What is Care of the Park?   

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 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. Here are three ways to serve this opportunity:

Volunteer in The Park

Individuals, large groups, small teams – everyone can register for one day or multiple. It’s that easy - register here!

"My Park": Team Ownership

We’re seeking groups or teams to own the park, “My Park”. This opportunity only requires the investment of your time and brief recurring commitment. 20 groups will own one regular recurring day for three months (or more when possible). As an example, your team would commit to serving the 3rd Thursday of every month for three consecutive months. To learn more and/or express interest please contact Thomas Dougherty at Jersey Cares. (973) 533-1993 or thomas@jerseycares.org.

Care of The ParkVolunteer Engagement Committee

It takes a village and a diverse team of “Thought Leaders” to help us recruit and engagement more people in this effort. We meet once per month in-person and/or virtually. Express Interest!

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 Jersey Cares will be in charge of coordinating our volunteer groups.  

To volunteer with Care of The Park at Essex County Branch Brook Park, please reach out to Claudia Kolster at Jersey Cares.

Claudia Kolster

Program Manager, Care of The Park

Claudia@jerseycares.org

(973) 533-1993, ext. 29