Posts Tagged ‘Wesley Lake’

Ocean Grove’s Lake Avenue near the NJ bridge. Paul Goldfinger photo. © Click to enlarge.  11/9/21


BILL FRISELL   from his album When You Wish Upon a Star.


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Asbury Park/Wesley Lake. 2017. Paul Goldfinger photo ©


Original Cast album:  EVITA ©

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Wesley Lake seen from Ocean Grove. November, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Wesley Lake seen from Ocean Grove. November, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger © Click image to see more

WILLIE NELSON.  “The Night Life”

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Girl from Australia with a cute accent knows which direction to get the best view. She glances towards OG as she walks through JFK Park in Asbury. Aug. 14, 2018. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge the view.  Blogfinger.net



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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger. Reporting from the west end of Wesley Lake right near the Windmill.

The Indians used to fish for food here, but now the modern residents of the area walk over for a hot dog and fries.

You might be surprised as to how many people enjoy Wesley Lake;  not only those who live lakeside, but those who walk along Lake Avenue  (both sides) or cross those two bridges, especially when the weather is warm.

We even heard from a resident of those A. Park condominiums who enjoys his views of the Lake.  It is ironic that the Condoburians who live in those stylish southern A. Park residences have a better view across the Lake, thanks to Ocean Grove’s architectural loveliness, than the reciprocal view from OG north.

Our reporter Stephen walks his dog Pooja along the Lake on most mornings and he reports back on beautiful homes, interesting people, and animals including birds.  Since Ted Bell sensitized us to the wildlife issues there, we have been finding lots to talk about.

Today  Stephen spotted a group of 5 or 6 Merganser ducks, mostly males. They are very good divers and they were going after breakfast this morning.   He also spotted some sea gulls and Canada geese in the Wesley water  today.

Male Merganser duck–internet photo.

If any of you are nature photographers, especially bird photographers, please get your gear out and get us some photos of the birds at Wesley Lake.  We will post those pictures and get Ted to comment on them.

Aside from those who enjoy the view, there are aspects of the Lake that have to do with history, ecology, politics, water quality, architecture, nature, city planning,  commerce, botany and tourism.

Those who visit the Lake often observe the junk that floats out there, although today, after the recent cleanup, we don’t see much stuff.

Ted Bell says, “Floating material from the streets collect at the back water area of the present dam  (east end). It should be collected every two weeks in the summer, otherwise this material will end up on the swimming beaches.”

We are motivated to promote restoring Wesley Lake by studying the Lake’s history which reveals what a vibrant place the Lake was.  Ted Bell tells us that the Lake was a “recreational area with over 300 boats available for pleasure and transfer of people from and to the camp meeting grounds of Ocean Grove.”  He says that the Lake was never used for swimming.   We know that Illumination Night was held  on lakeshores with many boats carrying lanterns and with thousands of people watching from the sidelines.

Ted reports that small fish lived in the Lake including sun fish, gold fish, carp and catfish.  He said that after the Lake was “drained a few years ago, the only fish that remained were two inch long goldfish and nothing else.”  Now there are some catfish present again.

We mentioned that he has some ideas about bringing the Lake back. In a recent document Ted said, “Floating rafts with vegetation may be of some help to nesting birds as well as turtles, which would make the lake more interesting. ” In addition he mentioned that “muskrats were present but due to the lack of suitable foods did not survive.”    Well, not so fast Ted:

About five years ago there was a muskrat diving into our backyard pond.  So guess who was coming to dinner.  It would disappear under water and emerge about 5 minutes later.   He got none of our fish because they hid in the rocks while we hid in our kitchen overlooking the pond.   We live near Wesley Lake and we contacted a trapper who was in the phone listings as Trapper Bob or some similar name.  He told us to soak newspaper with ammonia and place it around where the creature had dug a tunnel.   It worked. We also could have trapped it and eaten it.  Supposedly this rat is delicious.

We also had a frog in our pond as big as your head. That frog undoubtedly came from WL. It got into a fight with a bird, and the frog won.

We will revisit some of these aspects of Wesley Lake again with Ted Bell since he has a long perspective on this subject.

We also  welcome input from those local sources on both sides of the divide, such as Doug McQueen who is mentioned in our Nov. 9 post about our Lake lunch meeting, who are interested and want to share their ideas and observations with Blogfinger.

And here’s a link to “Dora the Hedgehog.”      Dora the Hedgehog in OG

CAPTAIN AND TENNILLE  “Muskrat Love”   We are sending this song out to Ted Bell who actually uttered the word “muskrat” for the first time on Blogfinger.

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Deal Lake by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net ©

Deal Lake by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net   c.  2014.    ©  Click to enlarge the E.Coli.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Deal Lake water quality is a concern, but the citizens there are doing something about it. In a piece posted in the latest Coaster (Dec 22, 2016) we learn that the Monmouth County Health Department will embark on a quarterly testing program to find out “if Deal Lake water is a health hazard.” The county will be doing multiple quality testing over the next two years.   That program will need to be approved by the State DEP.

Like Wesley Lake, Deal Lake, the largest lake in the county, has a lake commission (DLC), but unlike Wesley Lake, they also have an activist citizens group called Friends of Deal Lake (FODL) who went to county officials to ask that something be done about the “continuing deterioration” of DL including its filling with dirt at the west end despite dredging. In addition, there are concerns about adverse health problems due to that water.   The FODL motto is “Save Deal Lake.”

