Bridgewater Retirement Community (BRC) today broke ground on new walking trails on its campus in Bridgewater. The trails, located adjacent to Oakdale Park, will be open to the public when construction is complete next year.
“We’ve been talking about this project for several years,” said BRC President Rodney Alderfer in brief remarks prior to the groundbreaking. “It’s a great example of what we’re trying to accomplish at BRC—partnering with our residents, our team members, and our greater community so that we can all live the best life possible. This is a project that is going to bring ‘energy for life’ to our entire community.”
BRC has worked closely with the Town of Bridgewater to plan the site’s development, and the new walking trails will perfectly complement the town’s plan to connect Generations Park and Oakdale Park with sidewalks and shared-use paths. “This project is just one example of Bridgewater Retirement Community’s many charming contributions to our Town,” says Gwen Gottfried, Economic Development Advisor for the Town of Bridgewater. “This trail will not only provide BRC residents with additional outdoor recreation space but will also serve as a connector to Bridgewater parks. With the proposed completion of the Gen-Oak Connector in 2023, Bridgewater will have a continuous walking path from Windsor Estates on the north end of Town, through Oakdale and Generations parks, and down to Riverwalk and several parks on our southern boundary. Thanks, BRC for coming alongside us as we work hard to offer a better life in Bridgewater!”
The trails are comprised of 8’-wide fully accessible paved walkways and 6’-wide gravel trails. The 20-acre site will feature several destinations and overlooks, including a labyrinth, natural playground, outdoor classroom, marsh walk, woodland overlook, and native wildflower meadow.
The land, which was gifted to BRC in 2000 by Paige and Ann Will, had once been eyed as an opportunity to expand BRC’s Independent Living Village. In 2018, BRC began to reimagine the site as an outdoor destination for its residents and the broader community.
The project is being made possible thanks to funding from BRC residents Edgar and Kathy Simmons, who made a special contribution to the BRC Foundation for the purpose. “The plans were drawn up about three years ago for additional outdoor space that would serve the needs of those living in the area,” Edgar says. “It was time to do something about it. Folks can benefit from spending time on these trails in a park-like setting. I like knowing that the natural area set aside for the trails will be a protected space.”
BRC plans to host a grand opening celebration when construction is complete next year.