616 Central Ave, Minotola
Melini Park is Buena Boro's Athletic Park. It has a total of 5 baseball fields, along with basketball courts and tennis courts. There is also a playground area for the kids and a concession stand for the baseball games. The Joe Dale pavilion stands in the middle of the park, right next to the Buena Senior Center.
Buena's bike path spans from the intersection of the Boulevard and Route 40, through Melini Park, and past Brewster Road, ending near Blackwater Pond Park. The entire path is 1.9 miles with a 0.2-mile loop behind Melini Park. An estimation of the path is provided on the Map page.
The path is great for biking or walking. The portion along the Boulevard is scattered with benches, which are great for taking a break while walking or having a snack. The path then crosses Central Ave. and passes by the fields and pavilion in Melini, and then enters a wooded area between farming fields. Be careful here, as one of the farmers tends to water the path occasionally. After a short trek through the trees, the path emerges into an open area between more farming fields, crosses Brewster Road, and enters a field of tall grass. The field is the new portion, complete with fresh blacktop. The path ends in this field, with a large circle.
Blackwater Pond Park is located on the west side of Brewster Road between Grove Road and Summer Avenue, Minotola.
In 1984 the borough of Buena purchased the 100 acre Blackwater Pond Park site. In April 1991 the Buena Nature Club was founded, and in cooperation with the borough and the Recreation Commission, maintain the park as one of the only preserved natural ecosystems in the Borough.
The Park is open to the public for jogging, hiking, birdwatching and just for the enjoyment of nature. The public must park in the 100 x 200 parking lot. The gate protects the vehicle maintenance road used by club memebers. It is occasionaly open to the public for special events. Special consideration is given to the environment during these events to manage them with the least impact to the park's natural beauty. Marked trees guide you through the wooded trail system. A double line on a tree signifies the beginning and/or end of a trail.
Beginning at the parking lot, the Yellow Trail immediately opens to a picnic area. Picnic tables were purchased by the Nature Club and are made of a recycled material. The trail continues towards the back of the park, running parallel to the Backwater Branch and the maintenance road. The Yellow Trail ends in a central area of the park at a near intersect with the Blue Trail and the White Trail.
The Blue Trail is a loop encircling Blackwater Pond. There are three bridges on this trail . The 1st bridge crosses Blackwater Branch Prior to it flowing into the pond. The 2nd bridge is a levee with a small dam. Blackwater Branch continues under the levee on it's journey to Maurice River. The 3rd bridge is a boardwalk over a swampy area with a bueaty all it's own. Note the tall natural cedars between the 2nd and 3rd bridges. This is a very unique area.
Walk through the White Trail in the spring when the mountain laurels bloom. It is quite beautiful. This trail leads you out to the northern corner of the park and meets the Bluebird Trail. You have a choice to follow the Bluebird Trail or walk along the the woods. Of course, you may backtrack if you like the woods!
The only non-wooded trail in the park, the Bluebird Trail follows the park border. Here there is a chance to see an Eastern Bluebird, hence the name of the trail.