Parks & Rec Director Tim
Cronin and lifeguards with just-delivered Mobi-Chair, Friday, June 14.
For now, the swimming area behind them remains open space—not the site
of a mammoth concrete ramp.
---------------------------------- Graydon's beach and swimming area are now accessible to those who can't travel over the sand or enter the water on their own.
you have a disabled friend, neighbor, or relative who would love to get
back into the water? Please consider inviting them to Graydon as a
guest by mid-July. After a free 30-day trial, the Village will decide whether to purchase the chair. Usage is likely to be an important factor.
If you know someone who would like to try the Mobi-Chair but you can't invite a guest (see below*), we will find a badgeholding Ridgewood resident to invite the disabled person as a guest for the day
in the interest of promoting accessibility and making the chair a
success. If you'll pay the $10 guest fee, we would appreciate it.
Please confirm first that the disabled person is interested. We can't make cold calls and bother people.
Using the chair: Most people remain in the chair in the
water, with a helper standing by to guide the chair and push it back to
the beach when desired. Chair users with superior upper body strength
who are accustomed to swimming can flip up either armrest (like an
airplane seat), leave the chair, and swim independently, then return to
the chair to leave the water.
Where to go: Mobi-Chair users park in a
handicapped parking space at the Graydon North lot (corner of Linwood
Ave. and Northern Parkway), traverse the bridge to the patio, and ask
the person at the check-in table for the Mobi-Chair.
Who may come: We hope that if the Mobi-Chair is
purchased, new rules may be considered to permit disabled people to use
it more freely. But for now, requirements for purchasing a badge or day
pass apply to Mobi-Chair users as well.
* Who may bring a guest: Guest
passes ($10) are sold only to Graydon season badgeholders who are
Ridgewood residents, although residents of any town may buy a season badge.
The Ridgewood News covered the story on Friday, not yet knowing that a chair would be delivered.
THANK YOU to the many, many individuals and families who sent
thoughtful, heartfelt letters regarding the proposed construction of a
90-foot concrete ramp into the northeast (spillway) corner of our
historic bathing beach. All your notes went to New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) officials, with whom we also shared
residents' comments sent to the Village Council in March and October
In addition, we submitted ample materials on Graydon's historic value,
the issue they are focusing on. The public comment period ended on
Monday, June 10.
Soon, probably in less than a month, the State Historic Preservation
Office will issue a letter outlining its recommendations. We'll keep you
Open 10 AM to 7:30 PM every day The Village Council came through: Graydon will open at its traditional time of 10 AM every day, as in 2012. Thank you, Council. Restoration of the 10 AM opening time for the second consecutive year reflects the Council’s increased understanding of the value of maintaining consistent hours of operation. The restored hours of operation will please those who enjoy summer morning hours, especially young children and their families.
Closing time remains 7:30 PM daily except for the annual early closing on July 4. (Graydon is considered a “drop zone” for Vets Field fireworks.)
Graydon will be open from Saturday, June 1, through Labor Day, September 2.
Prices unchanged Badge prices remain the same as last year’s. Although there is no financial advantage to buying a badge early, please do it anyway.
The Council plans to increase Graydon fees in 2014 and again in 2015. We hope the Early Bird discount will be reinstated next year.
The fees (see below) are reasonable for more than 13 weeks of summer fun in the health-giving sun.
Who may buy For the third summer, nonresidents may purchase a season Graydon badge without needing a Ridgewood sponsor.
If your friends in other towns might enjoy swimming and relaxing on our beautiful bathing beach, please consider sending them the link and encouraging them to join. Why not invite them for the day early in the season?
Nonresidents may either buy a season badge or visit for the day as the guest of a Ridgewood resident with a current Graydon badge. Only Ridgewood residents may buy a day badge for their own use.
