Rahway River Parkway
St. Georges Avenue, Clark and Rahway, Union County
more than 400 acres


Directions:

East of Garden State Parkway exit 135 and west of exit 136.  

NORTH: Take exit 135, bearing left off exit ramp onto traffic circle. Take 2nd right off circle onto Valley Road. ** Follow through 1 light and continue straight. Turn right into Rahway Park and follow road approximately 3 mile to pool, on left.

SOUTH: Take exit 135, bearing left off exit ramp onto traffic circle. Go under Parkway and take 2nd right off circle onto Valley Road. (see ** above)

Access is also from Route 27 north of Rahway.


History:

Big floods threatened the homes in the area during Hurricane Floyd. Rahway purchased 11 properties in the community with funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State’s Green Acres programs and demolished and removed the homes.

2003 (May 17) --  dedication of a new 4.5 acre segment of the Rahway River Parkway. The entrance to Bezega Park is from Union and Allen streets in Rahway. More than 400 volunteers transformed the land from a flood-prone neighborhood to a thriving wetlands area where trails meander along the river.  The park has two ponds, walking trails made with crushed stone, benches and wildlife blinds.

The park is named for United States Army Staff Sgt. Michael S. Bezega, who was killed in combat in Vietnam in June 1970, a few weeks shy of his 22nd birthday. He lived in Rahway on Walters Street and attended Rahway High School. He went to Vietnam in January 1970 attached to the 101st Airborne Division. He was killed in the province of Thua Thien, near Hue, by small arms fire.

Source: "FREEHOLDERS TO DEDICATE COUNTY’S NEWEST PARKLAND: Flood-Prone Neighborhood Becomes New Segment of Rahway River Parkway Park is Named for Vietnam Vet Who Had Lived in the Community"; May 17, 2003 ;http://www.unioncountynj.org/freehold/press/bezaga.htm


PLANT LIST:

Volunteers planted more than 100 trees, 5,000 shrubs and 7,000 perennial wildflowers and aquatic plants:

Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Betula nigra (river birch)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)

Shrubs:
Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry)
Cornus sericea (red-osier dogwood)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum

Herbs:
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)
Aster novi-belgii (New York aster)
Iris versicolor (blue flag)
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)