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The Reporter, May 20, 2004

"Green Brook group wants to boost township's history"

By Jennifer McCandless
Staff Writer

GREEN BROOK - The Cultural, Heritage and Historic Preservation Committee wants to revitalize the group by adding new members. The group currently has eight members, including Township Committeewoman Melonie Marano, who is on the committee as a liaison to the Township Committee.

Committee member Jim Koch said committee was started in 1996. Koch was one of the original members. Vernon Noble and Rens Eelman have also been on the committee since its inception.

Koch said the committee's goal was to preserve the history of the township while informing the public of the history. "We really didn't know how we were going to do it, but we had an idea of what we wanted to do," Koch said. "We thought we could interview older residents in town and see what they knew and remembered and maybe write up some chronicles."

Koch said that while the committee has accomplished "very little" since it was started, the group is working toward several goals, including purchasing the Trust House. Koch said the committee also is trying to come up with new ideas to get more residents interested in the township's history. Koch said if new members were to join the committee, it would bring some fresh ideas to the group.

The group also has compiled a number of old photos of areas throughout the town and is planning to frame and display the pictures. Eelman said the township has changed a great deal since it was formed in the 1930s. The former municipal building on Greenbrook Road was originally a schoolhouse.

Marano said the group would like to show residents how much the township has changed and would like to create an audio/video presentation of the township's history.

"We all have a ton of ideas that I think we could pull off if we just had more people power," Marano said. "Take the Trust House, if the town-ship is able to purchase that property, this group is going to be very busy preserving and restoring the house. We have a lot of ideas of what we could use the house for and it's going to take a lot to make these things happen. That's just one example of how new members could help us."

Anyone interested in joining the committee can contact Township Administrator Kathryn Kitchener at (732) 968-1023. The Township Committee appoints members of the committee annually.