Since 1960, the City of Lambertville has leased the land of Cavallo Park from the State of New Jersey to be a gathering place for families across Lambertville. In May 2013, the City sought to make necessary improvements of the park’s playground, including new equipment and expanded picnic areas.  

In September 2013, a routine soil test detected levels of lead and beryllium that slightly exceed state residential soil standards. These levels are typical of many urban environments and were likely due to the prior uses of the site before 1960. However, because of the site’s current primary use as a playground, and because of its ownership by the State of New Jersey, it was determined that the proper action would be the remediation of contaminated soils, with the removal of the top 12’ to 18’ of soil and its replacement with clean fill.


The remediation of Cavallo Park is being overseen, and will be completed, under the supervision of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Because of the location of Cavallo Park and its ownership by the state, multiple regulatory benchmarks and approvals had to be met before the project could be put to bid.

The preliminary Site Investigation Report, which formally reported the extent of the contamination, was completed in December 2013.

To date, the City has received approvals from the following agencies:

  • State Office of Historic Preservation – granted June 3, 2014;
  • Delaware & Raritan Canal Commission – granted August 20, 2014;
  • Hunterdon County Soils Conservation – granted March 9, 2015;
  • Department of Environmental Protection – granted May 5, 2015;
  • Green Acres – granted June 9, 2015.

The Remedial Investigation and the Remedial Action reports required by DEP are still pending, will be done during the construction phase of the project, and will be completed after the remediation activities are complete


The remediation of Cavallo Park will be funded almost exclusively through an award of Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Funding from the state’s Economic Development Authority. Additionally, the City received a $300,000 low-interest loan from the New Jersey Green Acres Program to help pay for the reconstruction. The City had previously

received a $147,252 gift towards the park from Gregg Cook of My Yearbook.


The City of Lambertville initially advertised for the project on May 21, 2015 with a bid opening date of June 16, 2015. The bids received significantly exceeded the amount budgeted and were formally rejected at a meeting of Mayor and Council on June 17, 2015.

The professionals assisting the City through the project reviewed the bids, the comments received from companies interested in the project and redesigned the bid specifications to make it easier for contractors who are not familiar with remediation projects to participate in the process.

A second bid was advertised on June 19, 2015 with a bid opening date of July 10, 2015. Mayor and Council will hold a special session to award or reject the bid on July 13, 2015. A successful bidder would be given the order to proceed on or about July 24, 2015.

Providing that a successful bid is received and a contract awarded, the City anticipates remediation and construction to be complete on or about October 30, 2015.