RANDOLPH, NJ - The recreation committee started out 2019 with big plans for the year ahead while recognizing the success of 2018. During the first meeting of the year, committee members nominated and elected Joe Nazzaro to serve as chair for his 16th year with Anne Standridge as vice chair.
While they continue to look for new and innovative programs for Randolph residents, one of the top goals for the Recreation Committee is implementing the educational website for coaches and parents.
“We’re doing all we can to education folks on how to behave at events,” Nazzaro said. “We have a lot of cases that we hear annually as far as coaches behavior and parent behavior… It’s something that’s always in progress.”
The year ahead will focus on policy review. “We have to go back and look through all of our Rec policies, and some that Russ [the Recreation Director] may highlight as problematic policies that we may need to update,” Nazzaro continued.
He looks forward to surveying members of the sport community for their feedback each season, to ensure the residents are receiving value from the recreation programs. They’ll be hearing presentations from the Theater program as well as the Track and Field programs during the year.
After receiving funds in 2018, the Parks and Recreation Department is ready to complete several projects this year, including the new Veterans Community Park and expanding the entrance to Freedom Park for better traffic flow.
The community garden at Veterans Community Park will begin registration for beds on April 1 with an educational session, called “Intro to Community Gardens,” on May 6 at the library. Construction should be completed by the end of July 2019.
“We’re not looking to begin scheduling events in the park for at least two growing seasons, so Fall of 2019 and Spring of 2020, just to give the grass by the bandshell time to grow,” said Parks and Recreation Director Russ Newman. “Pickleball will be available, though, connecting trails to Heistein Park, the Community Garden should be able to open right away, and there’s a lighted paved walking trail that will be also available.”
The Parks and Recreation department also started the new year with a new assistant director, Steve Eisenstein. Most recently, he worked as the Recreation Director in Mendham Borough.
“I’m excited to be back in a large community,” Eisenstein said. “I feel like I can be of much more value in a larger community, and I look forward to working with you all.”
Newman detailed the accomplishments of 2018 which included replacing the seats at the Brundage Playhouse, a new swim dock at Randolph Lake, new turf fields and new dugouts at the parks. They also installed security cameras in the community center and a new scoreboard at Freedom Park.
“We had a very good year, this past year,” Nazzaro said.
Trails were a big focus for the committee in 2018, with the implementation of 2017’s Trails Master Plan through the trails subcommittee. Members look forward to marking all the trails in Randolph once the ground thaws in April.