Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Essex County Splash Park Now Open at Watsessing Park

0cf6e350488e26886fd1_watsessing_spray_park_opening.jpg
0cf6e350488e26886fd1_watsessing_spray_park_opening.jpg

BLOOMFIELD/EAST ORANGE, NJ  On Thursday, July 20, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced that the expansion to two playgrounds in Essex County Watsessing Park has been completed. Water spray equipment to cool off youngsters when the temperature rises were installed near Dodd Street and a cargo net climber and other new equipment have been installed at the play area near Prospect Street. The upgrades are part of the County Executive’s ongoing initiative to provide modern facilities to meet the needs of the community.

“We are always looking for new ways to make our playgrounds more attractive and meet the needs of the community. The water spray equipment and climbing apparatus expand the recreation opportunities at both playgrounds, enhance the excitement children will have when they come to the park and provide a unique feature where they can cool off on hot days,” DiVincenzo said.

An approximately 3,000-square-foot addition has been constructed at the playground located on Glenwood Avenue near Dodd Street in East Orange. There is a variety of water spray equipment that can be enjoyed by children of all ages. A shade structure with Adirondack chairs enables parents and guardians to comfortably watch their children at play. A drainage system, water fountains, a bicycle rack, benches and trash receptacles also were installed, trees were trimmed and landscaping was enhanced. It is anticipated that the spray park will be open between Memorial Day and Labor Day, seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will close in the event of inclement weather.

Sign Up for E-News

“This is a positive step forward where on a hot day we don’t have to open fire hydrants and use garden hoses, but instead can bring our children to enjoy this modern spray park. This is an added recreation element that’s available in the park,” Assembly Speaker Emeritus Sheila Oliver said.

“This is an amazing day and it’s great to see all the children enjoying themselves,” Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake said. Other elected officials who attended were Freeholders Patricia Sebold and Cynthia Toro, Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia, Bloomfield Council members Nicholas Joanow, Carlos Pomares and Ted Gamble, and East Orange Councilwoman Amy Lewis.

“We are very grateful to partner with the County. This park gets used a great deal and I can’t think of a better place for the County’s first water feature,” Friends of Watsessing Park President Gouri Sadhwani said.

A cargo net climber and other new playground equipment were added to the playground that is located on Glenwood Avenue near the intersection of Prospect Street. The extended play area has a rubberized safety surface and perimeter fencing.

Mott MacDonald engineers from Islen was awarded a $55,000 contract to design the Watsessing Park playground improvements. Zenith Construction Services, Inc. from Orange was awarded a publicly bid contract for $931,091 to perform the construction work. The Essex County Department of Public Works monitored the project and answered questions. Funding was provided from the Essex County Capital Budget and with a grant from the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund. Work started in March and was completed in just four months.

Revitalizing Essex County Watsessing Park

These upgrades are the latest improvements made in Watsessing Park since DiVincenzo took office in 2003. A majority of the projects were funded with grants received by Essex County and the Watsessing Park Conservancy from the New Jersey Green Acres program and the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund Advisory Board, and in-kind services from other governmental agencies.

In 2016, the sidewalks along Glenfield Avenue, Dodd Street and Cleveland Terrace were modernized, the basketball court and walking track near Dodd Street were resurfaced, and the pedestrian bridge over the Second River, damaged during a spring storm, was repaired. Also in 2016, the walking track was named in honor of Glen Ridge resident Horace Ashenfelter, the 1952 Olympic Gold Medal winner in the steeplechase who trained in the park. In 2014, ornamental historic lighting was installed along the walking paths throughout the park. In 2010, a synthetic grass surface soccer/lacrosse field in Essex County Watsessing Park off of Bloomfield Avenue was developed, new wrought iron fencing was installed along the perimeter of the park along Bloomfield Avenue and a synthetic grass surface inside the walking track was installed.

The park building on Glenwood Avenue was modernized for year-round use in 2008. The walking track, basketball court and lawn bowling building were upgraded, park entranceways were enhanced and landscaping was improved in the southern section of the park in 2006.

In 2005, Essex County opened a 19,500-square-foot Off-Leash Dog Facility, the first of its kind in the Essex County Park System. The dog exercise area was created in partnership with the Watsessing Park Conservancy and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. NJ Transit (NJT) also worked cooperatively with Essex County to upgrade the pedestrian bridge in the eastern section of the park.

In 2004, Essex County rehabilitated the historic bandstand near Bloomfield Avenue and the Lawn Bowling green off Glenwood Avenue in Bloomfield. The lawn bowling facility was reopened with a new synthetic grass surface and fencing, and repaired restroom facilities in an adjacent field house. In addition, restroom facilities in the Community Center on Conger Street in Bloomfield were updated. Basketball courts located off of Glenwood Avenue in East Orange were renovated and the Essex County seal was painted at the center of each court. Water fountains were repaired, and additional trash receptacles and decorative benches were placed throughout the park.

