In this anxious time, we hope you are all safe and finding comfort from the blooms and promise of spring. Memorial Park is beginning to be lush with the colorful displays of cherry trees, forsythia, bridal veil, and lilacs, as well as daffodils, crocus and hellebores. Since we are all doing our best to stay at home and practice social distancing, we continue to share scenes from the park with you on Instagram and Facebook. In the meantime, we wanted to share a bit of good news. The New Jersey Historic Preservation Office has approved our plans to restore and enhance the Vietnam Veterans Memorial seating area in the pine grove near Valley and Baker St. The Memorial was added to the park in 2011 by former Township resident and employee Todd Lamm, and dedicated to Maplewood residents who died in the war. Since that time, many of the original plantings have declined due to cultural conditions, disease, traffic and pets.
In 2018 landscape consultant Jennifer Ryan led a design project as part of our summer internship program. A plan was developed to include plants that relate to the historic palette of the park, can withstand traffic and pets, and take into account climate change, disease, and the wet shady site conditions. These include yew, clethra, cherry, glossy abelia, and many varieties of azalea, which we hope will provide a beautiful display next spring. The project is planned as a volunteer installation, with financial support pledged from, among others, the Maplewood VFW Post 10120. We will keep everyone posted as to when plans can move ahead. In the meantime, wishing everyone good health.