the Monmouth County Park System have a lot on their to-do list in 2020. Longstreet Farm, Holmdel Park Photo courtesy MCPS Looking back on 2019, Wojciechowski said it was a very goodyear for the organization, which offers several levels of memberships, startingat $25 for individuals, $50 for families and $250 for corporations. They wereable to raise $281,751 through a membership drive, donations and fundraisingefforts in 2019. “We really had a good year,” she said. Purchasing new fabrics to help repair and createnew historic clothing, $500.Expand social media advertising for park system programsand events, $6,000.Employee training, registration and travel,$10,190.Coastal Activity Center special events, fieldtrips and after-school scholarships for program fees and field trips, $4,550.Therapeutic recreation expenses including asemi-formal, weather presentation, camp scholarships and tickets and entry feesfor inclusion coaches, $3,100.Volunteer Services cards, National Trails Daylunch, gardening tools and holiday reception costs, $2,550. This article originally appeared in the Jan. 9, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. In a presentation at the Dec. 16 Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners meeting, the Friends charitable organization laid out plans to tackle various projects to fund park system enhancements. One they are particularly excited about is the Nature on theMove project. Nature on the Move will be a $12,000 project to bring crittersto various events in the county, said Maria Wojciechowski, executive directorof the Friends group. Also on the to-do list are essential upgrades to the historicLongstreet Farmhouse in Holmdel. According to Wojciechowski, the farmhouse needsceiling repairs and new wallpaper. The wallpaper work was supposed to be donein 2019, but when they visited the site to replace it, they discovered that theplaster from the ceiling was starting to fall. The park system will purchase a van and the Friends willoutfit it with flat-screen TVs, built-in cabinets and cooling systems toprotect the reptiles and insects on hot days. The Friends will be financing several other events, programs, scholarships and more throughout the year. Here are just a few of the 2020 expenses: “The trees are starting to age out of there, so the parksystem is trying to start to rotate some stock so they don’t all go out at thesame time,” she said. Additionally, cherry trees will be replaced at Holmdel Park.Wojciechowski said she has been told that Monmouth County is home to thesecond-largest display of cherry blossoms in the state of New Jersey. One oftheir goals for 2020 is to replace three cherry trees donated by the Stevensonfamily in town, to maintain the site. The Friends and the park system have various fundraising events throughout the year, but the Friends’ “biggest and newest” event was a wine and craft beer tasting Sept. 19 at Tatum Park. The group raised over $20,000 there, Wojciechowski said. “It really is a lot of fun and my board really works so hard on this. They really put so much effort into it. It really came together nicely,” she added. “It will be kind of like a bookmobile,” said Wojciechowski.“They will be able to take it out on the road to a school program or to afestival or a fair and open it up and have a mini environmental center therethat the naturalists will be able to use.” It will likely take about a year toget everything set up and running.