WEST ORANGE, NJ – The New Jersey Clean Communities Council (NJCCC) honored Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. with the "Clean Communities Vision I Award" on Thursday. DiVincenzo, Jr. is the first-ever winner of the Vision I Award for his vision in open space preservation and environmental stewardship. 

“This award is truly about exceptional, unique vision,” explained NJCCC Executive Director Sandy Huber. “It is about seeing what needs to be done and making it all happen for the benefit of so many people.”
 
Going forward the Vision I Award will be presented to other public officials who share DiVincenzo’s qualities and attributes, she added.
 
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“No one can do this alone; we all need to work as a team,” DiVincenzo said. “Together, we are preserving open space and making sure the environment is protected. When we started, there were 17 county parks in Essex County. Now we have 23 in what is the first county park system in the entire nation.”
 
DiVincenzo, of Roseland, was elected county executive in 2002 and was reelected for a fourth term in November 2014. He accepted the award at the 14th-annual NJCCC conference, held this year in West Orange, which was attended by hundreds of children statewide.
 
“The large number of children from throughout the state participating in this event illustrates that our children understand the importance of protecting the environment and keeping their neighborhoods free of litter,” DiVincenzo said. “As a longtime supporter, I applaud the Clean Communities Program for creating excitement among young people to take an active role in enhancing the areas where they live.”