LIVINGSTON, NJ — Applications for the new community gardens at Essex County Riker Hill Art Park (RHAP) in Livingston are still being accepted through Friday, Jan. 31, for anyone wishing to participate in the first public planting season this spring,

Each plot is 10-feet by 4-feet in size and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Essex County residents, who must be 18 years old to apply, will be given preference. The rental fee for the first season is $50 per plot for Essex County residents or $65 per plot for out-of-county residents.

The RHAP Community Garden area was created as part of the most recent phase of improvements completed at the park in 2019. According to Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., these are the first community gardens that have been made available to the public as part of the Essex County Parks System and are part of the county’s “ongoing commitment to provide activities that meet the changing needs of [its] residents.”

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“Riker Hill always has been a dynamic location for artistic expression, and we are looking forward to working with gardeners who have that same level of energy and enthusiasm,” said DiVincenzo. “The Community Gardens present another way to enjoy our open spaces and will bring new activity to Riker Hill.”

Residents who are provided use of a plot will be responsible for maintaining their own garden as well as keeping the area around the RHAP Community Gardens neat and clean. Gardeners must control weeds, pests and vegetative disease with organic products only. Gardeners who do not maintain their plot, do not assist with the general maintenance of the gardens or abandon their responsibility may lose their privilege.

To obtain an application, CLICK HERE.

In addition to the community gardens, the $1 million facelift recently conducted at RHAP included improvements in the storm water drainage system to address flooding, repairs to the roadway, sidewalks and stairs, new signage, exterior painting for the buildings and the creation of a scenic overlook. The improvements were the result of a partnership between the County and Township of Livingston.

CLICK HERE to read more about the three-tier project.