Memorial Park was designed in the 1920s by the prestigious landscape architects Brinley and Holbrook and the Olmsted Brothers, whose beautiful, picturesque parks grace major cities throughout the country.
Listed in the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places, in 2016 the park was designated one of New Jersey’s Great Public Places by the NJ chapter of the American Planning Association. In 2015, interested parties from the Historical Preservation Commission, The Maplewood Garden Club, South Mountain Conservancy and other advocates began meeting to develop plans to maintain the legacy of the park while meeting the challenges of today’s environment.
The Maplewood Memorial Park Conservancy was incorporated as a 501(c) nonprofit organization in 2017, and today has over 40 members and an 8-person Board of Directors. A partnership agreement with the Township of Maplewood was signed in 2018.
Our first major initiative, the Flagpole Hill border restoration landscaping project, was designed by Jennifer C. Ryan, based on original Olmsted Brothers planting designs and funded by the Open Space Trust Fund. Phase 1 broke ground in the area across from the train station in October 2018 and Phases 2, 3, and 4 were completed in the following season. The capstone to the project is a re-landscaping of the gateway to the park across from the train station, completed in spring 2022. A bronze plaque, installed in fall 2022, was dedicated in November to celebrate Maplewood’s 100th anniversary. A redesign of the landscaping around the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along Baker St. was completed in 2020, with funding from The Maplewood VFW Post 10120. Other current and recent initiatives include the ongoing volunteer Weeding Wednesdays and public programs such as bird watching and Painters in the Park.
The Maplewood Memorial Park Conservancy is a public-private partnership modeled on such successful organizations as Newark’s Branch Brook Alliance and the Central Park Conservancy in New York
In partnership with the Township of Maplewood, the Conservancy is dedicated to preserving, improving, and maintaining Maplewood Memorial Park.
The Conservancy guides and supports the development and implementation of policies and practices that appropriately reflect the park’s historical and cultural significance, integrity of design, recreational and environmental importance, educational opportunities and prominent sense of place.
2023 Board of Directors
- Deborah Lyons, Chair
- Gary Nelson, Vice Chair
- Virginia Kurshan, Secretary
- Andrea Curley
- Susan Newberry
- Dennis Percher
- Lara Tomlin
- Daniel Wright
- Nancy Adams, Maplewood Township Committee
- Jennifer C. Ryan, Landscape Consultant
The first $25 of your donation will be applied to a one year renewable membership.
Membership and donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Or mail your contribution to Maplewood Memorial Park Conservancy PO Box 1091 Maplewood, NJ 07040