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Welcome to Essex County Online
WATSESSING PARK

HOST COMMUNITY - BLOOMFIELD

Named in honor of General Joseph Bloomfield—a Revolutionary soldier and officer in the War of 1812 who later became Governor of New Jersey. In 1812 it became independent of Newark. The name was voted by the people from Wardsesson or Watsessing. It was a mill town in the 19th century.

HOST COMMUNITY - EAST ORANGE

Known as the “crossroads of New Jersey,” founded March 4, 1863 and incorporated in 1909. The 2000 census recorded a population of 69,824, within its 3.9 square miles.

ACREAGE
69.67

LOCATION
Bloomfield Ave. & Conger St., Bloomfield
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HISTORIC PROFILE



THE ESSEX COUNTY LAWN BOWLING CLUB, 1959


THE NEW FIELD HOUSE, 1915

Watsessing Park is located on 69.67 acres in the Townships of Bloomfield and East Orange, in the eastern section of Essex County. The meandering Second River (originally “Wigwam Brook”), joined here by Toney's Brook, flows through this long open park bounded by the Garden State Parkway, Glenwood Avenue, Cleveland Terrace, Dodd Street, and Bloomfield Avenue. It is the fourth largest park in the county system.

The name was derived from the Lenni-Lenape Indians, whose words for hill, (Watschu) and stone (Assan), are combined.

Land acquisition for this park began in 1901 when ten acres were donated by the City of East Orange to the Park Commission. Designed in 1899 by the Olmsted Brothers firm, it has been enlarged considerably since that time but reduced slightly when construction of the Garden State Parkway required the taking of some of the acreage. Monies paid for the right-of-way by the State helped improve the Francis A. Byrne and Hendricks Field golf courses along with the South Mountain ice skating arena and Turtle Back Zoo.

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CURRENT IMPROVEMENTS

    • Pathway improvements
    Cost: $65,000 Completed in 2003
    • Installation of rubberized safety surface for playgrounds
    Cost: $230,000 Completed 2003
    • Revitalization of historic bandstand, basketball courts and park entrances
    Cost: $975,615 Completed in 2004
    • Improvements to Lawn Bowling Green
    Cost: $205,000 Completed in 2004
    • Renovation to the walking track, basketball courts, restrooms, lawn bowling building and park entrances
    Cost: $1,009,864 Completed in 2006
    • Opening of Off-Leash Dog Facility
    Completed in 2005
    • Renovation to the walking track, basketball courts, restrooms, lawn bowling building and park entrances
    Cost: $1,009,864 Completed in 2006
    • Modernization of Watsessing Park Field House for year-round use
    Cost: $672,200 Completed in 2008
    • Installation of synthetic surface lacrosse/soccer field and synthetic surface infield of walking track
    Cost: $$1,588,391 Completed in 2010

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DISTINGUISHING FEATURES

• Three playgrounds.
• Football, softball, and soccer fields.
• Basketball courts.
• Newly restored historic bandstand.
• Senior citizen recreation building.
• Formal entrance on Bloomfield Avenue faces town's municipal plaza.
• Elevated railroad tracks bisect the park in the Bloomfield portion.
• Elevated roadway for the Garden State Parkway runs along the eastern portion of the park.
• Toney's Brook and Second River.

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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From New Jersey: Route 280 to Garden State Parkway North. Take Exit 148. Follow the jughandle and turn right onto Bloomfield Avenue. 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 “Bloomfield Avenue and Conger Street” when obtaining driving directions from the Internet.

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PARK MAP
View the park map.

To print 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

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Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs
115 Clifton Ave, Newark, NJ 07104 ~ (T) 973-268-3500 ~ (F) 973-481-5302
 
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