Fred Profeta, the former Maplewood Mayor, local philanthropist and green activist, is moving ahead with plans to develop a pocket park in a small wooded area behind Jefferson School.
He first presented the idea at a January Township Committee meeting, offering to pay $20,000 of the costs of designing and building the park, which he estimates will total roughly $40,000.
Profeta told Patch recently that Jefferson Principal Susan Grierson is "very enthusiastic" about the plan, as is the Maplewood Garden Club, which wants to "play a big role."
The idea has met with some controversy from neighbors in the area. Profeta said he plans to meet with a group of Brook Lane neighbors March 3.
Before the idea moves ahead, Profeta would have to obtain an easement from the South Orange - Maplewood School District, which owns a part of the land. At the last Board of Education meeting, President Beth Daugherty said that Profeta had met with the Facilities Committee but the board had not yet made a final decision on granting the easement.
Profeta recently discussed plans for the park on a podcast on Maplewoodian.