DENVILLE, NJ -- With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, residents are looking for updates in every area of the Denville community. The Denville Township Recreation Department finds itself in a position where its members must sit and wait to see what will happen in the next few weeks.

“One thing in the works is a program that will take place through a video conferencing application (similar to Zoom) with the Blue Jeans program that our Town Hall meetings have been posted through,” said Nick Panetta, recreation director.

“This program is being set up as we speak, but will be a movement/dance program from children, parents, adults, seniors to join in on to create movement in a time when most of us are stuck on our couches. This program is set up to take place on Tuesdays/Thursdays in May at 3:00 p.m.”

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More information on this movement/dance program is forthcoming.

Recently, on April 16, Denville Recreation released an update on their upcoming summer programs in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. As of now, the Summer Plus Program schedule has not been changed or modified.

“The township is in regular communication with the Denville Board of Education regarding the Summer Plus Program. Collectively, we have decided that if the governor allows access into schools in New Jersey, we will proceed with the Summer Plus program. If access into schools remain closed for all or part of the summer, we will need to cancel all or that portion of the Summer Plus Program in which schools are closed.”

“Furthermore, we will continue to monitor the rules and regulations related to social distancing in order to determine, even if the schools are open, if the Summer Plus Program will be possible. We will perform a tiered evaluation, starting the first week of June to determine the viability of weeks one to four of the Summer Plus Program. A second evaluation will occur, if needed, during the first week of July to determine the viability of weeks 5 – 7 of the Summer Plus Program.”

Recreation will also be reducing the maximum number of kids from 25 to 20 per grade level per week. All other registration requests beyond 20 students per grade level will be placed on a wait list if the COVID-19 crisis and related regulations allows recreation to accommodate more children.

“If any of the weeks of the Summer Plus Program are canceled, all those who registered will receive a full  refund for those canceled weeks and/or trips,” said Panetta.

“Furthermore, we recognize that even if the Summer Plus Program does proceed for all or part of the intended schedule, some parents may not feel comfortable sending their children to the program. Full refunds will be provided for any parent who provides at least a 10 calendar-day notice in advance of the week in which their child or children were registered.”

“Finally, we recognize that some residents may be experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we will continue to only charge the ‘early-bird’ rate through the end of May. We have eliminated the ‘Regular Registration Rate’ this year but will continue to charge the ‘late fee’ rate for any registrations taking place after June 1. The ‘late fee’ provision may also be subject to change as the pandemic situation evolves.”

Regarding the Teen Travel Program, the township is working with the trip destination locations planned for 2020 to see if it will run. The viability of the program will hinge on both social distancing guidelines for bus travel and whether the destination will be open to accommodate participants. The township continues to monitor this and will make the decision on or before June 15, on whether the program starts on July 6. If any or all the weeks are canceled, all those who have registered will receive a full refund.

For any activities involving Cook’s Pond, the facility is currently closed to the public. Denville Recreation continues to monitor social distancing rules and regulations to see when it may be open, while keeping residents informed.

Moreover, for all township parks, playgrounds and fields, closure to the public continues until further notice. This includes the tennis and basketball courts at Gardner Field. Violators are subject to fines and penalties.

All issued fishing permits also are suspended. 

“Of course, our primary objective is to ensure everyone remains healthy and well,” said Panetta.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and send out and/or post notification once we have a better knowledge of when different programs and facilities will be open to the public. We will continue to take registration for all Denville Recreation programs as usual. Again, if we are unable to run or hold any program, we will issue refunds for the full amount.”

For details, contact the Denville Township Recreation Department at or call 973-625-8300, extension 238.

To learn more about the latest recreation updates for the Denville Township Recreation Department, visit the municipal website at, or visit them on Facebook at

Aside from recreation activities, although town hall remains closed to the public, Denville Social Services continues to support its community by collecting donations of supermarket gift cards and food supplies for residents in need.

“We are unique and fortunate in Denville as we are one of the few remaining towns in our area that operate a municipal social services office and food pantry,” said Business Administrator Steve Ward.

Recently, the Friends of Denville Social Services posted on Facebook that during the week of April 27 to May 1, the local food pantry will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Clients are asked to dial 973-625-8300, extension 269, to make an appointment before coming to Town Hall.

Since food donations cannot be accepted at this time, Denville Social Services is asking for monetary donations and gift cards to ACME and ShopRite, so the organization can continue to assist clients. Gift cards can be placed in the locked drop box in front of Town Hall, and checks made out to “Denville Social Services” and mailed to 1 St. Mary’s Place, Denville.

Donors with food are asked to call the Social Services Office, and they will be referred to a charity in need. Any Denville resident experiencing food insecurity are encouraged to talk to the Social Services Coordinator Stephen Dublanica for assistance.

To hear more updates on Denville Social Services, visit them on Facebook at


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