BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Somerset County Park Commission dedicated a new playground at Duke Island Park to Raymond Willis Brown, late son of recently retired Park Commission Director Ray Brown and Roseann Brown.

Duke Island Park is located off Old York Road in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Raymond Willis Brown’s life was cut short, at the age of 32, by a tragic incident that occurred while painting a mural on a high-rise building in Hollywood, Florida.  Raymond grew up in Bridgewater Township and attended school in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District.  He had a distinct passion for the arts; was an exceptional artist, an art handler, and a self-taught musician.

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Most notably, for purposes of the Park Commission’s dedication, Raymond spent a multitude of hours as a young boy with his mother and his father swinging, climbing, sliding, and generally having an enjoyable time at the Duke Island Park playground.

This past June, the Park Commissioners unanimously agreed that the dedication of the new playground at Duke Island Park was an exceptionally fitting honor to the entire Brown Family. Construction of the new playground commenced on Nov. 6th and was completed late last week.

The new playground equipment is designed for all age groups.  The large central structure features a three-story Mega Tower and the Aquarius Webscape climbing structure.  The playground includes a Ten Spin, Saddle Seat, Boulder Tunnel, Sensory Panels, and a variety of swings. The playground meets requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Participating in cutting the ribbon at the new playground were Park Commission President Mark Caliguire, Rev. Ron Pollock, Freeholder Pat Walsh, Ray Brown, Roseanne Brown, Sen. Kip Bateman, Park Director Geoff Soriano, Freeholder Brian Gallagher.