Memorial Park Duck Pond by Lara Tomlin

In January, the Maplewood Township Committee proclaimed 2024 the “Year of the Maplewood Memorial Park Conservancy.” Mayor-elect Nancy Adams read a proclamation that underscored the historic significance of the park and lauded the Conservancy’s accomplishments.  

Founded in 2017, the Conservancy, in a public-private partnership with the township, has raised almost $50,000 in grants and donations to plant over 650 shrubs and 200 trees and undertake many projects to restore the park to its former glory. In addition, the organization provides educational programming, sponsors events, and conducts weekly weeding and pruning sessions and monthly cleanups. 

Conservancy Chair and founder Deborah Lyons accepted the honor on behalf of the MMPC board, musing on the park’s Olmsted history, she said: 

We are so fortunate that a hundred years ago this small new municipality had the civic pride and ambition to hire some of the best landscape architects of their day to create a great public space. A place that, as Percival Gallagher of Olmsted Brothers noted, must reflect the ideals of the town. A pleasant place of meeting, an attractive place to pass through from one part of town to another, a place by its beauty to draw one to it. To keep Memorial Park just such a place guides our efforts today.

Conservancy Chair and founder Deborah Lyons (left) and Mayor-elect Nancy Adams (right)

Lyons also thanked the many municipal departments, partnering non-profits, civic organizations and volunteers that aided their work. 

Read the proclamation here