You may not be aware of it, but Randolph Township has a Commemorative Bench and Tree program that is really a wonderful way for community members and organizations to recognize and honor others with a lasting tribute.

The program provides a way to donate and dedicate either a bench or a tree at one of Randolph’s beautiful parks.  Donors may request a specific park or area, and the Randolph Township Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services will work with the donor to identify the best location.

A plaque is placed on the bench or at the base of the tree indicating the name of the person, event or organization being recognized.  You can see many examples throughout Brundage Park, Heistein Park and Freedom Park.

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So far this year, 3 benches have been donated and dedicated in Randolph.  Two dedications took place in Freedom Park and another took place on the trail close to the municipal building.

In May, a commemorative bench was donated to Randolph Township to mark the 10th anniversary of the Morris Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which is located on South Salem Street in Randolph. ReStore is a 22,000 square foot non-profit, store facility that sells new and gently used building supplies and home furnishings.  Proceeds are used to support the many housing projects undertaken by Morris Habitat for Humanity.  Morris Habitat CEO, Blair Bravo, along with the ReStore manager, Chris Boyle, and Randolph resident and ReStore volunteer, Mel Oppenheimer, were on hand for the dedication.  The bench is located in Freedom Park near the soccer field.

Later in May, a bench was dedicated to Mr. Lenny Pietrewicz.  The bench was donated in his honor by the Randolph High School Girls’ Track Booster Club.  The Club wanted to recognize Coach Pietrewicz’s many years of dedication to the girl’s track program and his commitment to their success.  Many current and former members of the track team, along with Coach Pietrewicz and his wife, attended the event.  Appropriately, the bench is located on the trail across from Randolph High School.

Most recently, a bench was dedicated in Freedom Park to Gary and Kathy Algeier, two long-time residents of Randolph who made many contributions to our community during the 38 years they lived here.  Kathy volunteered in the schools, library and food bank.  Gary served on the Town Council for 15 years and as Mayor for 2 years.  He contributed in many ways to the Township, perhaps most notably by creating the vision and spearheading the development of Freedom Park.  The Algeiers, along with many family and friends, attended the bench dedication in July.   

If you would like more information about the Randolph Commemorative Bench and Tree program, please visit the Randolph Township website at http://www.randolphnj.org/parks_and_recreation/commemorative_program, or contact the Randolph Township Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services at 973-989-7081.