Our beloved grotto is in need of some help. Read about our grotto if you’re not already familiar with it.

The grotto and fountain built in 1915 by Nathan Hofheimer, purchased by our Elks lodge in 1964 and shutdown in 1966, it is simultaneously a crown jewel of our property (and for all of Warren Township, for that matter) and yet an awkward part of our shared history.

The video and photos below document 5 years of neglect of the landscaping, storm damage (going all the way back to Hurricane Sandy of 2012) and more recently, the idle pursuits of some contemptible people that have nowhere else to spend their energy but than to litter or drag tractor tires and shopping carts from neighboring businesses and dump them into the pool. Think of the effort required to drag the tractor tires over and into the pool – the larger one is about 4 feet in diameter and weighs hundreds of pounds! And the shopping cart? It’s little wheels had to be dragged through soft and deep wood chip-covered paths before being lifted up and over the ridge of the pool.

Who is responsible for the cleanup? It’s easy to point fingers, but one thing is clear – the longer we wait, the worse this will get. And while much of this can be done with pruning shears and sweat, the fallen trees and larger refuse will require machinery and a band of volunteers.

Are you interested in joining a team of volunteers to help clean up this mess?  Let us know in the comments below or at any of our social media profiles. And who knows? Maybe after we get it cleaned up everyone will realize how nice it would look if water was cascading over all the tiers of the grotto, and we can make some progress in getting that 52 year-old initiative going again.

Update June 24, 2018: The perpetrators have now tossed in two picnic benches, heavy-duty and made of 2×6 lumber by Warren Township’s Boy Scouts Troop 228. One of the benches landed on the shopping cart, submerging it completely.

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  1. I would like to help clean up the grotto. It is a beautiful part of our town and I walk there all of the time with my dog. It is very upsetting to see all of the garbage and mistreatment of such a special space.

    Jill Hanna

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