National Night Out

This year marked the 29th year the National Association of Town Watch. The Maplewood Police Department invited the public to join them in observing National Night Out.

National Night Out took place on Tuesday, August 4th from 6PM till 9PM. The event was held at DeHart Park, 120 Burnett Avenue in Maplewood NJ.

The event promoted various crime prevention programs including: neighborhood watch groups, neighbor home security surveys, crime prevention tips and bike registration.

Since 1984, the National Bike Registry (NBR®) has been working with law enforcement to return stolen bikes to their rightful owners. A bike registered with NBR, the only true national database, can be identified by police and returned to its rightful owner instead of being sold at an auction.

By registering your bike in the National Bike Registry. You will receive a Certificate of Registration and a tamper-resistant NBR label to identify your bike. Then, if your bike is ever stolen and recovered, no matter where, it can be returned to you.

All members of the community participated in this year’s event. The event was free to participants and included food, drinks, music, video game truck, bounce house, dunk tank and other activities. A police car, fire truck, and an ambulance was on display. All participants were be able to their register bicycles.

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Interview

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle

I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Doris Fernandez, the recreation aide in the Maplewood Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs. Doris provides information regarding activities and registration procedures and is entrusted with organizing and promoting recreational activities within the township.

1) What were your expectations for Improving Bike Safety in Maplewood?

The expectations for the bike network plan to provide a safe and inviting bicycle infrastructure. We want to improve the quality of life for the residence of Maplewood, by improving providing safer streets to ride on. By improving the air quality, reducing congestion on our streets and keeping everyone cycling for fun, exercise and transportation.

2) What has surprised or delighted you during the project?

Maplewood’s Bicycle Safety Program began last fall under the auspices of Overlook Medical Center – Atlantic Health. The first part of the project was when our Police Department registered bikes and gave free helmets at the Wellness Fair in our main park.

We were truly delighted by the turn out! Half of the helmets we purchased with the grant funding were given to residents

3) What unanticipated obstacles or challenges have you experienced?

When the street markings for the additional bikeway blocks were put on the asphalt, an error was made. The vendor acknowledged the problem and installed an additional marking at no cost. A challenge with a great outcome!

4) Do you think that the bike infrastructure will bring a positive impact to our community?

The bike infrastructure will bring a positive impact to our community by providing connectivity to destinations such as workplaces, schools, parks and public transportation. We also anticipate that the improvements will attract new riders.

We Partied at the Dump and Took a Hike!

Jackie Kondel of the Reeves-Reed Arboretum leads a hike at the

Jackie Kondel of the Reeves-Reed Arboretum leads a hike at the “Party at the Dump”

Work on the trailhead is ongoing, but the number of party at the Dump posterhikers is multiplying!  Guided hikes on the trail were a highlight of the lively “Party at the Dump”  hosted by the City of Summit and The Summit Conservancy on Sunday, June 14th.    Jackie Kondel, Reeves-Reed Arboretum Director of Children’s Education, led three hikes at the event, exploring the trails with seventy hikers ranging in age from five to seventy-five.  The groups identified duckweed, may apple and skunk cabbage as they listened for the distinctive  “chickadee, dee, dee” of the tiny black-capped chickadee.   Participants  appreciated the easy access the trail provides to a peaceful stretch of the Passaic River, hidden so close to well-traveled roads and NJ Transit railroad tracks.

When our project began last August, the most requested improvement was a trail map. City ofUntitledSummit Assistant Engineer Rick Matias executed this challenging assignment, designing, producing and installing an informative map  in the fantastic new kiosk.  The map is available online on the Environment page on the City of Summit website.

Volunteers also built and installed a  sturdy bench at the trailhead, arranged hefty stepping stones and painted blazes to

On the trail on Sunday, June 14th

On the trail on Sunday, June 14th

mark the trail.    To date, a total of thirty-two individuals have volunteered their time and talents to the project, twenty-seven of whom were complete novices who had never worked or hiked on the trails before.   Our first-time trail workers became first-time hikers, excitedly sharing the trails with friends and family. Since August of 2014, invasive plant species have been mightily battled by the volunteers.  Even so, at least for now,  the invasives seem to be winning.  As a result, we’ve postponed our  plant and tree installations at the trailhead until the fall of 2015, at the earliest.  In a happier development,  the next few weeks will see the installation of a bike rack courtesy of the City of Summit. The trail is beautiful at this time of year.  Come out and enjoy it!

We Love Our Westside Park Group!

The Westside Park Group is excited to announce that we’re on Twitter (@WestsideParkGroup) and Instagram as well as Facebook (The Westside Park Group)!  Please tweet us, like us, follow us and share our events and information.

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On April 18th we’ll be having a clean-up day at School #5 site of Elysian Fields.  We’ll also be making more raised beds and working with the City of Paterson to “Slam Dunk the Junk” in Pennington Park.  On the 25th of April we’ll be cleaning up the JFK Spirit Garden and the area surrounding it in Westside Park.  All this is being done in preparation for May planting and the June 6th “Step to the Plate” old time baseball game in Westside Park

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There will be guided tours of the park and its historic sites, as well as a tour of the Van Houten house (Paterson’s oldest and site of the Athlete’s Hall of Fame) and the gardens. In the future a garden reflective of the 1600’s will be planted!

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The great part about the group is that we didn’t have to go out and identify potential partners, they came to us!  Participating in community events and talking about our “vision” seems to be the magnet that brought everyone together.  The “Fourth and Inches Foundation” with Larry Hilton, Jr. initially started the resurrection of the community garden.  After that the DPW, Kennedy High School’s Green Club, the Paterson Historic Commission, New Jersey Youth Corps, City Green, School #5, members of the Paterson City Council and administration all joined in the efforts.

The Westside Park Group is looking forward to a productive season and many more opportunities to get everyone out and moving! As well as enjoying healthy produce, socializing and just enjoying the great outdoors!

MAPLEWOOD is developing a bike path that will connect Memorial Park and Meadowland Park, the road to developing this vibrant addition to our community lead us to identify and recruit potential partners by staging a presentation on “Improving Bike Safety in Maplewood” which outlined our goals and objectives to the community.  This presentation was met with great interest and enthusiasm by the community.

The keynote partner organizations are a collaborative representation involving the whole community. One of the centerpieces of the Health Neighborhoods Initiatives is the Maplewood Loves Wellness committee. Established in 2012 the Maplewood Loves Wellness partners with public libraries, adult school, school district, South Mountain YMCA, Maplewood police Department, Green Team, Freewalkers, East Coast Greenway and local business.

Our volunteers are an essential element to this project! They are active and energetic members of the community that are excited about introducing physical activity through cycling. Our volunteers hope to put Maplewood in motion by increasing safety, protection and bicycle maintenance education to the youth of Maplewood.

Maplewood recognizes that building healthy surroundings for our community is not something that can be led by one individual or organization alone. It is a collaborative effort that must involve the entire community.

The key community decision-makers involved are Deputy Mayor Kathy Leventhal, Keith Knudsen, Director of Recreation and Judy LoBianco Supervisor of Health, Physical Education and Nursing in SO/MSD.

BIKE SAFETY and MAINTENANCE EVENT – Get your bike ready for spring! Wednesday, April 15th at 3:30PM in Memorial Park, at the Skate House on Oakview Road. Sponsored by Maplewood Loves Wellness.

http://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us/index.aspx?NID=466

http://www.maplewoodisgreen.org/

http://freewalkers.org/events/maplewood-south-mountain-reservation-walk

http://www.greenway.org/explore-by-state/nj