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What is the Care of the Park?   

The Care of the Park (COP) program is a legacy initiative of Branch Brook Park Alliance in partnership with the County of Essex.  While the County remains the primary steward of the park, Care of the Park aims to shine a spotlight on Essex County Branch Brook Park and by doing so; ensure that recent investments will be protected.

What are the opportunities for community service engagement?

People from all walks of life are asked to join our Care of the Park  program by volunteering on predetermined workdays to carry out priorities established by the approved landscape design and maintenance plans.  Workdays will bring together teams of volunteers to carry out priorities established by the approved landscape design and maintenance plans.  Care of the Park is structured for maximum community service flexibility allowing for small and large groups to participate.

Most months of the year we will have teams of supervised volunteers deployed throughout the park working on a number of site- specific projects.  Volunteer groups are welcome to come once or multiple times.  For our educational partners, opportunities to use the park for 'studio courses' and research are also available and can be structured to engage a group of students in experiential learning during the academic semester.

Who manages this movement?

The Branch Brook Park Alliance, in cooperation with the County of Essex, oversees this initiative.  Care of the Park is volunteer-driven, and thus will depend on building a 'deep bench' of enthusiastic and committed patrons supervised by other trained volunteers.  Coordinators will organize details and logistics for every Care of the Park Volunteer day.  Coordinators will be assigned based on the size of group and scope of work  

The protection and care of this historic Olmsted conceived landscape work of art is an awesome responsibility.  But, 'many hands make light work' and we expect, as this new movement grows in size and strength more will join us in caring for this public treasure.

Who participates and how does it work?

COP works by developing a structure for community stewardship among a fully engaged coalition of institutions of higher learning, leading corporate and private citizens, and other stakeholders who care about Essex County Branch Brook Park. Leading the movement are a core group of well trained Rutgers Master Gardeners who assist the Essex County Parks Department with seasonal maintenance and upkeep throughout various 'zones' in the park (Zone Gardening).

How do I get involved?

As a leader in volunteerism since 1993, Jersey Cares has increased the level of meaningful volunteer engagement by creating and managing efficient, impactful projects that address critical community-identified needs.  For years Jersey Cares has sent groups of enthusiastic volunteers to the Park.  In 2017 we formally joined forces with this highly respected not for profit organization.  Going forward they will be in charge of coordinating our volunteer groups.  

To volunteer with the Care of  the Park @Branch Brook Park Program, please reach out to Jersey Cares:

(973) 533-1993

Or sign up through their website at Jersey Cares

Care of the Park