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About Our Community

Welcome to West Orange!  West Orange is a 300-year-old multi-faceted, politically active, suburban community whose residents reflect wide variation in income, ethnic backgrounds, education and interests. Centrally located in Essex County, it is part of the Newark/New York metropolitan area. Its 12.15 square miles spread over two ridges and two valleys of the Watchung Mountains. This rolling terrain naturally provides variety to the township and is responsible for its division into several interesting neighborhoods. 

Thomas Edison is West Orange’s most famous citizen. He lived in Llewellyn Park at Glenmont (which one can visit today) and worked in West Orange from 1886 until his death in 1931. His laboratories now comprise the Edison Historical Site located on Main Street and administered by the National Park Service. Llewellyn Park, the first residential park in the United States built according to plan in 1853, still covers over 400 acres and lies within West Orange’s borders. 

Recreation  About one-fifth of the land is open space, consisting of municipal and county parks and playgrounds, private and public golf courses and undeveloped acreage. South Mountain Reservation is the largest parkland in Essex County, and contains 10 picnic areas, 19 miles of hiking and walking trails, 27 miles of carriage roads for jogging, horseback riding, & cross-country skiing, a fishing pond, a dog park and scenic waterfalls. A premier attraction for families is the nearby complex that hosts the Turtle Back Zoo, the Richard Codey Skating Arena, Essex County Treetop Adventure Course, Safari mini-golf, and the soft-surfaced Regatta Playground. Families can enjoy a stroll on the 1.7-mile beautifully landscaped and well-lit Orange Reservoir walking path, or go out on a paddleboat in the summer. Eagle Rock Reservation provides a lookout where one can see the New York skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and both the George Washington and Verazzano bridges. On a clear night, the view is wonderful. In fact, the view of New York City is so spectacular that George Washington used the very same lookout point to spy on British troop movements during the Revolutionary War. 

Closer to the synagogue, we have Degnan Park with its charming pond and walking path. You will find its playground full of children and their parents on a Shabbos afternoon. At the far end of Pleasant Valley Way, we have Verona Park, with many trails, a small lake, paddle boats and frequent crafts fairs. 

For sports fans, we have several golf courses in the area, a tennis club, and several fitness facilities. 

Getting Around  New Jersey Transit provides railroad service with stations nearby in Orange, South Orange and Montclair. Bus service to Newark and mid-town New York is available. Thanks to one of our Ohr Torah members who was active in bringing it to the Pleasantdale section, the free West Orange Jitney service is also available for residents who commute to the City. The Township operates mini-buses for senior citizens. 

Staying Current  Local news can be found daily in The Star Ledger, and weekly in The West Orange Chronicle. Comcast Cable usually telecasts local events, such as high school sports and League of Women Voters Candidates Nights.

Government  The township is served by a part-time mayor and five part-time council members elected at large for four-year terms. Council terms are staggered, and no party designations are permitted.

For more information and pictures, visit www.westorange.org.

 

Sat, August 24 2019 23 Av 5779