The article tells us that the county has many resources which can be mobilized for lake water safety, and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, led by Freeholder John P. Curley, held a conference call in October which included the Monmouth County Engineer Joseph Ettore; County Public Health Coordinator and Health Officer Christopher P. Merkel, Environmental Specialist Turner Shell, and Testing Manager Joel Grimm.  As a result of that activism, some new results should be seen at Deal Lake which borders 7 towns in this area.

We found one quote of particular interest:   “The FODL said that Deal Lake water quality is important for many reasons, citing untreated water being discharged directly into the ocean and to the local beaches, including Asbury Park, Loch Arbour, Allenhurst, Deal and Ocean Grove. “

They also asserted that “even minor or incidental contact with the water during activities such as canoeing* can result in adverse health effects.”

Let this be a role model for Grovers and Asburians who could push harder on county officials to duplicate for Wesley Lake what they are doing for Deal Lake. Our Wesley Lake Commission is useless in this regard; in fact they disdain any such criticism regarding water health and functionality. (see the Blogfinger article by Jack Bredin Dec. 26, 2016 above.)

*(? or riding paddle swans?)


GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL:  “Water Music Suite 2, D major.”   Academy of Ancient Music.


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Wesley Lake c.1968

Wesley Lake east end facing Asbury Park. c.1968. Paul Goldfinger ©

Wesley Lake east end facing Asbury Park. c.1968.
Paul Goldfinger ©   Click to enlarge

THE TURTLES     One of the top 100 songs in 1968    “Eleanor”  (“You’re my pride and joy, etc.”)   Etcetera?  Really?

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Lake Avenue in Ocean Grove.  Paul Goldfinger photo .  ©

Lake Avenue in Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo . ©  Click to enlarge.

CINDY SCOTT   from her album Major to Minor

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Mt. Hermon Way.  May, 2015 nocturnal,  facing the lake.

Mt. Hermon Way. May, 2015 nocturnal.   By Paul Goldfinger. ©  Click to enlarge.


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It's low tide on Wesley Lake, and not a pretty picture. Photos by Mary Walton

It’s low tide on Wesley Lake, and not a pretty sight. Photos by Mary Walton

By Charles Layton

The controls that normally maintain the water level in Wesley Lake are no longer working.

That is why you may have noticed that the water level is sometimes extremely low, exposing filthy mud, sand bars and old scraps of rusted junk on the bottom.

Leanne Hoffmann, Neptune Township’s director of engineering and planning, said Wednesday that the Township did two visual inspections of the lake following the hurricane and discovered that the water “seems to be bypassing, going under, that two-foot cutoff wall that’s in the lake — going under the existing concrete retaining wall on the south side of the lake, and then out to the ocean.”

What this appears to mean is that the lake water now flushes in and out with the tides. “The controls there currently are not working,” Hoffmann said. Furthermore, as the lake water drains underneath the retaining wall it is undermining that wall, creating an emergency situation.

The Township has already sought proposals from contractors for a temporary, emergency repair, which should take no more than three or four days to complete once the contract is let, she said. Part of the repair involves draining down the water in the troublesome portion of the lake and filling in with grout the area that’s been undermined, to plug the leak. Once they’ve “dewatered” that portion of the lake, she said, they’ll be able to see the problem in better detail.

Here's the up side: the gulls now have little islands to stand on

Here’s the up side: the gulls now have little sandbar islands to stand on

Meanwhile, a part of the Ocean Grove retaining wall at the north end, which was already in danger of collapse, has now in fact collapsed as a result of the hurricane. “Thursday the insurance adjusters are coming out again, and they’ll see that,” Hoffmann said. The Township is still working with the insurers and with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to catalogue the full range of storm damage. This is in order to determine the amount of reimbursement for Neptune.

Hoffman said the north end portion of the lake wall will be repaired in early 2013, using $250,000 already received from the Monmouth County Open Space Fund. (To read more on that, go here.)

Until that north end wall is repaired, people would be wise not to go near it. “It’s very dangerous next to that wall,” our photographer, Mary Walton, reported on Wednesday. “I nearly fell into a sink hole.”

She wasn’t kidding.

The collapsed bulkhead wall

The collapsed portion of the wall

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Wesley Lake looking toward Ocean Grove. Photo by Paul Goldfinger

By Charles Layton

The Wesley Lake Commission intends to embark on a fund-raising campaign this fall to rehabilitate the lake, which, as we all know, is polluted and degraded from years of neglect.

According to an analysis by the Commission’s engineer, Peter Avakian, the rehab project will require $12 million, of which $2,312,000 has already been funded.

Dr. Michael Brantley, the Commission’s chairman, said a forum would be held in late September, attended by various officials including the mayors of Asbury Park and Neptune Township, to lay plans for the fund raising. The Commission hopes to get help from corporations and “other interested groups,” he said.

“We are trying to get this lake restored to its original beauty.”

The Commission revised its rehabilitation plan in February, based on Avakian’s cost analysis. That analysis includes an estimated $2 million to dredge the entire lake, an estimated $1.7 million for storm water management, an estimated $7 million to make repairs to the wall and $1.3 million for streetscape improvements.

Some of this work has already been completed or funded by the City of Asbury Park, the Township of Neptune and the Wesley Lake Commission. For instance, Neptune Township has come up with some $800,000 from various sources for wall repairs. Some parts of the wall — particularly at the eastern end on the Ocean Grove side– are in such bad shape that they are in danger of collapse.

The Commission completed a partial dredging of the lake last year, at the western end, but much more dredging needs to be done.

Brantley said the Commission will formalize the place and time of the fall forum at its next meeting, which is scheduled for August 21.

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