Cadwalader Park Master Plan

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Chapter 5: Implementation


Implementation of the Cadwalader Park Master Plan should proceed on multiple fronts to maximize chances for success. Relying solely on capital projects to fix the park will not be enough unless programmatic and maintenance goals are also addressed. The project goals, as noted above, include not only restoring the physical
elements of the park, but improving standards of maintenance, developing new programs, increasing security,
and developing a constituency within the City of Trenton for the long-term care and support of the park. Implementation of programs, maintenance improvements, capital projects, and community involvement should
proceed together to build momentum and tangible accomplishments within Cadwalader Park.

In addition to the physical renewal and expanded roster of programs described above, community involvement and upgraded park maintenance and security are crucial to the success of the master plan. The proposed capital projects depend upon all three of those components to sustain a vibrant, well-maintained and popular community

Where appropriate, short-term strategies that can be implemented with a minimum of capital investment are included with the recommendations below.

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A group should be established under an existing 501(c)(3) corporation for the purpose of raising funds and advising on implementation of the Master Plan for Cadwalader Park. In addition, the organization would act to provide a public/private focus on the park to marshal financial, political, institutional, and public resources. Ideally, the new organization would continue to be a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit with a board of trustees encompassing residents, corporate, city, and civic organizations. A fund raiser or grant writer should be engaged by this group to pursue funding. This position could be jointly paid by this group and theCity.

Another possibility is that an existing organization, such as the Friends of Cadwalader Park, could file for 501(c)(3) status as a not-for-profit organization and assume both fundraising and management roles for the park. Regardless of who assumes the leadership role for the park, the following should be considered:

• The City of Trenton must give its sanction and support to the organization.

• The organization should be independent of the City of Trenton (although the Mayor should have appointees to the board of the organization).

• A simple agreement stating roles and responsibilities should be drawn up between the organization and the City.

• A role for residents surrounding the park should be provided.

Short-Term Community Strategy

In the interim, the Cadwalader Park Advisory Committee should be continued. The role of the Advisory Committee should be formalized and sanctioned by the City of Trenton until the more formal group is formed. Committee members should include community residents, institutions, police and interested members of the public. In the meantime, the Advisory Committee should remain active in prioritizing and implementing recommendations contained in the Master Plan. The Advisory Committee should meet regularly, at least monthly, to implement fundraising strategies for the park.

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A Park Administrator should be appointed who would be responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating park maintenance, operations, security, special events, and programs. The Park Administrator would be a City employee who would act as liaison to the Advisory Committee, representing all aspects of the park.

The Park Administrator would be expected to have the following basic job responsibilities:

• The Administrator would report to the Director of Natural Resources and would have a close working relationship with both the Divisions of Recreation and Culture.

• Work full-time at Cadwalader Park, with an office in the Park Administration Building.

• Establish a park operating budget specifically for Cadwalader Park.

• Establish a dedicated park work force that would be responsible for all aspects of park maintenance, including ballfields, with some additional division staff support.

• Coordinate upgraded security measures.

Additional duties of the Park Administrator would include:

• Work with Division Director and City Landscape Architect to provide overall coordination for capital improvements programs;

• Establish, track and monitor the budgets and costs for Cadwalader Park;

• Provide daily management of the park;

• Coordinate uniformed and non-uniformed maintenance staff;

• Coordinate all maintenance, programs, operations and security;

• Act as liaison to not-for-profit organization and initially perform some grant writing and followup;

• Act as the public face for Cadwalader Park and park issues;

• Act as coordinator for special events; and

• Provide leadership for all park related issues.

Cadwalader Park will benefit greatly from having a small, multi-skilled, dedicated, and uniformed park workforce under the direction of the Park Administrator.

The Park Ranger program should be continued. The Chief Ranger would report directly to the Park Administrator, in order to establish a coordinated program of Ranger activities.

Daily park maintenance would be performed by a dedicated, uniformed, multi-skilled three-person crew whose responsibilities would include cleaning, horticultural work, ballfield maintenance and simple repair tasks. The inmate crew has been very successful and should be continued.

A dedicated park staff would:

• Be responsible for all aspects of maintenance and care of the park, including some bench repair, painting, ballfield maintenance, mowing and basic pruning;

• Provide a public face to all park users; be knowledgeable about the park and be able to answer questions;

• Develop a proactive one-on-one relationship with park users in order to provide increased community understanding and support;

• Provide a reassuring, uniformed presence and link to police and park enforcement; and

• Develop an understanding of changing user trends which may affect daily operations.

Short-Term Park Maintenance Strategy

The Park Administrator could initiate grant research, develop contacts, and write initial grants for the park to begin to effect both community involvement and increased maintenance. A series of small visible improvement projects could be begun, such as improved cleanliness; tree planting programs; more tree pruning; better tree care; grass care; and improvement of park features such as new drinking fountains, play equipment, picnic tables, and benches. A modest, temporary sign could be installed at the Parkside Avenue entrance to the park, stating upcoming park improvements.

