The Morris Park Alliance supports the Morris County Park Commission in its efforts to provide conservation, recreation, education, and interpretation of historic and natural resources. The Alliance does this through fundraising, grants, and community partnerships.
Support the Morris Park Alliance
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2017 Morris Park Alliance Awards
The first annual Morris Park Alliance Community Awards Dinner was held at the Haggerty Education Center this October. Eight first place awards were presented to Morris County communities and organizations. Congratulations to:
Park Master Plan – Randolph
Outstanding Facility – Mount Olive
Operations – Randolph Community Center
Environmental Organization - POWWW, Denville
Community Organization – Chester Trails
Elected Official – Mayor Thomas Andes
Outstanding Facility – Landing Recreation Complex, Roxbury
Outstanding Program – Yellow Card/SPEC – Randolph
Awards of Merit
Mayor Rob Greenbaum, Mount Olive, Elected Official
Morris Township Pool Renovations, Outstanding Facility
Do or Dye Run, Mount Olive, Outstanding Program
Alliance Project Named National Pilot Site
The Park Alliance is pleased to announce that one of the projects of the Connect to Walk grant has been chosen as a national pilot location for the Safe Routes to Parks Framework. The National Recreation and Park Association in collaboration with the Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership created the framework. The intent is to increase safe access and improve health outcomes in the communities within the program. Here in Morris County, the pilot is the Connect to Walk project site at Hugh Force County Park in Wharton. The Connect to Walk effort seeks to recommend trails, paths, sidewalks, and street access for walkers and bikers while educating the community about the benefits of walking and biking. As one of only ten sites nationwide to be part of the pilot program, the project receives technical assistance and evidence based guidance to develop policies and practices for safe and equitable access to parks and walking amenities for all. The Connect to walk team includes local government employees, interested citizens, and student workers from The Nomad Group. Participating communities include Morristown, Dover, and Rockaway Township along with Wharton.
Jets Play 60 All Access Playground
The Jets Play 60 All Access Playground is one of the most popular places in the park system! The playground was designed with the idea that all children should be able to play together. It is unlike any other playground in the area, and has become a regional attraction in a very short time. Staff is investigating a replacement for the wheelchair swing that has been removed from one of the swing bays due to safety concerns. Plans are to replace the swing by summer 2018. To support the playground, use the Donate button on this page. A donation of $250 receives a commemorative balloon plaque placed on the fence.
Winners of Summers Contests Announced
The winning family of the Summer Park Scavenger Hunt is the Crerand Family of Lake Hiawatha.
The winner of the Outdoor Game Pack from National Night Out was Lissette Giacobbe
The winner of the Park Fun Pack from Fall Festival on the Green in Morristown was Grant Gilker of Morristown
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center Exhibits
Many of the exhibits at the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center in Chatham Township were kindly created by volunteers when the Center opened – 50 years ago! An effort is underway to create new exhibits that bring the animals and plants of the swamp, and the importance of this ecosystem, to children and adults as they visit the Center. The Center is a buffer between man and nature and it is home to several critical habitats. We are assisted in the design of the exhibits by generous staff from Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Your support for the fabrication of the new exhibits would be greatly appreciated.
Picnic Shelter at Central Park of Morris County
The seasonal tent that is erected each spring at Central Park of Morris County is widely used for company picnics, birthday parties, event registration, and other outings. The Park Commission has asked the Alliance to consider fundraising to replace the tent with a permanent picnic shelter. In undertaking this project, the Park Alliance hopes to receive corporate support from area businesses. Price estimates are presently being determined prior to the start of fundraising efforts.
Annual Golf Outing
The winning team of the 2017 Park Alliance golf outing is from Nisivoccia, LLP (CPA’s/RMA’s). Members of the team are Bill Schroeder, John Mooney, Taylor Meytrott, and Samir Elbassiosny. With a score of 57, this foursome outscored the next two teams, which came in with scores of 61. Second place went to Tom O’Dowd, Jim O’Dowd and Scott Myers, while third place with a tie score, went to John Suminski, Lee Suminski, Russ Felter, and Ed McCarthy. Taking the prize for longest drive was Ray McGrath and closest to the pin with a measurement of 2 feet, 1 inch was Dennis O’Dowd. Congratulations to all the winners and a special thank you to the golfers who supported this year’s projects!
The Don Palmer Memorial Internship Program
Langdon "Don" Palmer was a Park Commissioner and a leader in land conservation in Morris County. Don was at the forefront of establishing the Morris County Open Space and Farmland Preservation Fund. He also served as Chairman of The Nature Conservancy and President of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. He was a leader of The Trust for Public Land, Morris Land Conservancy, Washington Township Land Trust, and the Morris County Agricultural Development Board.
Upon his passing, Don's friends established the Don Palmer Memorial Internship Fund in 2000. Since then grants of $2000 have been provided for two internships to non-profit or government agencies for projects related to conservation, open space, and natural resource protection.
The applications for these grants are generally available in the spring of each year for use within that calendar year. A final report of the intern's activities is due by December 31. For more information, contact the Park Alliance office at 973.631.527.
Other donation opportunities
- Stars Plaza at Mennen Arena – recognize and honor a family member, team, hockey player, skater, coach, etc. with a commemorative brick on the entrance plaza.
- Dog Parks – support is provided for supplies and equipment at both Lewis Morris Park and Central Park
- Child ID Program – The Park Police host Child ID events throughout the year, including at National Night Out, held at Mennen Arena in August
If you are interested in supporting one of these projects, or another program or facility of the Park Commission, please contact the Morris Park Alliance by phone at 973.631.5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Directors
The Alliance is led by a group of dedicated volunteers who meet on a monthly basis. Each board member personally supports the projects of the Alliance with annual donations. The current members of the board are:
- Tom O’Dowd, President
- Dr. Joe Nazzaro, Vice President
- Tom Semler, Treasurer
- Joan Barbarula, Secretary
- Francis P. Alai
- Adrienne Bliss Brown
- Stephanie Brumby
- Pam Fischer
- Paul Yarosz
- Stuart Lasser, Park Commission Liaison
- Patrick Lobdell
- Vincent Maffucci
- Christopher Martin
- Dr. Bette Simmons
- Maryanne Spatola
- John Van Brunt