Creek Turn Park

Creek Turn Park

At the Township Meeting on January 30, 2024, Taylor Design Group presented materials for the Phase 1 development of the Park, prior to submitting the Application for an NJ Green Acres grant for $700k which was awarded in June 2024. More information can be found on the Township website. In May, the Township also submitted a FY25 Community Project Funding Request to Congressman Kim’s Office, and the project made it onto the shortlist of projects that will be considered. The following paragraphs are excerpts from the Taylor Design Group Report.


Thomas Dambo with Big Rusty

Hainesport Township purchased the vacant and abandoned property in 2017. The site was the former home of the Creek Turn Ceramic Supply Company, operated by Herman Kleiner, a sculptor who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In a nod to the site’s cultural and artistic past, a 20-foot recycled material troll sculpture named “Big Rusty”, by internationally renowned Danish artist Thomas Dambo, who has erected these sculptures around the world, was constructed on the tract in June, 2023. The sculpture is the first of the artist’s “Way of the Bird King” sculpture series, the first of ten sculptures to be erected using recycled materials, throughout the United States, including but not limited to Vermont, Michigan, and Washington state. The sculpture project was supported by corporate and individual donations.

The Plans

Existing and Proposed Future Access

Phase 1

The wooded park along the creek offers new public recreational opportunities to the entire community with a strong access to the major population center of the Township. The existing and Phase I access is accomplished via the entrance on Route 38. Access is also planned to be provided by a previously approved subdivision in a future phase. A new driveway and sidewalk connecting to Bancroft Lane will provide vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle trail connections through the approved but not as yet constructed housing development. This will provide direct access from Bancroft Lane. Currently the age restricted, market, affordable, single, and multi-family residential developments directly south and west of the site from Bancroft Parkway to Creek Road access the site through informal trails. The existing driveway on Route 38 currently providing access, is anticipated to be closed or limited to emergency access only in future phases.

Project Scope

The proposed project scope and improvements are all new and, include the following:

  • Waterfront access is provided both from the Rancocas Creek and from the interior of the park. A canoe and kayak tie-up at the existing gravel beach connect to a boardwalk. Creek Edge Trail from the interior of the park to the creek edge via a boardwalk, with bench, leads to the beach. The nearest public water access to the north of the park is the Burlington County Parks system Hainesport Landing at Walnut Avenue and the nearest public access to the south is the Lumberton launch. The Rancocas Creek Watershed Water Trails map illustrates the Creek Turn future landing site on its map of the Rancocas State Park Bluewater Trail, New Jersey’s finest multiuse water trail.
  • Creek Edge Trail provides an accessible stone surface and 5% maximum slope consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Jersey Barrier Free Subcode. The path provides opportunities for trees, wildlife and bird observation and will be field located to minimize tree removal.
  • The Longview Picnic Area is accessed via a circular concrete surrounding path from the parking lot. The Longview area includes a pavilion for outdoor education and similar events, with rusted metal roof elements consistent with the industrial past use of the site. Site amenities include picnic tables, benches, and grills. An open play lawn and event lawn are gently sloped for a bowl effect and to enhance views of the bluff, which terminates at the Longview Overlook.
  • The Longview Overlook deck and bench provide spectacular and sweeping views of the turn in the Rancocas Creek, hence the name “Creek Turn Park”. This feature offers learning opportunities and enjoyment of the creeks’ wildlife and bird population.
  • A pollinator habitat with bioretention and sculptural lawn mounds will replace a large impervious concrete area, which will be sawcut and removed. Interpretive signs will be included to identify the habitat and provide educational opportunities.
  • To the north and east of the proposed parking area, a large circular concrete sidewalk connecting the parking lot to the surrounding the art installation, Big Rusty, will provide visual access to the sculpture, and physical access to picnic areas located on portions of the building slab, which are to remain, and a more private grass area at the lower overlook bench located along the path. Stabilized stone surface will top a portion of the existing concrete surrounding Big Rusty and solar security lighting will be added. Portions of the large industrial ceramic manufacturing buildings will be demolished; and other portions of the building will be stabilized to maintain the setting / backdrop of Big Rusty.
  • The Upper Bluff Loop Trail provides an accessible stone surface and 5% maximum slope consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Jersey Barrier Free Subcode. The path provides opportunities for trees, wildlife and bird observation and will be field located to minimize tree removal. The trail will be accessible from the parking area and provides connectivity to the Long View Picnic Area and Overlook.
  • Invasive plan species will be removed, including bamboo, winged euonymus, periwinkle, English ivy, and honeysuckle vine in favor of native species.
Future Phases
  • The parking area will stripe spaces on the existing concrete, which is to be sawcut, bumper blocks installed, new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking provided. Other amenities in this area include a kiosk and bulleting board and a portable toilet enclosure.
  • Park amenities and comfort are located throughout the site and include pet waste stations, fishing line collection stations, bicycle racks, litter and recycling receptacles, benches, and picnic tables.
  • A park entrance sign will be added at the existing access drive at Route 38. A park entry gate will be added interior to the site to control vehicular access to park from Route 38, overnight, and once the planned driveway and sidewalk are implanted from Bancroft Parking (future phase).