1921 Union County Park Commission established

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1922 Park Commission established office on North Broad Street in Elizabeth; hired Olmstead Brothers, celebrated landscape architects; hired first Park Commission staff member; Wheatena Company of Rahway donated four acres of land along the Rahway River

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1923 Development began on Warinanco and Echo Lake Parks

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1920-1925 170 acres donated county-wide for parkland

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1925 Park Commission Administration Building in Warinanco Park completed; parks being developed: Warinanco, Cedar Brook, Watchung Reservation, Echo Lake, Rahway River Park, Wheeler and Elizabeth River

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1925-1930 Parks developed: Elizabeth River Parkway in Elizabeth, Hillside and Union; Briant and Unami Parks

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1926 Completion of the Watchung Stable and bridle paths in Watchung Reservation (addition added to stable at a later date); Green Brook Park donated by Plainfield; County Park Police formed

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1927 Shakespeare Garden planted in Cedar Brook Park; Commission appointed first full-time Recreation Director in any county park system in the United States; Boy Scout camp site formalized in the Watchung Reservation

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1928 Galloping Hill Golf Course opened

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1929 Rahway River Park Pool opened

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1930 Rifle and Pistol ranges opened at Lenape Park

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1931 John Russell Wheeler Park Pool opened; additional nine holes opened at Galloping Hill Golf Course; Milton Lake donated by Rahway

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1934 Madison Avenue Park donated by Rahway

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1936 Trap and Skeet Range added to Lenape Park

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1940 Kawameeh Park opened

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1941 Trailside Museum opened in the Watchung Reservation in a corner of a nursery building

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1945 Fire destroyed Wheeler Pool bathhouse; azalea garden planted in Warinanco Park

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1946 New bathhouse constructed at Wheeler Pool (this too burned down at a later date)

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1950-1954 195 acres of former swampland purchased to create Ash Brook Golf Course (first step in buying 650 acres for the Ash Brook Wildlife Sanctuary)

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1951 Addition added to Trailside Museum

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1954 Ash Brook Golf Course opened

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1956 Pitch and Putt Range, golf cart garage and addition to clubhouse added to Galloping Hill Golf Course

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1957 Fire destroyed Watchung Stable (Stable operated out of tents for a year)

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1958 New Watchung Stable built

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1959 Heat added to Trailside Museum for year-round use; Ursino Section added to Elizabeth River Park

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1960’s 400 acres purchased along the Passaic River; Warinanco Park boathouse burned down, temporary building constructed

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1960 Rhododendron Garden planted in Watchung Reservation

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1961 Shakespeare Festival and Music Under the Stars (Summer Arts Festival) presented

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1962 Open air Warinanco Ice Rink opened; lights installed at Galloping Hill Pitch and Putt Range

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1964 Pitch and Putt Course opened at Ash Brook Golf Course

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1965 Lenape Park connection of Echo Lake and Nomahegan Parks completed; warming room and snack bar building added to Warinanco Skating Center

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1966 Summit donated 54 acres to Passaic River Park

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1969 Ciba Corporation donated four acres to Passaic River Park; roof added to Warinanco Ice Rink; electric golf carts added at Galloping Hill and Ash Brook Golf Courses; Planetarium opened at the newly renamed Trailside Nature and Science Center

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1974 Visitor Center opened at Trailside Nature and Science Center; Oak Ridge Golf Course purchased

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1978 Park Commission abolished through public referendum; Union County Department of Parks and Recreation established

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1980 Wheeler Pool rehabilitated

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1982 Rahway Pool reconstructed with new bathhouse; Mattano Park rehabilitated; County exchanges seventy acres of the Watchung Reservation needed by the State for I-78, for land in the Houdaille Quarry

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1983 Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs added to Department of Parks and Recreation

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1984 Cedar Brook and Warinanco Parks rehabilitated; Rifle and Pistol Range opened at Houdaille Quarry

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1985 Watchung Stable moved to new facility at former NIKE missile site in Watchung Reservation

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1986 New boathouse at Warinanco Park and service building in Wheeler Park constructed

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1987 Division of Park Maintenance transferred to Department of Parks and Recreation