VERONA, NJ - Two "environmental pioneers" were recognized for their dedication to Verona's environment at the Town Council Meeting on Monday.

Anne Stires and Jerry Shimonaski both received a proclamations of thanks from the Mayor and Town Council for their dedicated service to Verona's environment.

Gloria Machnowski, chair of Verona's Environmental Commission, gave a brief overview of commission's role in Verona and specifically noted the work done at Grove Park, which is a 1.33 acre nature preserve and historical park at 42 Grove Ave. which was opened in November 2015.  Machnowski noted that the park was the homestead of Harry B. Whitehorne and that the commission, along with the Verona Junior Woman's Club and the Verona Historical Society, created a sustainable nature train and added park benches with information about the history of the site.

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"The Environmental Commission asked if we could recognize two individuals who have played a role in Verona in terms of calling attention to environmental issues," Mayor Kevin Ryan said.  "We will honor them with a proclamation and we will recognize them permanently with a plaque on the two benches at Grove Park."

Mayor Ryan said the park was truly a community effort and that the volunteers took what was basically a vacant lot and turned it into a peaceful area where residents can enjoy nature.