Lawn signs promoting the expansion of Joe Palaia Park are surfacing in Ocean Township as a growing number of residents oppose the development of the parcel of land located at the corner of Highway 35 and Deal Road.  According to the site, a large L-Shape border of the property is under review by the State in order to expand on an archeological study, which found numerous Native American relics.  The parcel also contains bog iron and marl, a valuable earthy deposit rich in calcium carbonate.  The marl contained bone artifacts, which is another reason why a thorough investigation of the parcel of land needs to be carefully conducted as the land may qualify for preservation by the National Registry of Historic Places.  Expanding Joe Palaia Park would protect the 32 acre parcel from commercial development and provide residents with a natural, environmentally focused area for “passive recreation, ” which would allow hiking the trails and connecting with nature.  This type of forest therapy or “forest bathing” promotes healing and wellness by immersing yourself in forest surroundings and other natural environments.  Research regarding forest therapy has produced a variety of health benefits including cardiovascular and immune system support.  With approximately 700 trees per acre, residents are eager to help support the expansion of Joe Palaia Park.

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