side
Download Park Maps:

Park Directions:
<MMString:LoadString id="insertbar/formsTextfield" />
Welcome to Essex County Online
MONTE IRVIN ORANGE PARK
HOST COMMUNITY - ORANGE

Orange was the name selected at a mass meeting in June 1780 for the large tract in Newark known as "Newark Mountains." In 1860 Orange became incorporated. A major industrial effort here was the manufacture of hats.

ACREAGE
47.63

LOCATION
Center St. & Harrison St., Orange
top

HISTORIC PROFILE


THE FLOWER GARDEN AT THE SOUTHERN END, 1901


FUN IN THE WATER, 1914

Orange Park, considered to be part of the original county park system designed by the Olmsted Brothers, is a beautiful 47.63-acre park situated between Central Avenue and Center and Harrison Streets in the City of Orange. It's the park system's sixth largest park.

Property for Orange Park was purchased in 1897, making it one of the nation's oldest parks. Such a large acquisition was thought wise at that time because it was the only available open space within the city's limits and these areas were rapidly disappearing. Originally the land was low and marshy and served as a catch basin for surface water from the surrounding territory. By 1899, the land was completely under-drained and converted from a marshy bog into a beautiful and usable playground. A small lake was excavated near the center of the park. Little planting was necessary due to the fine character and abundance of trees on this land. In 1986 the vehicular through-roadway was eliminated, restoring the pastoral setting for recreational activities, as originally intended.

Credit for the inception of the Essex County Park System belongs to an Orange resident. Frederick W. Kelsey presented a resolution at a meeting of the Board of Trade on December 6, 1893, which was unanimously adopted, "that legislation may obtain at an early date that will enable the growing commonwealths in this portion of the State to provide a system of parks and parkways."

Subsequently legislation was introduced which became a chapter of Laws of 1894, providing for the establishment of the parks, and giving the Supreme Court Justices authority to name the commission of five citizens to have general supervision.

Negotiations were carried on by the Park Commission for the acquisition of the tract bounded by Center and Harrison Streets and Central Avenue. A sum of $17,500 secured the deal and the Commission declared that Orange would be provided with a park. An additional $100,000 was set aside for the purchase of necessary land to be incorporated in the park. The informal opening occurred on August 25, 1900.


top

CURRENT IMPROVEMENTS

    CURRENT IMPROVEMENTS
    • Installation of new equipment and rubberized safety surface in playground
    Cost: $505,139 Status: Completed in 2004
    • Renovation of basketball court and construction of new restroom building
    Cost: $1,272,507 Status: Completed in 2006
    • Renovation of park entrances, gardens, ball fields, pathways and lighting and dedication of Memorial to Orange Detective Kieran Shields
    Cost: $1,272,507 Status: Completed in 2007
    • Development of synthetic grass surface soccer field
    Cost: $1,026,840 Status: Completed in 2009

top

DISTINGUISHING FEATURES

• Football and soccer fields.
• Jogging path.
• Fishing pond: 1 ½ acres
• Lighted basketball court.
• Softball fields.
• Playground.

top

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From New Jersey: Take Route 280 West to Exit 11B/Center Street. Turn left onto South Day Street. Turn left onto Capuchin Way. Turn right onto Center Street. Park is on the left.

From New York: George Washington Bridge or Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey Turnpike South. Take Exit 15W for Route 280 West. Follow above directions.

Use the intersection of “Center Street and Harrison Street” when obtaining driving directions from the Internet.

top

PARK MAP
View the park map.

To view the park map (pdf) you will need the adobe acrobat reader. This image is 100 dpi, ensuring clear printing and requires a short download time.
Download Viewer

top
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs
115 Clifton Ave, Newark, NJ 07104 ~ (T) 973-268-3500 ~ (F) 973-481-5302
 
If you have any comments on features you would like to see on this site or any other feedback, please email: joedi@admin.essexcountynj.org