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Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced construction to modernize the basketball and tennis courts in Essex County Glenfield Park was underway on Thursday, August 24th. The project is part of the County Executive’s ongoing initiative to continue the revitalization of the Essex County Parks System and provide up-to-date recreation facilities that meet the needs of the community.

“Essex County Glenfield Park is the focal point of Montclair’s Fourth Ward. Making sure our facilities are up to date is essential because this park is heavily used by students from Glenfield Middle School, recreation programs and members of the community,” DiVincenzo said. “Parks that offer modern facilities, such as these tennis and basketball courts, positively contribute to the vibrancy of the neighborhood, enhance property values and quality of life, and influence public health,” he added.

The two basketball courts and three tennis courts will be reconstructed with new asphalt surfaces, fencing and sports equipment. The courts were dedicated in 2015 as the “Robert S. Hurt Basketball Courts” in honor of the late Robert S. Hurt, who was the longtime junior varsity and assistant varsity basketball coach at Montclair High School. The courts were last redone in 2006 and needed to be replaced because of regular wear and tear.

“Parks are special areas because they contribute to the environmental and social justice, and public health of our communities. I anticipate the renovated courts will get a lot of use because Glenfield Park is such a beloved place,” NJ State Senator and Deputy Chief of Staff Teresa Ruiz said.

“Glenfield Park represents the heart and soul of Montclair and its Fourth Ward. Residents take what happens in this park very seriously because it is part of the neighborhood’s DNA. The upgrades to the recreation facilities will be well-received,” Assembly Speaker Emeritus Sheila Oliver said.

“I applaud the County Executive for continuing to come up with ideas to make our parks better. Improvements such as this impact our residents’ quality of life,” Freeholder Patricia Sebold said. “The difference that the refurbished tennis and basketball courts will make will be amazing. I am proud to partner with the County Executive and look forward to future projects,” Freeholder Len Luciano said.

“When I was growing up, Glenfield Park was my summer retreat, but it did not look as good as it does today. It is so gratifying to participate with the County Executive to improve our community,” said Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson, who also serves as Essex County Administrator.

“When it comes to Glenfield Park, I see a mosaic of people playing baseball, basketball and tennis and a vibrant senior program in the community building. Joe D. has done a tremendous job with our parks and we are looking forward to the renovations,” Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation Executive Director Albert Pelham said.

The improvements were designed in-house by the Essex County Department of Public Works, which is also monitoring the project to ensure delays are avoided. Shauger Property Services of East Orange was awarded a publicly-bid contract for $353,275 to perform the construction. The project is being funded with a grant from the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund Advisory Board. Work started in early August and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.

Revitalizing Essex County Glenfield Park

In 2015, the playground and restroom building received a facelift. In 2009, the community center was named as the “Essex County Wally Choice Community Center” in honor of Montclair resident Wally Choice, who has been President and Executive Director of Montclair Grass Roots, a community organization that has provided recreation and educational enrichment programs for children, for half a century. In addition, the football field and two softball diamonds were modernized that same year. The football field and softball diamond near the community center were upgraded with new irrigation and drainage systems and resurfaced with sod to improve playing conditions. Football and soccer goals were installed on the field. A synthetic grass surface was installed on the softball field in the eastern section of the park.

In 2006, a major facelift included rehabilitating the tennis and basketball courts, developing a new horseshoe pit, repairing the perimeter wrought iron fence, installing an eight-station exercise course, enhancing the aesthetics of the park entranceways, installing new picnic tables, repairing the community building and field house, and removing dead trees and branches. Essex County partnered with Montclair Grass Roots to obtain funding from the New Jersey Green Acres program and the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund.

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, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.


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