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Belleville, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced on Friday, May 12th that construction to upgrade the playground in Essex County Belleville Park in Belleville has been completed. The project is part of the County Executive’s initiative to provide modern recreation facilities throughout the Essex County Parks System.

“Having safe and up-to-date playgrounds assist with the development of our youth and are essential to providing meaningful recreation opportunities for our children. Playgrounds are places where they form friendships, get exercise and enjoy the outdoors,” DiVincenzo said.

The original playground was installed in 2005 and was showing signs of wear and tear from regular use. The old equipment and safety surface were completely removed and replaced with new, modern apparatus and a new rubberized safety surface. The new facility has a variety of apparatus to climb and slide on for children ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12, as well as swings and a cargo net climber. The butterfly theme that was incorporated into the old playground was preserved in the new design with the playground surface built in the shape of a butterfly. New brick-paved pathways leading to the playground were installed as well as park benches and trash receptacles.

Remington and Vernick from Secaucus received a $52,000 contract to design the new playground. Shauger Property Services from East Orange was awarded a publicly bid contract for $875,174 to perform the construction work. The Essex County Department of Public Works monitored the project to ensure delays are avoided. The playground was funded through the Essex County Capital Budget and with grants from the NJ Green Acres program and the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund. Work stared in September 2016.

Revitalizing Essex County Belleville Park

The senior building received a facelift in 2014 as part of a $354,972 project. In 2005, a new restroom building was constructed in the park along with the original playground as part of a $948,914 project funded with grants from the NJ 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 22 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. At 32.7 acres, Belleville Park is the eighth-largest park in Essex County’s system. Land for the park was purchased in 1915 and construction of the park was completed in 1922.