Phase 1 of $5M renovation complete at Columbian Park in East Orange, park reopens to residents

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EAST ORANGE, NJ — The city of East Orange will celebrate the soft reopening of a new recreational open space at Columbian Park, as Phase 1 of the $5 million park renovation has been completed through partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres Program. 

“The renovation of Columbian Park is a major component of our city’s revitalization,” Mayor Ted R. Green said. “My administration is committed to restoring quality open space and outdoor recreational activities that will foster pride in our neighborhoods and provide residents and visitors of all ages with amazing amenities to enjoy for years to come.”

Phase 1 of the project update includes brand-new play equipment that will offer children physical, cognitive, creative and social development, while promoting imaginative play. 

The new facility will also include a regulation multipurpose turf field, a brand-new asphalt basketball court with novel seating and improved lighting, making both athletic areas a better place to play and a more welcoming space for spectators.

In addition, Columbian Park will house its first-ever spray park, an outdoor exercise equipment sector, a restructured storm water drainage system, 40 newly planted trees and a walking trail that previously only circled the field, which will now expand to 0.325 miles, encompassing the entire park.

Phase 2 of the Columbian Park renovation project will offer a rubberization of the walking trail, a reimaged pool deck, a newly expanded field house that will include pristine lockers and bathrooms, an expanded commercial kitchen, and an enlarged multipurpose room for events. The anticipated completion date is scheduled for a spring 2023 opening, just in time for the city’s Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs to host its annual outdoor programs and activities.

Green, members of the East Orange City Council, community leaders and students at neighboring Sheila Y. Oliver Academy will attend the Phase 1 ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at noon.

Photos Courtesy of Connie Jackson