The I’m For High Bridge Committee is an organization dedicated to making the Borough of High Bridge a better place to live. The Committee was formed in 1978 by a town councilman named Dick Kushner. High Bridge was a factory town, and the factory had just closed. Losing its primary employer had put the town into a downward spiral. Dick wanted to do something to help pull the town together. He came upon the idea of a grassroots organization committed to improving life in High Bridge. Our first project was to clean up Main Street, which had become littered with debris over the years. One Saturday residents and Borough employees joined forces to remove tons of debris from the sidewalks and roadway. It was an uplifting event that helped spark pride in the community again. The next big project for the I’m For High Bridge Committee was the railroad trestle at the entrance of town. It had become badly rusted from years of neglect and gave a dreadful first impression of High Bridge. With buckets and ladders and the help of the Police to redirect traffic, Committee members painted that bridge in a single day. Committee members founded the youth soccer league and helped out with the school summer recreation program to provide healthy activity for children in the community. The Committee created a recreation area known as Union Forge Park from vacant town property. Members built climbing structures, a gazebo, fencing, soccer fields and got local firms to donate park benches, picnic tables, grills, swings, slides, and other playground equipment.
Our organization is not political, but that hasn’t stopped members from getting involved. Seven of our members have been elected to the Town Council, and others have served on the Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Recreation Commission, and the Historical Society. The Committee was one of the first groups to get involved with recycling. We recycled aluminum every Saturday for about three years until the County started an overall recycling program. Over the years we have continued to help out with many of the public events in town, including the Easter Egg Hunt, Flag Day Parades, the High Bridge Expo, the Parent Teacher Organization Summer Fun Fest, Fireman’s Carnivals, the Halloween Parade, holiday decorations, and Cookies with Santa. We present school awards every year to the eighth grade boy and girl who demonstrated community service. And we still help out with clean up projects. In 1998, during the High Bridge Centennial, we joined with the Fire Department to organize the Centennial Parade and helped raise funds for the celebration by designing and selling a Centennial Calendar. Over the years, our membership may have dwindled; members have moved, others have moved on to other organizations, and some members have passed away. Although our Committee is small, we still have a great amount of enthusiasm. And we plan to help High Bridge as long as we are able. If you have comments, questions or suggestions, e-mail President Jim Conroy or one of the members: