Mayor’s Column: This spring enjoy the Voorhees park system

Voorhees Mayor

Daylight savings time returns on Sunday, March 13 and right behind it is the arrival of spring which offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and our Voorhees park system.

Connolly Park, located on Centennial Blvd., is a 49-acre oasis. Acquired by the Township in 2001, it contains two dog runs, one for large dogs and one for small dogs, a half-mile walking and jogging track with lights, a large grass field for multi-sport usage, a cricket pitch with synthetic turf, an open-air picnic pavilion and a comfort station with restrooms. In 2010, a playground with new picnic tables was added next to the tot-lot continues to be very popular with children. Last year, with funding from a County grant, workout stations were added along the walking track. Connolly Park is also the home of our Summer Concert Series and Halloween in the Park.

Lions Lake Park is located on Dutchtown Road off of Route 73. Our community banquet facility can accommodate up to 100 people. Lions Lake contains a children’s playground, a picnic grove and a fishing lake. It is also home to the Voorhees Girls Softball Association, with four fields, three of which are fully lit. Last year, new dugout enclosures were added to all four fields. Recently, the National Softball Association named Lions Lake as one of three “Outstanding Parks” in the northeast and the only facility in New Jersey to receive the award.

Kirkwood Park, located along Laurel Oak Road behind the Hampton Inn, has a lighted softball field, paved walking path, a full basketball court, two tennis courts, a children’s playground, a multi-purpose field, two bocce ball courts and restrooms. The walking path, basketball court and tennis courts were recently resurfaced through grants received from both the State and Camden County. The Township also permanently preserved the adjacent 14-acre Kirkwood Forest, enhancing and ensuring the beauty of this natural setting.

The Maiaroto Sports Complex, located on Echelon Road, is home to the Voorhees Soccer Association and host to the Annual Memorial Day Soccer Tournament, one of the largest in the country. The complex includes seven fields with recently improved lights. It also offers two tennis courts and basketball courts which were recently resurfaced with a County grant, as well as a fully operational snack bar with restrooms.

Home to the Gibbsboro Voorhees Athletic Association (GVAA) is the Rabinowitz Baseball Complex, located along Kresson Road, with six fenced baseball fields. “Sprinturf Diamonds” have been installed on the Babe Ruth and Majors fields. Three of the fields are fully lit. The complex also includes a newly installed children’s playground with swings as well as a snack bar and restrooms.

GVAA Vikings Youth Football and Cheerleading, as well as Voorhees Lacrosse Inc., use the Giangiulio Recreation Complex along Victor Blvd. There is a lighted athletic field with synthetic turf. The field can be used year round by our youth football, cheerleading, lacrosse and soccer organizations. In addition, there is a baseball diamond with lights and a fenced tot lot. Giangiulio also includes a snack bar and restrooms.

Stafford Woods is our largest piece of preserved land. The 140-acre parcel includes a one-mile walking path that follows an old stagecoach trail through the woods. The Township also purchased the 5.5 acre parcel of land adjacent to Stafford Farm to be preserved as open space. A Disc Golf Course was constructed and is accessible from Evesham Road. In 2012, the Stafford Woods Disc Golf Course was named one of the 50 best courses in the country.

John Hale, Sr. Memorial Park is at the site of the former Voorhees Township Department of Public Works sewer plant on West End Avenue in the Ashland section. In partnership with the Ashland Residential Coalition (ARC) and with a grant from the Camden County Open Space Advisory Board, a playground with swings and a picnic pavilion were installed. This park connects to Ashland Woods, a 20-acre tract of forest permanently preserved by the Township.

The Voorhees Environmental Park is a 36-acre parcel located on Centennial Blvd. The Township partnered with Rutgers University Department of Landscape Architecture and the Voorhees Environmental and Cultural Education Foundation to develop a plan for the future development of the park.

The Township maintains neighborhood playgrounds on Round Hill Road in the Green Ridge neighborhood, Elliot Playground on Elliot Drive in the Beagle Club, Sandpiper Playground on Willowbrook Way in the Avian Section and Cornell Drive Playground in Lake Villa. New playground equipment was installed in the Green Ridge and Sandpiper Playgrounds in 2012 and last year swing sets were added to both of those playgrounds. Voorhees also maintains two half-court basketball courts at the Sheppard Road Basketball Park located off of Centennial Blvd.

The Township Committee will continue to work to improve our park system. All of our parks are maintained without the use of pesticides.

Enjoy the outdoors in Voorhees!

**the Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club will present the 2016 Spring Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 19 at Lions Lake Park, 101 Dutchtown Road. The event will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, April 3. Attractions include 4,000 eggs, music, games, face painting and a visit from everyone’s favorite bunny. The event is free and open to the public. The Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club meets every Thursday morning at 7:15 a.m. at Short Hills Restaurant and Deli at 486 Evesham Road in Cherry Hill. For more information about the Club visit www.voorheesbreakfastrotary.org.