Conservancy Projects for 2014

About our projects

Projects listed here focus on horticultural improvements and historical restorations for Brookdale Park as envisioned by the Brookdale Park Conservancy's Planting Committee. 

Thanks goes out to our Planting Committee volunteers, Mollie Smith, Yuliya Bellinger and Susan Jankolovits for lending their time and professional landscape, construction and project management expertise to help develop an ambitious yet feasible roadmap for park improvements in 2014.

Crabapple Grove Restoration (complete project)

The restoration of this historic Crabapple Grove from Brookdale Park's original Olmsted planting plan offers casual and active park goers four seasons of interest with white, soft pink and deep pink flowers budding out in the spring, summer fruit that persists into winter to feed birds and wildlife and golden fall leaf color. more info

Digital rendering of the currently underway Crabapple Grove Restoration project.

Native Redbud Grove (develop, begin and complete project)

This new native understory grove will introduce the beautiful and hearty ornamental Redbud species to Brookdale Park and bring with it a stunning, colorful flower display in early spring. Five multi-stemmed trees will nestle into an existing shade tree canopy on the west side of East Circuit Drive with two to three “cast off” trees complimenting the east side.


Cherry Lawn Restoration (develop, begin and complete project)

A breathtaking feature of Brookdale Park’s historic master plan, the lawn area south of the modern day dog park was once edged with nearly two dozen flowering cherry trees. The few remaining cherry trees, far past their prime, will be joined by a dozen new sizable cherry trees planted in an arrangement reminiscent of the original planting plan.

The few remaining trees in the Cherry Lawn area, part of the original 1930's Olmsted Brothers planting plan for Brookdale Park.

Tree Inventory and Analysis (complete project)

A park wide tree inventory will assess the general condition of Brookdale Park’s current landscape. Resulting information can be used for grant writing and will aid the Conservancy and Essex County in better developing large scale planting restoration projects to bring back the original glory of the Olmsted planting plans and enhance the parks appearance throughout.

Upland Forest Restoration (develop and begin project)

Help restore the biodiversity of Brookdale Park’s unique 10 acre wooded area which is currently undeveloped and in danger of becoming overrun with invasive plant species which include Norway Maple, Oriental Bittersweet and Japanese Angelica Tree. New plantings will be primarily native plant species with a focus on improving the area’s natural habitat by offering much needed, sustainable sources of food and shelter for our local birds and wildlife.

Grove Street Triangle Planting (develop and begin project)

This new planting will greet and delight park visitors in cars and on foot with a showy, lush and low, shrub and perennial planting in the triangle bed where Brookdale Park’s Grove street entrance meets West Circuit Drive.

A digital rendering of the upcoming Grove Street Triangle Planting

Playground Courtyard Garden Improvements (develop and begin project)

Improvements to the plantings and hardscape of the Playground Courtyard Garden will bring added joy and safety with an educational elements to this highly popular family attraction.

Conceptual images for the developing Playground Courtyard Garden improvement project.

Buffer Planting & Habitat Restoration (develop project, seek funding)

This large scale planting restoration project will replace missing and also soon-to-be-gone evergreen and fruit bearing trees around the park perimeter that used to support the local wildlife with year round food and shelter.

Rock Garden & Overlook Restoration (develop project, seek funding)

Restoration of this historic architectural feature and specimen garden of Brookdale Park’s master plan will bring back a long lost wow factor to the center of the park. The Overlook’s rock wall will be rebuilt with its nearby large stone slab steps brought back to their proper placement. Overgrown invasive plant species will be removed and original plantings intended for the area will be brought back for year long enjoyment.

The Rock Garden and Overlook Restoration project aims to restore a hidden gem in the center of Brookdale Park.