Community Life

Bob Budiansky: Transforming Fanwood Recreation

Fanwood Recreation Director Bob Budiansky at LaGrande Park, which added new basketball courts and pavilions two years ago under his leadership. Credits: Sean Conklin
Credits: Colleen Mahr

Meet Fanwood Recreation Director Bob Budiansky

FANWOOD, NJ – With summer quickly approaching and warmer weather already upon us, it’s only natural to think about all the outdoor recreational activities that our community has to offer.

Fanwood residents have been privileged to have the services of Bob Budiansky, who has been the borough’s Director of Recreation since September 2006. He has been instrumental in the development of the recreational initiatives, including the popular "Party in the Park" at LaGrande Park that began seven years ago.

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The summer movie series this year kicks off with the Recreation Commission’s annual "Party in the Park," which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 24 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at LaGrande Park. The celebration includes contests, rides, food and beverages. 

This summer, the commission will offer the Fanwood Recreation Summer Park Program for children entering grades K-6 in the fall and the Fanwood Tweens & Teens Travel Camp (grades 6-9). 

“I am pleased with the variety of recreational services that we have to offer,” said Budiansky. “We run on a tight budget, and programs must be self-supporting. Thankfully, Fanwood has a good staff of volunteers.”

Budiansky has a unique background for a recreation director. A graduate of the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, he earned BS in Civil Engineering from the University at Buffalo. From the mid-1970s to 90s, he served in a variety editorial positions at Marvel Entertainment.  He helped create over 250 characters with Hasbro, including his personal favorite, Megatron, the lead villain of Transformers: Generation 1.  Megatron is one of the most popular characters in the Transformers films, which have renewed interest in the original comic book series.

Additionally, he served for two years as editor-in-chief for the Spider-Man Comics, for which he helped set the publishing schedule, creative team and staff assistant editors. Budiansky was also involved in the comic publications of DaredevilThe Fantastic FourGhost Rider and Sleep Walker. After two decades at Marvel, Budiansky joined Scholastic in 1998 as an assistant creative director overseeing and designing initiatives at the Scholastic Book Club. In 2004, he joined the Fanwood Recreation Commission to become more involved in the town. After serving on the commission for about two years, he succeeded Linda Caminiti as director.

Under Budiansky’s guidance, the borough installed a new irrigation system at Forest Road Park last year, and two years ago the basketball courts and pavilions at the LaGrande Park were renovated.

“We are always looking for the next improvement for our parks,” said Budiansky. The Fanwood Recreation Commission is planning just that.”

The newest project in the works is the new skateboard park, which will replace the street hockey rink at the Forest Road Park. As presently planned, 50 percent of the skate park’s construction costs will come from a Union County Recreation grant.  More information on the project is available at

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Scotch Plains/Fanwood