Loading
Untitled Document

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2010

ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO UNVEILS PLANS TO EXPAND RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES AT ESSEX COUNTY SOUTH MOUNTAIN RECREATION COMPLEX WITH MINIATURE GOLF COURSE,
RESTAURANT AND PARKING FACILITY

 

West Orange, NJ - Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. outlined plans to expand recreation opportunities in Essex County South Mountain Reservation on Monday, January 25th. The initiative calls for developing an African continent-themed miniature golf course, lake view restaurant and surface parking lot on County-owned property at the corner of Northfield Avenue and Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange. The new complex will be part of the newly-named "Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex," which will also include Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Richard J. Codey Arena and the Essex County Park N Ride.

"The County-owned property at the intersection of Northfield Avenue and Pleasant Valley Way has tremendous potential because of its prime location in South Mountain Reservation and its easy access from major highways. Our proposal will provide family-friendly and affordable entertainment facilities to compliment Turtle Back Zoo and Codey Arena," DiVincenzo said. "Developing the corner property will further transform our complex into a recreation destination," he added.

The miniature golf course, designed in the shape of the African continent, features areas representing three habitats: the African Congo, the Sahara Desert and the African Grasslands. There are a total of 21 holes, and each hole highlights a natural feature or animal found on the continent. Some of the holes are Quick Sand, The Pyramids of Gisa, Rhino Run, Shark Frenzy, Mount Kilimanjaro, Elephant Tusk, Up the Congo River without a Paddle, and The Oasis. The entrance will resemble an African hut and include a ticket counter, rental area for golf clubs and balls, concession area, restrooms and storage. A nearby picnic area will have tables with umbrellas.

The proposed 12,000-square-foot restaurant will be family-oriented. The Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the Essex County Improvement Authority are currently soliciting proposals from vendors who would develop and operate the restaurant. Interested vendors can obtain copies of the Request for Information by visiting the Essex County web site www.essexcountynj.org and clicking on the link to the Purchasing Portal or by directly visiting the Essex County Purchasing Portal at http://purchasing.essexcountynj.org. Proposals must be submitted by Monday, February 1, 2010 at 3 p.m.

The 300-car parking lot is designed to resemble a park and will be enhanced with beautiful landscaping. The parking will be for patrons visiting the miniature golf course and restaurant, but will also provide overflow parking for visitors to Turtle Back Zoo and Codey Arena. Shuttle buses will be used to transport patrons from the new parking lot to the Zoo and Arena. Wrought iron fencing and a sidewalk will be installed around the outside of the new recreation area.

DiVincenzo noted that negotiations with the City of Orange to obtain access to the nearby Orange Reservoir for boating are still ongoing, which would be added when an agreement is reached. The miniature golf course, restaurant and parking area are all located on County-owned land.

The new 36-acre complex will be named "Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex," and includes Turtle Back Zoo, Richard J. Codey Arena, the three-story Park N Ride facility, the miniature golf course, restaurant and 300-space surface parking lot. The County Executive noted that new signage to "brand" the complex is being designed and will be instituted at the site later this year.

Work on the miniature golf course and surface parking area is anticipated to begin in the spring 2010. A vendor to operate the restaurant will be chosen before construction of the restaurant will begin. The development will be funded through the Essex County Improvement Authority's Pooled Government Loan Program and the Essex County Capital Budget.

Revitalizing the Essex County South Mountain Complex and Reservation

Since taking office, the DiVincenzo administration has made over $20 million worth of improvements to Turtle Back Zoo, introduced new natural habitat exhibits and developed new amenities such as the Carousel. The upgrades have been funded with grants received from the NJ Green Acres program, donations from corporations or philanthropic organizations. The Zoo earned accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and, in each of the last four years, new attendance records have been set and the facility is on pace to welcome over 450,000 visitors in 2009. For the second consecutive year Turtle Back will be a self-sustaining facility, meaning the amount of revenue it creates will exceed its operating budget. Traditionally, admission fees make up just 30 percent of zoo revenues.

Codey Arena also has received a major, $12 million renovation, the first major improvements in the arena's history, in September 2005. The improvements transformed the building into a premiere ice skating facility and made it able to accommodate other events, such as concerts, boxing events and carnivals. The project was funded, in part, with grants from the State of New Jersey, the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund and the Casino Reinvestment Development Corporation. It was the first time Essex County received a CRDA grant.

The Essex County South Mountain Park N Ride was opened in 2004 and accommodates 477 vehicles. The facility provides safe and convenient parking for commuters traveling to New York City as well as much-needed parking for special events at the Arena and Turtle Back Zoo. It was funded with a grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

The proposal to develop the former archery field is the latest project being undertaken by the DiVincenzo administration to enhance South Mountain Reservation.

Working with the South Mountain Conservancy, a project to accelerate the regrowth of the forest understory in South Mountain Reservation was completed earlier this year. A total of 42 enclosures were constructed to protect the more than 10,000 native plant species that were reintroduced to the Reservation. The planting is part of an ongoing initiative to reverse damage at the Reservation caused by years of neglect and overbrowsing by deer.

