Author Clifford W. Zink presents a copy of "NATURAL BEAUTY / Somerset County Parks
Somerset County. Park Commission Trustee Fred Quick at the Commission's November meeting.
Commission President Steve Fuerst accepts copy of NATURAL BEAUTY / Somerset County Parks,
from Park Foundation Trustee Fred Quick and Deputy Director Cindie Sullivan.
PARK COMMISSION PUBLISHES BOOK TO CHRONICLE
SIX DECADES OF GROWTH
The Somerset County Park Foundation has just released
its recently published chronicle of the history of the Somerset County Park
Commission, Natural Beauty: Somerset County Parks by Clifford W. Zink.
With 425 illustrations and photos from the 57-year history of the Commission, the
book details the remarkable inception and growth of the nationally recognized
In 1956, as development began to consume the County's open space, concerned
businessmen and political leaders spent close to a year working tirelessly to help
pass a public referendum to establish the Somerset County Park Commission,
adopting a visionary plan to preserve open space and provide recreational
opportunities for the public. Since that time, public officials and professional
staff have implemented and expanded the plan into a countywide network of 26
parks encompassing more than 13,500 acres.
The Somerset County Park System includes multiple award-winning facilities
including the Environmental Education and Equestrian Centers at Lord Stirling
Park, the horticultural centers at Colonial Park and Leonard J. Buck Garden, the
Torpey Athletic Complex, Natirar Park, the Sourland Mountain Preserve, and
Neshanic Valley Golf Course, the flagship facility in the five championship golf
Natural Beauty traces the development of Somerset County's park system from
its roots in the County's agricultural past through its evolution over nearly six
decades into an organization utilizing creative public-private partnerships to
preserve open space and serve more than 2,000,000 visitors and program
participants annually. The book highlights information and excerpts from historic
documents and interviews with former and present elected officials,
commissioners, directors, planners, naturalists, rangers and recreation staff.
Clifford W. Zink, a resident of Princeton, NJ, is an award-winning historian,
preservation consultant, and author of five books on New Jersey's historic
landscapes and industries.
The Somerset County Park Foundation is a 501c3 whose mission is to preserve,
support, and promote Somerset County Park Commission programs, facilities, and
open space through advocacy and fundraising.
Natural Beauty is available free with a $40 donation to the Somerset County Park
Foundation by visiting the Somerset County Park Commission Headquarters 355
Milltown Road, Bridgewater, NJ, 08807; 908 722-1200.
JOHNSON CONTROLS VOLUNTEERS BUILD BRIDGES
AT COLONIAL PARK
Volunteers from Johnson Controls in Raritan, New Jersey relax following a day of volunteer bridge building at
Somerset County Park Commission Colonial Park in Somerset, New Jersey.
BRIDGEWATER, NJ - On Friday, September 27, 2013, 12 volunteer staff members from Johnson Controls in Raritan, New Jersey converged on the Somerset County Park Commission Colonial Park in Somerset, New Jersey with a $1,000 donation in hand to help affect needed repairs to park facilities.
Addressing two projects that have long been in disrepair, the volunteer crew built a 42’ extension to the boardwalk on the Lois Howe Trail while also replacing all of the dilapidated pieces of wood on the existing boardwalk. In addition, they reconstructed a 16’ bridge along the Powder Mill Pond Trail that was washed away during Hurricane Irene.
Johnson Controls is a global technology and industrial leader creating quality products, services, and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles.
Volunteer contributions enable the Park Commission to achieve goals and reach higher standards of quality programming. Volunteer groups groom and maintain trails at various county parks and gardens in addition to helping with park beautification projects. At Lord Stirling Stable, volunteers help with barn chores, assist instructors, and help at special events. In the Therapeutic Recreation department, volunteers assist working individually with a participant or with a group of participants, helping learn a new sport, game, arts and craft project and fine arts, or develop tcooking and gardening skills.
For information on volunteer opportunities for individuals, groups, or companies, please call Nancy Meola, Volunteer Committee Chair at email@example.com or 908 766-5955 (NJ Relay at 711 for individuals with a hearing impairment). Information on Somerset County Park Commission programs and activities may be found on the Internet at www.somersetcountyparks.org.
GIRL SCOUTS RECOGNIZED FOR EARNING SILVER AWARD FOR
RESTORING SKILLMAN PARK CEMETERY
BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Three scouts representing Girl Scout Troop 236 of Montgomery Township were recently recognized by the Somerset County Park Commission for their efforts cleaning and restoring the cemetery at the former Skillman Village/North Princeton Developmental Center.
The project, which earned the Scouts their Silver Award, focused on development of a master plan and project budget to restore the property’s on-site cemetery. The project involved clearing overgrown vegetation, cleaning and repairing headstones, new signage, fencing, landscaping, and preparing a detailed list of individuals interred. The year-long project was accomplished with a donation by the Somerset County Park Foundation and through the efforts of the Park Commission and the Somerset County Engineering Office staff.
Featured in the photo at the Commission meeting recognizing the Scouts’ effort are (l to r); Jenna Devchand, Freeholder and liaison to the Park Commission Pat Walsh, Claire Decker, Sophia Sharpless, Ray Brown, Director of the Park Commission.
Information on all Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found on the Internet at www.somersetcountyparks.org. Like us on Facebook and Twitter.
WEEKLY DUKE ISLAND WALKERS
Free Weekly Walking Group
BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A weekly walking group will meet every Wednesday at 9:30 A.M. at the Duke Island Visitor’s Center for a healthy walk through Duke Island Park along a beautiful stretch of the Raritan River. Coffee, tea, and treats will be provided. For information call 908-722-1200, ext. 226.
Duke Island Park is located off Old York Road in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The walk is free of charge and continues weekly as weather permits.