Known for its award-winning research and development capabilities, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., has a robust number of Family and Moral, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) programs to support the 150 assigned military personnel and more than 6,000 in civilian and contractor support personnel who call Picatinny home.
Situated between New York City (35 miles to the East) and the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania (50 miles to the west). Picatinny has something for everyone, from its outstanding 18-hole golf course to its “first in the Army” partnership with the local community to fund its 700,000-gallon Aquatic Park.
In an effort to add more opportunities for Outdoor Recreation, Picatinny’s recreational lodging program recently added three AFNAF-contracted Conestoga log cabins to its lodging inventory.
“With our current fleet of 1990’s era ‘mobile home trailers’ having passed their lifespan, Picatinny wanted to offer a fine product to its patrons.” notes Chris Kunkel, Business and recreation chief, Picatinny FAIWR. “Whether you are a military family PCS’ing to Picatinny, a civilian on temporary, duty (TDY) or a family looking for some R&R within minutes of some of the world’s best entertainment, these log cabins have received nothing but rave reviews since they opened in May of 2011.”
The success of the cabins was confirmed when Picatinny participated in any Army-mandated recreational lodging feasibility study, which showed “a clear demand through a business case study.” says Kunkel, who is hopeful that additional cabins will be added when funding becomes available.
“Our goals is to continue to provide the best value and service our patrons expect, as well as deserve, and projects such as this go a long way toward accomplishing that.” he points out.
September 13, 2011
By Mr Eric Kowal (RDECOM)
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Aug. 23 to mark the official opening of three new log cabins near Lake Denmark.
The 1,080 square foot facilities will serve as recreational lodging for both military and civilian employees and contractors of the Department of Defense.
Each cabin can accommodate six persons in three spacious bedrooms. An odor of fresh pine greets visitors as they enter the front door and stand in the large foyer/living area complete with cable and internet hookups as well as a full kitchen and dining area.
The bedrooms in each cabin are equipped with a 10,000 British Thermal Unit (BTU) air conditioner. The living room is cooled with a 15,000 BTU unit.
The area where the cabins are located has been known as Snake Hill Estates for many years.
Nine trailers sit adjacent to the lot as well as two recreational vehicle lots. Plans to upgrade the trailer facilities are under way.
At $95 a night with a two night-stay minimum, the cabins provide personnel with a cozy and relaxing place to enjoy their leisure time.
Although the ceremony was held in August, the cabins opened for business in May. Richard Pienkos, recreational lodging manager, said that vacationers have stayed in the cabins while making use of the Frog Falls Aquatic Park,or while fishing at one or both of Picatinny’s lakes.
The cabins were purchased from Conestoga Cabins in Lebanon, Pa., and were placed in Pienko’s care in October 2010.
With the help of his wife Linda, who also works at the Arsenal in the Community Recreation Branch, couple spent countless weekend hours at Ashley Furniture in Ledgewood picking out furniture for each of the three cabins.
For his efforts, Pienkos was awarded the achievement medal for civilian service. Pienkos was instrumental in the planning, organization, as well as execution of the removal and disposition of five trailers where the cabins are now located.
During the ceremony,Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Herb Koehler said that when he and his family first arrived at Picatinny,they were temporary residents of “Snake Hill Estates”while they waited for their permanent housing.
“This is an example of improving our foxhole for the good of the service members and their families,” Koehler said.
Koehler also acknowledged the partnerships between the recreational lodging branch and the local community that included Conestoga and Ashley Furniture.
“This is a perfect example of what the community covenant stands for and why it was created,” Koehler said.
The staff at Ashley Furniture offers a 15 percent discount to all military service members and Picatinny employees.
Additionally the front porch of each cabin is equipped with a swing and a patio table. Koehler said that Pienkos was so involved in detail that if he asked him how many links were in the chain that held up the swing,Pienkos would be able to recite the number to him, a tribute to his devotion to duty.
Pienkos noted that other sources of helped to complete the project. The Picatinny Military and Civilian Club provided funds for carpeting and garrison contractor Chugach Industries helped with all service orders.
Barbara Moran, wife of the late Command Sgt. Maj. Theodore Moran who once served as the Arsenal’s recreational lodging manager,participated in the ribbon cutting.
All forms of payment are accepted. You can reserve one of the cabins, an RV port or one of the trailers by filling out a form online at http://www.pica.army.mil/mwr/MWR/TrailerPark/mobile_home.htm or by calling (973) 724-4014 DSN 880-4014, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m.