In 2005, a series of improvements were made to repair hiking trails, address erosion problems and improve access to the reservation. In 2006, Essex County and the Conservancy developed a Master Plan that provides a comprehensive overview of South Mountain Reservation and recommends a series of upgrades be made to maintain and revitalize the area. The 2-acre South Mountain Dog Park was opened in July 2006 and has become a popular attraction on Crest Drive. These projects were 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 20 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. Essex County's South Mountain Reservation covers 2,047.14 acres and is located in West Orange, Maplewood and South Orange. It is the largest reservation in Essex County.

 
 
 
Video
Press Release
November 24, 2014
ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO AND BOARD OF FREEHOLDERS DEDICATE “BLONNIE R. WATSON CONFERENCE ROOM” IN HONOR OF RETIRING FREEHOLDER PRESIDENT Blonnie Watson Tied Record for Longest Serving Freeholder President
November 05, 2014
ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO HOSTS FIFTH ANNUAL VETERANS DAY OBSERVANCE AT ESSEX COUNTY VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK Recognizes the Contribution of the Late Joseph Fornarotto, Veterans Activist
October 27, 2014
ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF ANNUAL ESSEX COUNTY CANINE HALLOWEEN CONSTUME CONTESTS Strut Your Mutt Events Held at Brookdale Dog Park and South Mountain Dog Park
October 22, 2014
ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO PRESENTS $4.8 MILLION IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS AND EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANTS 14 Municipalities and 36 Non-Profit Organizations Receive Funding for Infrastructure Improvements, Community Programs and Buildi
October 15, 2014
ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO HOSTS ANNUAL ESSEX COUNTY LATINO HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATION Estrella del Condado de Essex Awards are Presented to NJ Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Newark Municipal Court Chief Judge Victoria F. Pratt
October 14, 2014
ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO AND THE ESSEX COUNTY RECREATION AND OPEN SPACE TRUST FUND ADVISORY BOARD AWARD $3.3 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR MUNICIPAL PROJECTS 2014 Local Aid Program Supports Park Development, Open Space Acquisition and Historic Preservat
October 10, 2014
ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF EXERCISE COURSE IN ESSEX COUNTY IVY HILL PARK IS COMPLETE
Untitled Document
  • Top Links
  • Events
  • Public Notice
  • Partners
Top Links
High School Proficiency Test
Report a Pothole
Employment Application
Family Justice Center
Essex County Wellness Program Card
2014 Online Applications for Local Arts and History
Essex County Budgets
Mosquito Control
Birth, Marriage & Death Certificate Information
Mobile Citizen Services Office
Golf
Business Opportunities
Join the Essex Enews!!
OPRA
Directions to Hall of Records
Stay Connected
   
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. presents the Essex County Teamwork Award Monthly.
View Past Awards

Community Development Representatives’ Meeting- December 11

Reprogramming Unused 2013 Funds

Continuum of Care Homelessness Assistance Program Application- Due October 3

PUBLIC NOTICE - Workfirst NJ Review Committee 9-11-14 flyer

PUBLIC NOTICE - Recreation Oversight Committee 9-15-14 flyer

Title I Funding for Various Community Projects

Reprogrammed CDBG Funds- Hearing August 21

2015 Senior Citizens and Disabled Residents Transportation Assistance Program

HOME Investment Partnership Program- Project Live

Public Hearing on Caper- July 17

Reprogramming of CDBG Funds
CDBG Reprogramming Funds Application

 

 

 

FONSI 2013 Lyons Ave. Repaid Funds

Cerebral Palsy-Amended 525 Pleasant Valley Way WO

Fifth Program Year Action Plan for Consolidated Action Plan

2014 CDBG Amendment

2014 One-Year Action Plan for CDBG, HOME & ESG

HOME Funds Load to ARC of Essex County

2014 Deer Management Program
-Program Notice -Program Guidelines

Community Development Representatives Meeting
Harvard Printing Development
Belleville Senior Housing Project: NOTICE TO PUBLIC OF INTENT TO CONSIDER PROPOSED ACTION IN A 100 YEAR FLOOD PLAIN
Belleville Senior Housing Project: Final Notice and Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity in a 100-Year Floodplain
2013 ESG Reprogramming Application
FONSI Statement for Various Projects
Reprogramming of ESG Funds: Deadline November 12
Apostle House Renovations
2012 CAPER
HOME Funding: Low-Income Housing in Orange
CDBG Annual Report: Available August 28
HOME Funds for HANDS: Hearing on August 1
HOME Funds for The ARC of Essex County: Hearing on August 1
Belleville Traffic Signal: Impact Statement and Release of Funds
High Street Heights Public Hearing: August 5
Part Time Guides for Treetop Adventure Course and Paddle Boat Attraction
Belleville Intersection Upgrade: CDBG Notice
2010-2014 Consolidated Plan: 2013 One Year Action Plan
2013 CDBG Program: Public Comment Period
Essex County First Time Homebuyer Program
South Orange Avenue Upgrades
Reprogramming CDBG Funds
2013 HOME Investment Partnership Program
2011 CAPER
English - Spanish
CDBG Amendment to 2010-2014 Action Plan

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) OBJECTIVES & PROJECTED USE OF FUNDS
Public-Notice | Action-Plan

2013 Essex County Local Arts Grant Program
- Guidelines
- Grant Application Budget Charts
2013 Essex County Local History Grant Program
-Guidelines
-Finance Charts

 

Untitled Document
Partner Links
   
2-1-1 Information