For a municipality the size of North Bergen to be managed effectively, every department needs to perform well. In my last column, I highlighted the Department of Public Works and the outstanding job they do year after year removing snow and keeping our streets clean. Today, I’d like to talk about the Parks and Recreation Department, which plays an enormous role in keeping our children active and our township looking attractive.
The Parks and Recreation Department has two equally important sets of responsibilities – running the outstanding youth sports programs that North Bergen residents love, and managing our public parks, ball fields, and playgrounds. North Bergen Recreation operates many different sports and programs, including football, basketball, dancing, wrestling, baseball, soccer, and tee ball. In total, over 1,500 children participate every year. Meanwhile, the department also maintains our recreation space, keeping it useful and fun for everyone in the township.
Grants Lead to New Fields, More Recreation Space
By aggressively courting state and federal grant money, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Allen Pascual and his department are increasing and improving recreational space. A new Green Acres Grant has been approved for synthetic turf on the soccer field next to Bruins Stadium in James J. Braddock Park. Turf allows players to get on the field without having to worry about sloppy conditions or uneven ground, and cuts maintenance expenses. Meanwhile, Open Space Preservation grants will pay for miniature soccer fields on 64th street at the site of currently abandoned tennis courts, utilizing existing space and giving local children another place to exercise and have fun.
Because we live in an urban area, maximizing recreation space is extremely important. The Parks and Recreation Department is working hard to find new areas and improve existing ones, giving everyone in the township a chance to get outside and enjoy themselves.
Playgrounds throughout North Bergen are also currently being renovated to give our children the best possible play environment. Thanks to Open Space funding, crucial repairs and expansions are taking place without affecting the Recreation Department’s budget. I would like to thank Parks and Recreation Director John Cellini for his excellent leadership in identifying these funding sources and taking advantage of them.
With summer coming, time to get back in the pool!
The time has come once again for residents to register to use our beautiful community swimming pool for the 2010 season. Registration has already begun at the Recreation Center at 6300 Meadowview Avenue. You can visit northbergen.org, the township’s official website, for more information on times to go sign up, membership fees and other information. With warm weather soon approaching, the pool is the perfect place to spend your summer days.
Membership rates have once again been frozen this year as the township wants to make sure the pool is affordable for residents. Register before May 14 to lock in your price at Early Registration Rates.
Little League, Softball and Soccer Seasons Underway
North Bergen Recreation Little League, Softball and Soccer have begun their seasons after a wonderful turnout at each of their annual Opening Day Parades. These parades are a fine tradition that allows children to feel like athletic stars as they march down the street with their parents and friends cheering them on.
Summer Fun Program coming soon!
North Bergen’s Summer Fun Day Camp for children ages 6-12 is almost ready to start registration for this coming summer. The program begins on June 28 and runs for five weeks, ending on July 30. Campers go on field trips, have a daily lunch and participate in many fun activities every day. The Summer Fun program costs only $30 for North Bergen residents, and is a great, inexpensive way to give children something to do every day while they are on Summer vacation. Registration begins on June 16 and you can call the Recreation Center at 201-861-9600 for more information.