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Union County Freeholder Board Approves $500,000 to Restore Historic Sites

 Eleven historic buildings in eight Union County municipalities will undergo restoration work this year, funded in part by $500,000 in grants approved by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders through the Preserve Union County program.

Preserve Union County was created in 2003 as an initiative of Freeholder Chairman Deborah Scanlon. It provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants for projects that are developed by local preservation groups and governments. Projects for Union County properties are also eligible for funding.

“Preserve Union County is focused on supporting local groups in their efforts to preserve sites that are most treasured within their communities,” said Scanlon. “This program has worked so well because the projects are developed by people who are deeply committed and involved.”

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Since 2003, Preserve Union County has awarded approximately $2.5 million in matching funds that have gone to help preserve and restore twenty-six historic sites throughout Union County.

Preserve Union County is funded through the Union County Open Space, Historic Preservation and Recreation Trust Fund. The Trust Fund was approved overwhelmingly by popular referendum in 2000. Since then it has preserved well over 300 acres of land for public parks, acquired and restored historic sites including the 1920-s era Performing Arts Center in Rahway, and provided matching grants to municipalities and nonprofits for dozens of local recreation improvements and historic preservation projects.

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a consistent funding stream for important civic projects, through good times and bad,” said Scanlon. “Even during this time of global economic crisis, Preserve Union County is still helping to save rare treasures from our past, while creating work in the building and preservation trades that otherwise would have to be delayed, or would not occur at all.” 

The 2011 Preserve Union County awardees are:


First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth: Restore slate roof and masonry at the tower (Elizabeth Old First Historic Trust), $100,000.00.


Carriage House: New windows and air conditioning (Borough of Fanwood), $15,000.00.


Oswald J. Nitschke House: Restore second floor, lighting, and air conditioning, and install period stove (Kenilworth Historic Society), $70,000.00.


Deacon Hetfield House: Upgrade electrical system and replace hot water heater (Mountainside Restoration Committee), $5,396.00.


Lampkin House and Barn: Acquire the property located at 850 Terrill Road, perform high priority repairs, and develop a preservation plan (City of Plainfield), $70,000.00.


George A. Strong Residence: Repair active roof leaks, restore masonry at chimney, restore deteriorated elements of port cochere (Ducret School of Arts), $35,000.00.


Nathaniel Drake House: Restore or repair slate roof, gutters, porch, and chimney, and build new accessible restroom. Project includes scaffolding. (Historical Society of Plainfield), $30,000.00.


Merchants and Drovers Tavern: Restore or repair gutters, siding, eaves, masonry fireplace and foundation, doors, fire escapes, and other building elements, and paint existing trim, doors and windows. Project includes scaffolding (Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum Association), $65,000.00.


Reeves-Reed Arboretum and The Clearing: Repair and repaint wood, replace storm windows, and install new walkway for safer access to main house (Reeves-Reed Arboretum), $43,000.00.


Liberty Hall Museum Carriage House: Complete replacement of the slate roof (Liberty Hall Museum, Inc.), $60,000.00.


Caldwell Parsonage: Install a ductless air conditioning system, main panel and power shut off (Union Township Historical Society), $6,112.50.

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Berkeley Heights

Have Your Voice Heard Tonight on Vote for $4 Million Extra for Municipal Complex

July 10, 2018

The Berkeley Heights Municipal Complex project is the largest and most expensive local public project we will likely witness as Berkeley Heights residents. It is a vast responsibility. Therefore, it was concerning to learn that the Township Council and Mayor placed an ordinance on the agenda June 26 for an additional $4 million for the municipal complex without much regard to time.

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Beneficiary Forms - As Important as Your Will

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17 Years Running and the Pizza is still Hot!! The Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza is July 25, 2018

July 16, 2018

The 17th Annual Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza, now more often referred to as the ‘Pizza Run’ will be here in no time! Don’t forget to sign up for a night of running, pizza, prizes, and entertainment! The event will be held on July 25, 2018 with a start time of 7 pm. Register online at PracticeHard.com before our Monday July 23, 2018, at 11:59 pm deadline will be ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1, a Pearl Jam  tribute band, taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free series, presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders,is held at Echo Lake Park during July and moves to Oak Ridge Park in Clark during August.

5 Against 1, which ...

Award-Winning Senior Art Exhibited at Freeholders Gallery

A new exhibit of award winning artworks by local artists age 60 and up is now on display at the Freeholders Gallery through August 29. Each of the 13 works received first place honors in the countywide Senior Art Exhibit held earlier this summer in the Atrium at Liberty Hall in Union Township.

“Each in their own unique way, these artists have contributed to an enriching, creative ...

Union County Students Invited to Experience a Unique Silent Party

Students ages 12 to 16 are invited to “Youth Chella,” a silent party scheduled for Friday, Aug.16 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Union County’s Watchung Reservation at the Trailside Nature and Science Center, 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside.

Admission and refreshments are free with the donation of a snack item. The donations will be provided to students in the ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

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Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood Warnings in Effect for Berkeley Heights Tuesday Afternoon

July 3, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Union County until 2:30 p.m. and a flash flood warning until 5 p.m.

“Torrential rainfall is occurring with this storm, and may lead to flash flooding,” the service warned. “Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.”

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Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

Healing the Children, new providence

Summit Old Guard

Giving Back

Wed, July 18, 10:30 AM

Berkeley Heights Public Library, Berkeley Heights

Story Time & Craft with DIVA DELORES AND THE ...



Wed, July 18, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Wed, July 18, 6:00 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Senior Summer BBQ at the Summit YMCA

Food & Drink

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Four to Feature Brahms

Arts & Entertainment

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

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The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

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5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...