To foster greater connections between the EcoPreserve and adjacent Livingston Campus, a new set of trails and gateway kiosk linking to the Rockafeller Road-Avenue E Roundabout were developed in 2013-2014. The newly completed gateway kiosk is dedicated to the memory of Charlie Kontos, Jr. At the time of his death in 2010, Charlie was in the process of completing the doctoral program at Rutgers in the Department of Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources. This Kiosk is dedicated to Charlie’s commitment and vision in protecting wildlife and the environment. Funds for construction of the kiosk were generously provided by the Kontos family. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 10:30 am.
The Kontos memorial kiosk was designed and constructed by Brian Curry, a 2012 Rutgers Landscape Architecture graduate, with the assistance of EcoPreserve Faculty Director Rick Lathrop. This kiosk is built with locally sourced, sustainably harvested black locust lumber. Black locust is a native hardwood that can be installed without any chemical sealing or pressure treating. The colored acrylic panels allow visitors to see the environment in a different light. Looking through the colored filters, one can see that each panel interacts with the colors of the landscape differently. John Bognar designed and produced the map and other informational panels, while Brian Curry designed the memorial plaque.
The kiosk was planned and constructed with the enthusiastic help from a number of folks: School of Environmental & Biological Sciences Executive Dean Robert Goodman and Rutgers Facilities % Planning were instrumental including Frank Wong, Jeffrey Livingston, Tom Manning, Dianne Gravatt, Patrick Harrity, Chuck Roper, David Morrow, Geoff Kleid; Mark DiOrio provided absolutely crucial advice and assistance at many points along the way; Rich Murphy of Action Tree Service helped mill the locust posts; the 2014 EcoPreserve Trail Crew (Patrick LePore, Dom LaValle, Kendall Miller) contributed some needed muscle; Charles Colline, Charles Kontos Sr., and students from the RU Outdoors Club and Natural Resources Management class volunteered additional help.