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Cedar Grove is a township in north central Essex County, New Jersey. New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Cedar Grove as its 4th best place to live in Essex County and 17th best place overall to live in its 2008 rankings of the “Best Places To Live” in New Jersey.
In 2016, Cedar Grove was rated the 12th safest city in New Jersey by backgroundchecks.org.
What is now Cedar Grove was originally incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature as the Township of Verona on February 7, 1892, from portions of Caldwell Township. Portions of the township were taken to create Verona borough, based on the results of a referendum held on April 30, 1907. On April 9, 1908, the name was formally changed to Cedar Grove. The township’s name derives from the cedar trees that once covered its valley and hillsides.
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Living in Cedar Grove
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 4.378 square miles (11.340 km2), including 4.252 square miles (11.014 km2) of land and 0.126 square miles (0.326 km2) of water (2.87%).
The township is located between the First and Second Watchung Mountains. The center of the township is in a valley that is about 280 feet (85 m) above sea level; however, many sections of Cedar Grove are well above 400 feet (120 m), including the Park Ridge Estates, the abandoned Essex County Hospital Center, and the eastern, southeastern and southern sections of Cedar Grove. Cedar Grove’s highest point is on hilltop, where elevations reach 600 feet (180 m) and above. Cedar Grove is located approximately 12 miles (19 km) west of Midtown Manhattan and 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Newark.
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Lindsley and Overbrook.
The sections of Cedar Grove are:
The North End of Cedar Grove starts after the corner of Fairview Avenue and Pompton Avenue. It consists mostly of homes, but there are some businesses located on Pompton Avenue, and at the corner of E. Lindsley Road and Stevens Avenue. A notable part of the north end of town is the Park Ridge Estates, which contain million dollar homes.
Central Cedar Grove:
This consists of the center of town and extends from the corner of Fairview Avenue and Pompton Avenue to the corner of Bradford Avenue and Pompton Avenue. The central portion of the town contains Cedar Grove’s business district. Also, on the west central side of town is the former location of the Essex County Hospital Center, and on the east central side is the Cedar Grove Reservoir and Mills Reservation.
The south end of Cedar Grove is the most urbanized part of the township, as it contains homes that are closer together. The south end extends from the corner of Bradford Avenue and Pompton Avenue to the Verona border. There are mostly homes here, but there are some businesses on Pompton Avenue, including Burger King, the Pilgrim Diner, and Staples. Like the north end of town, the south end contains a section of million dollar homes.
Cedar Grove’s population density is less than the surrounding towns of Montclair, Verona, and Little Falls, mainly because significant portions of Cedar Grove are owned or previously owned by county or city governments. The Essex County Hospital Center took up a good amount of land and was owned by Essex County. Mills Reservation is a county owned park, and the Cedar Grove Reservoir property is owned by the City of Newark.
Cedar Grove is bordered by North Caldwell, Little Falls, Montclair, and Verona. Most of the eastern portion of the township is bordered by Upper Montclair (a neighborhood in Montclair).
Most of the commercial zone in Cedar Grove is located on Route 23. The central business district starts at about Sweetwood Drive and extends to Little Falls Road just after the railroad bridge.
The township has an industrial district located along Commerce Road, which is off Route 23. In this district, there are light industrial factories and different types of commercial businesses.
Cedar Grove has several parks and recreational areas within the township. These include county parks, town parks, and recreational areas.
There are two county parks located in Cedar Grove.
Mills Reservation, a county park, consisting of a 157.15-acre (0.6360 km2) protected wooded area with trails for walking and an overlook of New York City.
Hilltop Reservation, composed of lands in the grounds of the former Essex Mountain Sanitorium, opened in spring 2003.
Community Park – this park is located near the center of the town off Little Falls Road. It features a baseball field, large field used for various sports, barbecue area, two playgrounds, a bocce court, and entrances to the Lenape Trails which are popular for running, walking and biking.
Elmer Bowden Taylor Memorial Park – this park and its recreational facilities is located on Little Falls Road; near Bowden Road. It includes tennis courts, basketball court, small playground, and public bathroom. Named for Elmer Bowden Taylor, Cedar Grove resident killed in action in World War I while flying with the Lafayette Flying Corps.
South End School Park, This park/playground is located on the grounds of South End Elementary School on Harper Terrace. Features include basketball courts, two baseball fields, and a playground.
North End School Park is nearly identical to South End School’s park.
Cedar Grove High School, in the back of the high school, there is a quarter-mile track for running or walking. There is also a football field, soccer field, and baseball field.
Tennis courts are located along Little Falls Road, all for public use.
Cedar Grove Community Pool, a community pool which opened in 1963. It features a large pool with 50 meter lanes and 25 meter lanes, three diving boards (two small and a large one), and a water slide. Also, there is a baby pool for children under five. There is a snack bar for refreshments, sun decks for sunbathing, and basketball courts. The pool is open from the Saturday before Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010, the township had a total of 47.09 miles (75.78 km) of roadways, of which 34.59 miles (55.67 km) were maintained by the municipality, 9.22 miles (14.84 km) by Essex County and 3.28 miles (5.28 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Route 23 bisects Cedar Grove, making the township conveniently located to major highways including Interstate 80, Interstate 280, U.S. Route 46, Route 3, and the Garden State Parkway. Cedar Grove is also centrally located to New York City, Newark, Paterson, and Morristown.
Cedar Grove is served by NJ Transit bus service. The 11 bus line provide service to Newark. The 195 bus line provides transportation to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. In September 2012, as part of budget cuts, NJ Transit suspended service to Newark on the 75 line.
Commuter train stations are located in the neighboring communities of Little Falls and Montclair. The Erie Railroad’s Caldwell Branch ran between Little Falls and West Caldwell, but trains were sparsely scheduled and the line was destroyed in the 1970s.
The Cedar Grove Schools serve public school students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district’s four schools had an enrollment of 1,628 students and 120.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.52:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are North End Elementary School (315 students; grades K-4), South End Elementary School (352; K-4), Cedar Grove Memorial Middle School (519; 5-8) and Cedar Grove High School (442; 9-12).
Washington Academy is an approved private school for special education. Founded in 1982, the Academy provides specialized academic and behavioral services to students whose disabilities disrupt their academic and behavioral growth and progress. It serves students ages 3–21 (pre-K – 12th Grade). Washington Academy is a member of the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC), a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of private special education schools. The school is located in the former Leonard R. Parks Elementary School on Route 23.
St. Catherine of Siena School is located on Bradford Avenue and operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.
The Verona-Cedar Grove Times, a weekly newspaper that publishes every Thursday, serves Cedar Grove and Verona.
The Cedar Grove Observer, which publishes 50 weeks a year, serves Cedar Grove.
Local news is covered by the Cedar Grove Observer and the Verona-Cedar Grove Times.
Content Courtesy of Wikipedia.org