“Preservation of this land for passive recreation and a community center
fulfills a promise we made in 2007
to minimize development on the old hospital complex.
Essex County is one of the most densely populated counties
on the East Coast and creating 77 acres of open space will maintain the suburban character of Cedar Grove, provide additional recreation opportunities and enhance residents’ quality of life,” DiVincenzo said.
“One of the main features of the Park will be the Essex County Robert J. O’Toole Community Center, named for retired Mayor and Councilman Robert J. O’Toole. Mr. O’Toole has served his community for half a century and was a staunch advocate for limiting development on the property.
We can think of no more appropriate person after whom to name the building."
“I am really humbled and honored by all this.
I want to thank the County Executive for his promise of creating
a new park in Cedar Grove and for following through to ensure it happens.
This is a great honor,” Robert O’Toole said.
“My family and I are deeply honored to have the new
community center in Cedar Grove named after our father, Robert O’Toole.
Ever since moving his young family to Cedar Grove in 1962,
my father has devoted his life to service to our town.
We are deeply proud that his contributions to our beloved hometown will forever be immortalized on our new community center,” said Senator O’Toole.
“The preservation of open space is important to an area as developed as Essex County and Cedar Grove. We hope that individuals and families come here and enjoy this park,” Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin said.
“I also want to pay my respects to Robert O’Toole.
When you look at him and his family, and their contributions to their township, county and state, naming this building after him is a fitting honor."
“You can see the great example of serving the community
that Mr. O’Toole instilled in his family,”
NJ State Senator and Deputy Chief of Staff Teresa Ruiz said.
“The 77-acre park preserves critical open space in a suburban neighborhood."
“This is a great and well-deserved tribute to Mr. O’Toole,
who has been a great civic leader in Cedar Grove for many years,”
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said.
“Preserving this land as open space will benefit generations to come."
“It is with pride and pleasure that the Board of Freeholders
partners with the County Executive on projects such as this.
The creation of open space and protecting the environment
are important issues and this park is an example of different
levels of government working together for the betterment of the community,”
said Freeholder Vice President Brendan Gill.
“Our Essex County parks have become sanctuaries.
They are important because people need tranquil places where they can
escape and relax,” Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.
“Mr. O’Toole has served his country honorably in the military
and through his community service to the township and the county."
“Mr. O’Toole has truly left his mark on our community
and his name certainly has become synonymous with community service,”
Cedar Grove Mayor Joseph Chiusolo said.
“This community center will become the pulse of Cedar Grove
and it is a well-deserved honor for Mr. O’Toole,” added the Mayor,
who was joined by Cedar Grove Councilmen
Romeo Longo, Peter Tanella and Harry Kumburis.
Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.
465 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Newark, NJ 07102
Essex County Cedar Grove Park is the fifth new park to be added to the Essex County Park System since 2007. The 11-acre Essex County Kip’s Castle Park in Montclair and Verona was preserved in 2007, the 10-acre Presby Memorial Iris Gardens was preserved in 2009, the 2.7-acre Essex County Veterans Memorial Park in the Essex County Government Complex in Newark was opened in 2009 and the 12.3-acre Essex County Riverfront Park was created in 2012.
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 23 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.