Things to See in Brookdale Park
The Essex County Rose Garden at Brookdale Park celebrated its 50th Anniversary on June 20, 2009. Established in 1959 through a joint effort of the New Jersey Rose Society and the Essex County Parks Department, the Garden has grown to include 1,500 rose bushes in 29 separate beds including nearly 100 different varieties.
Dedicated volunteers from the Master Gardeners of Essex County work tirelessly to restore and revitalize the garden for the enjoyment of all park visitors. While the garden can be enjoyed year round, peak blooming times are in mid June and early October. Read more about the Essex County Rose Garden...
Rock Garden and Overlook
The Olmsted Brothers’ Brookdale Park Master Plan called for an overlook to be built over a naturally occurring spring and an elaborately planted rock garden was located to the south.
During rainy seasons, the spring still feeds a small brook that flows towards the east, filling a rock lined basin before trickling under a walking path into the naturalized pond area. What remains of these features can be found near the middle of the park, just south of the present West Circuit Drive and restoration and replanting plans are currently underway by the Conservancy.
This noteworthy collection of Azaleas and Rhododendrons is located in the northwest corner of Brookdale Park along the stone wall between the Tennis Center and the Archery Field. Half of the shrubs are native species bringing fragrance along with their vibrant color display each spring.
The Azalea Walk was designed and developed by landscape designer and Brookdale Park Conservancy Co-Chairperson, Yuliya Bellinger. Plants and mulch were generously provided by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. Soil amendments were purchased through the Conservancy's Annual Fund and labor was organized and provided by Montclair Boy Scout, Thomas Pool as part of his Eagle Scout Project.
Planted in the spring of 2013, the hexagonal bed just south of the track field house is home to plants that attract butterflies, bees and other pollenating insects. Garden was designed by Essex County Master Gardener Blanca Gerard who still maintains the area with the help of BPC volunteers.