Staff Training

Both the Park Administrator and park staff should receive ongoing training to develop technical, communication, and interpersonal skills. Since both the Park Administrator and the field staff are the public face for the park, with whom most park users interact, a courteous, informed and competent, uniformed staff will improve public
communication and understanding of the park. This will ultimately help to reduce vandalism, misuse and complaints.

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Purpose of Management Plan

This management plan sets out a strategy for the future maintenance and management of Cadwalader Park. Although the plan will likely need updating periodically, its basic tenets are intended to remain valid for the long-term.

The objectives of the management strategy are to:

• Offer peaceful enjoyment, recreation, and entertainment in a safe environment to all parkusers;

• Enhance, protect, and preserve the park for the benefit of this and future generations; and

• Manage the park in an efficient and effective manner in accordance with the principles of public service.

Management Goals

Specific goals are to:

• Increase the enjoyment of visitors, giving priority to pedestrians;

• Initiate and sustain high standards of maintenance and design;

• Ensure that the park is a safe environment for users of all ages;

• Attract and increase the range of visitors through publications, publicity, events, programs, and public involvement;

• Protect the park from encroachments contrary to the park’s purposes so that future generations can enjoy the park to its maximum;

• Maintain open access to the park for the public while investigating opportunities for income development;

• Procure, organize, and monitor all services in a manner which ensures the efficient spending of both public and private funds;

• Conserve architectural and landscape architectural features in the park that are of special design and historic interest; and

• Meet budgetary and other performance targets as specified by the City of Trenton.

Management Principles

Specific capital improvements for restoration and repair of Cadwalader Park are discussed in detail in Chapter 4. Ongoing management principles are described below.

Conservation of the Historic Landscape

The 1891 design by Frederick Law Olmsted continues to provide the main structure for and features of Cadwalader Park. The main features of the design should be conserved and strengthened while meeting the needs of today’s park users.

Public Use

Increased public use should be encouraged by developing public programs, public/private partnerships, and increased public involvement; Cadwalader Park’s role as a city-wide resource should be developed; Strong associations with children and youth should be developed; special events programs should be increased. Proposed programs include those listed in Chapter 4.

Physical Features

Hard surfaces, fences, and park furnishings all need constant maintenance attention due to heavy use. Maintenance should be performed regularly until capital funding becomes available for restoration and new construction. Following improvements, the above listed items will continue to need ongoing maintenance.


High standards of horticultural management should be developed and continued to ensure healthy trees, shrubs, woodlands, and lawn areas. Ecological conservation and habitat creation should be encouraged within the constraints of public usage, and should become part of the park’s regular maintenance program. Details of
vegetation management are included in Chapter 4.


Buildings are an important component of the Cadwalader Park landscape. They should be kept in good repair and their uses should respect and enhance the Park; historic buildings should be reused as described in Chapter 4. The settings and bases of statuary and monuments should be regularly maintained and improved. These features represent periods of the park’s history and their significance should be acknowledged and respected.

Water Bodies

The quality of water bodies and their shorelines need constant attention. Maintenance should include annual testing of water to ensure water quality is within state guidelines, periodic repair of eroding shorelines, and repair or replacement of loose stones at edges of water bodies.

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Lawn Areas

The open, rolling lawns in Cadwalader Park provide much of the park’s quality and character. Long-term lawn care is important to the over all character of the park.


Lawn mowing should be done with the appropriate equipment such as a Toro Groundmaster and smaller Toro Ground mowers. Care should be taken to protect the base of all trees from damage by mowers and weed whips. The recommended mowing schedule is shown in Table 7.

Figure 7
Table 7. Mowing Schedule


New irrigation systems should be installed where needed. Other areas should have Quick Couplers installed to provide a water source. Irrigation should be done from May-November. In general, irrigation should be automatic and should water during early morning hours on a regular schedule, appropriate for seasonal weather conditions. The Park Administrator should be responsible for the irrigation, and should adjust watering frequency and duration according to turf and weather conditions.

Soil Amendments

Annual soil testing should be performed throughout the park. Eight to ten sites should be tested annually in order to monitor soil conditions.


The general fertilizing schedule for the lawns will involve granular applications during the spring and fall. The fertilization schedule should be adjusted based on the results of the annual soil testing in an effort to maintain optimal levels of nutrients.


Application of lime to the lawns should occur on “as needed” basis based on the results of the annual soil testing. Lime application aids in maintaining balanced pH levels in the soil, which in turn facilitates the uptake of nutrients by the turf.


Core aeration should be done once a year in the late fall (October) when the lawn areas are no longer heavily used. Core aeration breaks up surface compaction, restoring the soil’s ability to absorb water and bringing oxygen to the root system.


Overseeding, performed in conjunction with aeration, provides new healthy turf and a diversity of grasses. By maintaining high turf density, overseeding helps lawn areas resist encroachment of weeds and undesirable grasses. Overseeding is most important in the fall and ensures that bare lawn areas are restored by the spring, and the density of desirable grasses is maintained.

Closing of Lawns

During the season, lawn areas showing noticeable damage due to overuse should be temporarily closed for maintenance and turf recovery. After heavy rain, the turf remains moist and is susceptible to damage and compaction. Significant damage can be done to the turf by allowing heavy use under moist conditions. Forthis
reason, thePark Administrator should be given the authority to close selected lawn areas when the ground is too wet. A red flag system should be developed and used to indicate when a lawn is closed.