GRAYDON FEES, 2013 Ridgewood residents, nonresidents who pay Village of Ridgewood property taxes, and Village of Ridgewood or Board of Education employees (proof required):
Age under 2 years: free 2-15 years: $100
16-61 years: $110 62+ years: $20
All others: Age under 2 years: free 2-15 years: $155
16+ years: $175 No nonresident senior discount
A note sent to the council by Brice Yoder, RHS '58 (reprinted here with permission):
I am a Ridgewood ex-pat now living in California with many, many happy memories of Graydon Pool.
I also happen to be a C-5 quadriplegic who enjoys swimming, and do so in a number of handicap accessible environments. I have looked at this plan from the perspective of a wheelchair user and find it generally to be unusable--the architect/engineer who designed this should spend at least a week or two in a chair rolling through a variety of environments. Then perhaps they can understand my statement. "Unusable". A handicap accessible ramp to waters edge and beyond need not run along the shoreline. It should be direct in function and simple. All the shoreline pathways etc. etc. are superfluous and probably only intended as billable makework for the architect/engineer to say nothing of the contractor. I have consulted over the years, for many projects of a similar nature and this is ridiculous--it can certainly be done providing access for disabled folks and preserving the charm and environment of that institution we call Graydon pool.--Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me [phone number]-good luck--Brice
Once again, paving threatens Graydon Pool – not the whole pool this time, but an important part of it.
The Village Council has applied to the County Freeholders for a $60,000 block grant for a concrete ramp leading into the 12-foot section of the swimming area. The ramp, including a $12,600 aluminum handrail drilled into the patio wall, would begin with a long concrete sidewalk at the corner of the bathroom building and cover the sand along the front of the Pavilion. It would circle the north spillway, then make two 90-degree turns before entering the water in a 34-foot stretch along the wall below the patio, ending with a landing platform of a few more feet.
In the grant application – posted at preservegraydon.org – the village cites as a basis for the design "our review and discussions with residents and those who use the facility." Sounds good, but no needs assessment was done. No general discussions with residents were held. And this ill-conceived plan would neither satisfy Graydon patrons nor remove barriers; in fact, it would add some.
The application states that Ridgewood would spend an additional $15,000 in municipal funds on the concrete project. Yet with modern materials and devices, the desired effect could be achieved non-invasively, less expensively and to serve a far broader population.
At Graydon, a floating wheelchair could easily enter the water at the spot near the lap lanes in the 4-foot area where part of the low fieldstone wall has been removed. This shallower area, close to The Stable's about-to-be-upgraded parking lot, would accommodate all ages and abilities, whereas a ramp into the deep end would be harder to reach and suit few or none. In any case, a water-safe wheelchair would have to be bought for water entry; metal wheelchairs are not used on sand or in pools.
Among many other problems: A ramp in the northeast corner would catch detritus floating toward the spillway, creating an unsightly safety hazard. Seniors and others desiring a firm, quick foothold into the water would not choose to traverse a 40-foot ramp. They merely want existing ramps upgraded.
Of likely concern to countless residents, whether Graydon patrons or not, is the large amount of impervious material that would be added to the flood hazard area 12 months a year in a pool used three months a year. Our village engineer noted at a recent meeting that we would never reduce flooding until we stopped paving the floodway. What part of Hurricane Irene don't we understand?
If council members want Graydon kept natural, as four claim they do, and wish to make Graydon more barrier free without exacerbating flooding, they will seek better alternatives and withdraw the application, or if the grant money is offered, refuse it.
Marcia Ringel Alan Seiden
Co-Chairs, The Preserve Graydon Coalition
4-foot area of Graydon Pool, Ridgewood, NJ, June 16, 2011
Unique Preserve Graydon bracelets, anklets, key chains, T-shirts, "onesies," and special orders at Winnie & Belle gift shop, 293 Godwin Ave., Midland Park (www.winnieandbelle.com). The Coalition receives 15% of each sale of Graydon-themed items.
On May 18, 2010, Graydon Pool was honored as one of the year's "10 Most Endangered Historic Sites" in the state by Preservation New Jersey. Ridgewood should be proud that this independent nonprofit organization considers Graydon irreplaceable for its historical significance, environmental and fiscal sustainability, and contribution to local residents' quality of life.