FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2006
ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO THANKS VOLUNTEERS FOR MAKING THE ESSEX COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER A SUCCESS IN ITS FIRST YEAR
Laboratory is Named in Honor of the Late Jonathan Forsell
Lobby is Named in Honor of the Late Bill Brach
Classroom is Named in Honor of The Prudential Foundation
Library is Named in Honor of the Goldring Family Foundation
Roseland, NJ – On Wednesday, April 19th, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. recognized 56 volunteers and organizations who helped contribute to the success of the Essex County Environmental Center in its first year of operation. During the “Celebrating Volunteers Awards Ceremony” at the Environmental Center, the County Executive also dedicated several rooms in the Environmental Center in honor of residents and corporations who shared his dream of creating the Center and helped make it become a reality.
“Thank you to all our volunteers, partner agencies and contributors that have helped make our Environmental Center a success,” DiVincenzo said. “Our facility is a tremendous educational and exciting resource for people of all ages, especially our children. This is a place where they can learn about our environment and get a better understanding and appreciation of nature,” he added.
“During our first year, we have welcomed more than 6,000 visitors and our Environmental Center has become the epicenter of environmental programs and learning,” the Executive noted. “This success would not have been possible without our volunteers and partner agencies who have collaborated with us because they want to help their community and the environment. From running programs, cleaning our grounds, leading field trips and answering phones, our partners have helped to make the Essex County Environmental Center a first class facility,” he added.
DiVincenzo dedicated four rooms in the Environmental Center in honor of those who shared his vision for the nature and education facility.
- ¨ The laboratory was named in honor of the late Jonathan Forsell, a Program Coordinator with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Forsell was a highly regarded environmentalist who worked closely with the Master Gardeners and provided Essex County with advice on various environmental issues.
- ¨ The lobby was named in honor of the late Bill Brach, a Montclair resident who supported the County Executive’s idea for the Center and helped establish a partnership between Essex County and the New Jersey Audubon Society.
- ¨ The classroom was named in honor of The Prudential Foundation, which donated $75,000 to furnish the Center.
- ¨ The library was named in honor of The Goldring Family Foundation, a Short Hills-based philanthropic organization which donated $40,000 to purchase a state-of-the-art sound system and other technological equipment.
Groups receiving recognition were the Essex County Environmental Commission, the Essex County Environmental Center Program Advisory Group and the partner agencies of the Environmental Center, which includes the Essex County Beekeepers Society, Inc., the New Jersey Audubon Society, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, the Master Gardeners of Essex County, the Essex County 4-H Club and the Sierra Club. Individuals were recognized for maintaining the grounds and gardens, volunteering at OctoberFest, running field trips, leading hikes and helping with office work. Individuals who received certificates for volunteering are as follows:
Bernardsville: Mike Anderson, Thomas J. Gilmore
Bloomfield: Joan Gorman, Dot Kampenhausen, Florence Rollino
Boonton: Landi Simone
Caldwell: Jane Kinkle, Ann and Warren Marchioni
Cape May Courthouse: Dale Rosselet
Caldwell: David Ogens, John Vincent Racioppi
Dover: Rebecca Pine
East Hanover: Kristin Blake, Stephanie Damiano, Alice Faller
Fairfield: Mike Mazur, Sue Mazur
Florham Park: Karen Johannessen
Fords: Grant Stiles
Glen Ridge: Teresa Doss
Irvington: Janet Keeler, Kim Thompson-Gaddy
Livingston: Alison Clark, Mechelle Norton, Richard Ryan
Maplewood: Daniel Gordon, Elton Neivert
Montclair: Cary Africk, Andrew Bertino-Reibstein, Russell J. Furnari, Merwin Kinkade, Fran and Bob Kroeckel
Newark: Gina Mongeillo, Louches Powell, Elyssa Serilli, Jan Zientek
Newton: Joseph M. Bonavita, Cathie Skove
North Caldwell: Adam Agins, Joseph Lelinho, Cristin Mustillo
Rockaway: Carmella Passaro
South Orange: Kirk R. Barrett, Walter Clarke
Verona: Catherine Gillen, Helen Stack
West Caldwell: Maura Lincoln, Anthony Oszmianski
West Orange: Susie Butler, Thelma Carnegie, Michel Cuillerier, Joanne Kornoelje, Mark Kushner, A. Knadya O’Kelly, Ron Pate, Maria Wakenfield, Bernard Wallerstein
West Paterson: Walter Goldenbaum
Westfield: James Nichnadowicz
Generations of Essex County children were once able to get close to and learn about nature at the Essex County Environmental Center. When the old facility closed in the mid-1990s because of budget constraints, an educational void was created. County Executive DiVincenzo understood the importance of the Environmental Center and promised to revive the facility. Utilizing grants from the Federal government, the New Jersey Green Acres program, Essex County Open Space Trust Fund and corporate donations, the new, state-of-the-art Environmental Center was opened within two years. The facility offers an exciting curriculum with cutting edge topics and interactive activities.
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 17 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range and an off-leash dog facility.
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