Planting Areas

Planting beds should receive annual pruning, mulching, and fertilizing. Plants should be pruned to remove deadwood and to maintain natural plantform. Horticulture staff should be trained to prune properly; shearing of plants should not be permitted.


A regular five-year pruning schedule should be established for the park’s canopy trees. In addition, along-range replanting, pruning and fertilizing plan should be developed to ensure that new trees are planted, existing trees maintained, unhealthy and inappropriate trees removed, and species diversit yincreased. Chapter 4 contains a table of recommended trees for the park interior and boundary areas designed to facilitate this goal.


Due to active uses of ballfields, ballfield turf requires more intensive maintenance than open lawn areas. One month prior to the beginning of the season, fields should receive a basic maintenance program to repair fences and backstops, as well as to correct drainage and infield repairs. New clay should be added as needed and the
infield dragged level. In addition, the pitcher’s mound should be built up and the infield edged around the grasslip. During the season, the infield should be dragged on a daily basis to maintain a homogenous, uncompacted surface, and York raked on a weekly basis to maintain an even grade. Periodic wetting of the infield will help limit
dust accumulation. Additional work during the season, such as edging, grading of the infield, and addition of clay, may be necessary depending on use. Major turf repair should take place at the end of the playing season or in early fall so that turf can be reestablished for the following spring season.

Vehicles and Storage

Every effort should be made to use small electric or gas vehicles in the park. Golf carts and small trucks, such as Daihatsu, are more appropriatefor the park, since they limit the damage to landscape, site furnishings, and park fences caused by large trucks using the park paths. In addition, golf carts are more user friendly and encourage park users to interact with park field staff. Finally, the purchase price and maintenance costs of golf carts and other such small vehicles are considerably less than those for full-size vehicles.

The existing maintenance facility should be redesigned and reorganized to accommodate storage space for park and personal vehicles, visitor parking, and temporary storage of debris. In addition, space for a composting operation should be allocated for recycling leaves and other organic material for use in the park’s planting beds
and planting areas. Space for a trash compactor should also be allocated.

In addition, proper mowers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers should be purchased and used for park maintenance. Proper equipment not only improves the quality of maintenance but will also improve the overall efficient use of resources.

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Establishing guidelines and regulations for special events will reduce the potential for damage associated with these activities. Limiting the number of events in close succession within a given month will give lawns time to recover between events.

In addition to the number of events, establishment of policies regarding the type and size of events permitted in the park are also important factors to consider. Passive events such as concerts, performances, and gatherings are less destructive and could be encouraged widely throughout the park. In contrast, parades, festivals, and more active events should be less frequent and should be located in areas with more paved surfaces which are not as susceptible to damage as lawn areas.

Prior to the approval of any event, a complete proposal including a setup plan, number of vehicles, expected attendance, and all details of the event must be submitted to the Park Administrator for review and approval.
Final operational approval should rest with the Park Administrator and the Director of Natural Resources. As much
as possible, special event permitting should be the responsibility of the Park Administrator who will be most directly responsible for both operational and scheduling considerations. Dividing the responsibility for permitting and operations results in an inefficient use of resources and may cause unnecessary and operational conflicts.

As a rule, set up plans should be kept as uniform and simple as possible. Temporary structures erected for events should, to the greatest extent possible, be confined to hard surfaces. An exception may be made for tents with the proper protection for lawns. Clean-up procedures should be revised to direct event participants to bring their litter to collection points within the park. With a greater number of special events and public programs, consideration should be given to making the Park Administrator and/or the Director of Natural Resources responsible for issuing park permits.

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As noted in Chapter 4, a parkwide security plan should be developed, with ongoing review by the Park Administrator, the Chief Ranger, and the police. Effective management of Cadwalader Park will require coordinated and improved security enforcement as well as proper maintenance. The park requires seven-day-a- week patrols, from dawn to dusk, with regular patrols during weekday afternoons through the evenings, and on
weekends. Enforcement will ensure that park rules and regulations are adhered to and will provide a uniformed presence that is reassuring to park users. Currently, the Rangers provide very limited park enforcement, usually in the evenings and for special events. Approximately 10% of existing Ranger staffing is dedicated to Cadwalader Park.

The Rangers are currently organized within the Division of Recreation and are staffed with two full-time supervisors and eight seasonals. Cadwalader Park should have a dedicated force of two to three Park Rangers with a full-time supervisor.

A comprehensive enforcement strategy should be developed that:

• Emphasizes that park safety is everyone’s responsibility;

• Builds coordination and cooperation between maintenance staff, Trenton Police, and Park Rangers;

• Is proactive, not reactive, and places a strong emphasis on a consistent uniformed park presence by maintenance staff, Rangers, and police interacting with park users;

• Utilizes foot, bicycle, scooter, and golf carts as primary methods for regular park patrols;

• Makes improved lighting a priority for increased park security; and

• Provides all park staff or crews with walkie talkies for improved communication.