In 2003, Essex County completed a beautification project at the Bloomfield Avenue entrance to Watsessing Park. New sidewalks, decorative park pathways and landscaping improved the entrance, making it more inviting. In addition, upgrades were made to the drainage system, park trees were trimmed, and the restrooms and senior room were painted. Essex County also installed rubberized safety surfaces in the three playgrounds in the park.

The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 23 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. At 69.67 acres, Watsessing Park is the fourth largest park in the Essex System. It was designed in 1899 by the Olmstead Brothers firm.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Motor Vehicle Thefts Reported, One Recovered

May 16, 2018

May 7 - Burglary; Sometime during the prior two days, entry was forced to a business on Newark Way.  The keys to a GMC van were then taken from inside the business and the van was stolen.

 

May 7 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 9:30 p.m., a Jeep left unattended and running in the parking lot of 7-11 on Irvington Ave was stolen. The vehicle was later recovered in ...

South Orange Police Blotter - More Than 10 Vehicle Burglaries Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of May 14

Auto Theft - A Roland Ave resident reported that sometime between 10:30 pm, Thursday 5-10-18 & 7:30 am, Friday 5-11-18 actor(s) unknown stole his vehicle (2016 Mitsubishi), which was parked in his driveway of his residence at the time.

Burglary to Auto - A Vose Ave resident reported that sometime between 10:45 pm, Wednesday 5-2-18 & 8:00 ...

Food, Fun, Music and Murals at MayFest in Maplewood on Sunday {Photos}

May 22, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Crowds came out to enjoy MayFest on Springfield Avenue on Sunday, with plenty of food, live music and performances, and a chance to see the new murals and meet the artists who created them, as well as local residents Michael and Viktorija painting their mural “I Am Maplewood." 

Thank you to Carl Patterson of CP Photo Op Photography for use of ...

South Orange Community Pool Will Not Be Open Memorial Day Weekend; Opening Day Planned for June 2

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange Community Pool will have a delayed season opening, and will not be open Memorial Day Weekend, according to an update from the Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

According to the Recreation Department, "weather issues, both the early spring snow and the ongoing spring rain, have caused delays in the construction project underway to ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, May 23, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_982bc8344531b1a37c85_par_440

Wed, May 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_982bc8344531b1a37c85_par_440

Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_af1b89eae735bf536426_par440_promo

Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Uniacke Named Bridges Outreach Executive Director as Bhatt, Tulloch Announce Retirement

May 18, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - Bridges Outreach, Inc. Executive Director Lois Bhatt and Deputy Executive Director Bethany Tulloch have announced their retirement and, effective May 29, Richard J. Uniacke will begin his tenure as the Summit-based nonprofit's new Executive Director.

Uniacke, who will become just the organization's third executive director in three decades, was ...

Bus Accident in Livingston Kills One Wednesday

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston police are investigating a fatal bus accident in the township Wednesday afternoon.

The police department has confirmed a death in the accident, which occurred shortly before 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Latham Court and South Orange Avenue.

As of 4:30 p.m., detectives were still on the scene investigating the crash. A full report has not yet been released ...

DAWN of a New Day: New Treatment Insights Shared at Atlantic Health's 18th Annual 'Stroke Symposium'

May 21, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Time is of the essence when it comes to identifying and treating symptoms of stroke and it’s widely accepted that the sooner treatment is provided the better the outcome will be, however new research suggests that all hope isn’t lost for certain types of stroke victims whose symptoms aren’t treated until later in time after last being seen as ...

Former Saks Building Discussed at Special Springfield Planning Board Meeting

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The regularly held monthly Planning Board meeting included a special discussion on the Saks Fifth Avenue property along Millburn Avenue bordering Millburn.

A nearly two-decade long lawsuit has been dropped on this nine-acre property.  Experts believe this property has the potential to generate sizable revenue for Springfield and increase home ...

Career Change for Working Moms Presentation at Millburn Library

May 21, 2018

The Millburn Free Public Library is pleased to offer a program on changing careers for working moms, presented by local career coach Tracey Gutierrez. This program will be held on Thursday, June 14 at 7:00pm.

Are you looking for a career change that better fits the lifestyle you want? Do you leave your children every day to slog away at a job you don't enjoy? You CAN escape from an unhappy ...

Third Annual South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl is Sunday, May 20

The South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl is back!

On Sunday, May 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the South Orange Village Center Alliance hosts its third annual South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl, a tasting event that showcases the diverse restaurants and unique retailers in our Village Center.

With the purchase of a wristband, you'll stroll and sample delectable bites and ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - May 18 to May 24

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Strawberry Banana Smoothie  $4.25 (Bakery)
Chicken Cutlet $7.99lb (Prep Food)
Turkey Hero $5.99 (Deli)
Juicy Juice 8pk  2/$5*
Friendly’s Ice Cream $3.99
Notre Dame Brie $6.99lb (Cheese)
Monkfish $9.99 ...