Parks and rec department welcomes spring with Bunny Trail

Event survives as others are canceled due to COVID

The Parks and Recreation Commision in Monroe Township came together on Saturday, March 27 to give out Easter candy and decorated eggs at the Pfeiffer Center. Participants drove through the parking lot to wave to the Easter Bunny.

Monroe Township Parks and Recreation Commission had most of its annual events canceled due to COVID. But on March 27, it spread Spring cheer with the  Bunny Trail.

“We normally do an Easter egg hunt,” said Donna Park, president of the Parks and Recreation Commision. “But because of the gathering and the amount of kids, we copied off of what we did with Mr. and Mrs. Claus this year.”

After a year of cancellations, the commission was finally able to hold a reverse Christmas parade in December. Cars drove through the parking lot of the Pfeiffer Center to greet Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

After deciding it would be unable to hold the annual Easter Egg Hunt in Owen’s Park this year, the commission used the reverse parade concept to invite the Easter bunny to Monroe. 

“We wanted to make sure we could have an event that wasn’t canceled,” said Park. “We followed the guidelines and it was successful.

The Easter Bunny sat on a high rise trailer decorated with flowers, Easter eggs, bunnies and baskets. Between noon and 2 p.m., the trail was open for families to drive through and wave to the Easter Bunny. The commission provided 10,000 Easter eggs filled with candy that were handed out to families.The commission also gave away six surprise eggs that earned winners a $25 Visa gift card.

“The children had smiles from ear to ear,” said parks and recreation Director  Brent Salvadori. “The commission was just so happy that we could do something again; it was a great day.”

The parks department was not the only entity to spread Easter cheer that weekend. The Monroe Township Lions Club also bought 20 Easter baskets for needy families in Monroe.

“COVID is really hitting a lot of people,” said Director of Community Affairs  Brandee Derieux . “We wanted to help some of the local residents and their kids with the Easter baskets … The lions club is a local nonprofit and they do a lot of good for the township. They do a lot of volunteering and they are a great organization.”

Although the commission is unsure of future events, the community affairs department is working with the office of emergency management on ways to safely host upcoming events. It would like to hold the annual Puppy Parade for the 4th of July, along with a Young Mr. and Mrs. Pageant.

More details on events are expected soon. For more information, visit https://monroetownshipnj.org.