By Dan Zomack
The Wall Township Committees recent workshop meeting was held in the restored Marconi Hotel, home to the InfoAge Science/History Center.
InfoAge Director Fred Carl gave township committee members an update on what has been going on at the former US Army site, known as Camp Evans.
Starting in 2005, as portions of the Camp Evans Historic District, which was declared surplus by the Army, were transferred to Wall Township, nearly all the buildings were mold-infested and unsafe to enter, according to Mr. Carl. InfoAge volunteers cleaned the mold from the interiors of 10 buildings, used grants to replace the roofs of 17 buildings, repainted eight building exteriors, and replaced the heat in eight buildings. The overgrown hedges were cut back and vines removed from the buildings and security fences. Currently, InfoAge volunteers maintain the grounds.
We would not be here if not for the support of Wall Township, Mr. Carl stated.
Though he admits it has been a big challenge to improve the site, a lot of work has been accomplished, but there is still much to be done.
Mr. Carl pointed out that the room in which the meeting was being held, was once filled with fungus and mold. There was so much of it in there that volunteers had to wear a hazardous material suit to be allowed in.
InfoAge was recently designated by the White House as Preserve America Stewards. InfoAge is the only group from New Jersey, and one of only 11 groups around the country, to have been bestowed with the honor.
The Preserve America Stewards is the newest component of the Preserve America initiative, according to Mr. Carl. It honors exemplary programs that have demonstrated the successful use of volunteer time and commitment to care for and interpret historic resources around the country. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation administers it in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management.
The group faces the challenge of keeping its current public educational outreach programs expanding as they rehabilitate the historic H buildings of the WWII radar laboratory.
We’ve worked very hard here, stated Mr. Carl, and volunteers work hard in order to educate youngsters.
The InfoAge director said he hopes the site will be one that will inspire kids in Wall Township schools and provide an education that is not available in the classroom.
Think of this as a place where you can leave your mark on the townships history, Mr. Carl said to the township committee. This is good for Wall Township, he stated, adding they will be taking care of the heritage of the town.
Its just incredible, Mayor Mike Clayton said of what InfoAge volunteers have achieved. He said he was impressed with the work and the fact that children have been able to come to experience history at the site.
Committeeman George Newberry said he took a lengthy tour prior to the meeting and got a first-hand look at the improvements that have been done at the former Army camp.
In the public portion of the meeting, Larry Torman, an InfoAge volunteer, said, We are so pleased you chose to be here tonight.
Committeeman Jeff Foster said the volunteers there do not receive enough recognition for what they have done, and continue to do.
Committeewoman Ann Marie Conte said that the townships public schools will be holding a back-to-school night in the near future, and made the suggestion that perhaps InfoAge can come up with a flyer that could be handed out that evening to inform parents and students about what goes on at InfoAge.
The kids can learn a lot about history here, the committeewoman stated.
Visit InfoAge every Sunday at 2201 Marconi Road, Wall, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Originally printed by Star News Group – Publisher of The Coast Star & The Ocean Star Subscription Services July, 13