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The Newark Experience: Parks, Playgrounds, and Other Recreational Facilities

City Department

Neighborhood and Recreational Services
"The mission of the Department...is to provide services that promote a clean, safe, and attractive environment and to ensure that diversified recreational and cultural activities are developed and implemented for all citizens of Newark to enjoy."

Essex County Parks

Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs
"The Department is charged with overseeing the Essex County Park System, which...includes parkland in all of the County's 22 municipalities."

Essex County Park Profiles
Profile, history, and map of each park in the Essex County Park system.

Passaic River Waterfront

Newark Riverfront Revival
An initiative of the Newark Planning Office. Archive of news and activities back to 2008. In 2012 Newark’s first segment of riverfront park opened to the public with over twelve acres of athletic fields, playgrounds, and walking paths.

A Development Plan for the Newark Passaic Riverfront, Downtown Newark, New Jersey: Final Report.
Wallace, Roberts & Todd. Philadelphia, Pa., 1983. Available?

Joseph G. Minish Passaic River Waterfront Park and Historic Area, Newark, NJ
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (New York District) Fact Sheet.

Newark Waterfront: Visioning a Waterfront Place for Downtown Newark
Newark Waterfront Community Access Study (NWCAS). (2003)

Parks, Playgrounds, and Other Recreational Facilities

Newark Yacht Club
Postcard dated October 9, 1906
A Public Recreation System for Newark: Suggestions and Recommendations by the City Plan Commission.
Newark, N.J. City Plan Commission. 1915.
"A brief review, from the city-planning standpoint, of the value of a comprehensive system of public recreation."
Preliminary Report on Parks, Playgrounds, Recreational Facilities and Schools for Newark, New Jersey.
Harland Bartholomew & Associates. Newark, N.J., 1946. Available?
Safety on our Playgrounds: A Guide for Effective Safety Instruction
Newark, N.J., Newark Board of Education, 1955.
National Urban Recreation Study, New York/Newark/Jersey City.
U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. Northeast Region. Denver, 1977.Available?
A Recreation Study Report: Report no. 1: Recreation Study to Determine Needs of the School Age Population of the City in All Five Wards.
Newark, N.J., Division of City Planning, 1989. Available?
Land Use Element of the Master Plan for the City of Newark: Appendices.
Prepared by the City of Newark Department of Economic and Housing Development and Philips Preiss Shapiro Associates, Inc., for the Central Planning Board. Newark, 2004.
  • Appendix B: Inventory of Public Parks, Open Space and Recreational Facilities
The Rationale for Preserving Neighborhood Open Space in Newark, New Jersey's North Ward
Stephen M. Wiessner. Thesis (M.S.). Newark, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 2003.
"A study was conducted to determine the shifts in open space availability between 1950 and 2003 in four neighborhoods in the North Ward of Newark, New Jersey. Total open space in square feet and open spaces ten thousand square feet and less were quantified to determine the extent of usable open space for the creation of community gardens or vest pocket parks. The study identified large reductions of open space recently in the two least affluent study areas."
Newark, New Jersey: An Open Space Analysis.
Peter Harnik. Morristown, N.J., The Trust for Public Land, 2004.
Brief history of city parks in Newark; Newark parks today and the possibilities for meeting the need for more recreational areas. Appendices (Maps): Newark Parkland and Buffers; Access to Parks by Income; Children's Access to Parks.
Dynamics of School Playground Use in Low-Income Neighborhoods: Four Case Studies From Newark, New Jersey.
Caryn Schneider Yaacov. Thesis (Ph.D), Newark, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 2009. Available?

Newark Parks

Branch Brook Park

Branch Brook Park
Historical timeline. Park originally (1895) designed by the firm of John Bogart and Nathan F. Barrett; design revised by Frederick Law and John Charles Olmsted (1900).
History of the Park and Critical Periods of Development
Cultural Landscape Report, Treatment, and Management Plan for Branch Brook Park, Newark, New Jersey:Volume 2. Prepared for the Branch Brook Park Alliance and the Essex County Department of Parks. November 2002.
Branch Brook Park.
Kathleen P. Galop and Catharine Longendyck. Charleston, S.C., Arcadia, 2007.
Part of the "Images of America" series. Available?
Cherry Blossom Land at Branch Brook Park: A Bamberger Fuld Legacy.
Christine Baker. Bloomington, Ind., Authorhouse, 2010. Available?
Interpretive Guide: Centennial Trail, Branch Brook Park, Newark, NJ
Newark, N.J., Greater Newark Conservancy, 1995?
Branch Brook Park
Photographs by Ace (Armando) Alagna. Seton Hall University eRepository.
The Rink
DVD. Sarah Friedland, director & editor. Perinspire, 2012.
Documentary on the Branch Brook Park Roller Rink, one of the few remaining urban rinks of its kind. Available?
Branch Brook Park, circa 1907-1910. Postcard

Weequahic Park

Great Public Spaces: Weequahic Park
Weequahic Park is the second largest developed park in Essex County.
Weequahic Park
Maps, images, and newspaper articles from the Newark Park (Old Newark) site.
Saving a Park: The Weequahic Park Story
WIlbur J. McNeil. Newark, N.J., 1997. Available? [NPL]
Weequahic Park. Panoramic view.
Boat House, Weequahic Park Post card. 1907
Weequahic Park Track Post Card. 1912

Newark Amusement Parks

Olympic Park

Smile: A Picture History of Olympic Park, 1887-1965.
Alan A. Siegel. New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1995. Available?
Olympic Park
Jeffrey Stanton. National Amusement Park Historical Association.
The Old Mill Showing Roller Coaster, Olympic Park Postcard
The Paddock, Olympic Park, Newark Postcard
Olympic Park, c. 1964 Video

Electric Park

Opening of Electric Park Newark Sunday Call May 31, 1903
Electric Park, Newark,N.J.
Street Railway Journal 25(22), June 3, 1905, pp.994-995
White City for Velodrome Site Newark Sunday Call May 29, 1920
Electric Park Images from the Newark Parks site

Dreamland Park

1927 Map including Dreamland Park
Volume 3, Plate 21, of Robinson's Atlas of the City of Newark. (1927)
Dreamland Park Roller Skating Rink Postcard
A Look Back at Newark's Most Bizarre Sports Event -- and the Man Behind it
Nat Bodian. Bullfighting in Dreamland Park.

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