Awards for Essex County Department of Parks


The Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs was presented with four awards of excellence at the annual New Jersey Recreation and Parks Association convention, held in Atlantic City on March 10.

The Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex was named the “Best Recreation Complex in New Jersey.”

In addition, the Cherry Blossom Festival Brochure received an Excellence in Brochure Award, the Historic Holiday House Tour received an Excellence in Programming Award and the Branch Brook Park Alliance’s Barbara Bell Coleman, one of the founding members of the grassroots Branch Brook Park Alliance, was recognized with an Excellence in Volunteering Award.

Recent additions at the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex have included the development of several new attractions around the Orange Reservoir, including a 19-hole mini-golf course, McLoone’s Boathouse Restaurant, a 1.7-mile walkway around the Reservoir, the Clipper Picnic Pavilion and Regatta Children’s Playground.

The Cherry Blossom brochure provides information about the Annual Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival, which focuses on the beauty and natural wonder of the blossoming cherry trees in Essex County Branch Brook Park. The two-week festival in April includes bicycle races, a 10K run, Children’s 1-mile Fun Run, Family Day Festival and Bloomfest, a one-day community event that highlights Japanese culture and community organizations.

Started in 2008, the Essex County Historic Holiday House Tour has grown to include 17 historic sites located throughout Essex County. The self-guided tour occurs over one weekend when each site is decorated for the winter holidays and offers something unique, such as musical entertainment, refreshments or educational programs. The tour provides a glimpse into Essex County’s history.



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