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Guest Column

Volunteers Make a Difference in New Providence

Jim Madden, New Providence Borough Councilman

Friday, April 18, 2014 • 6:24pm

I’ve always said that volunteerism is the life blood of every community, but especially visible within New Providence every day.   Everywhere you look, you witness volunteers coaching or working with young people in organized sports, within activities such as scouting, participation within citizen committees, religious organizations, and fundraising activities which help programs throughout the community.  I commend and express my thanks to the hundreds who step forward and give back to their community every year.  These efforts are essential in shaping the future of New Providence; making it a great place to live and to raise a family.  

Over the past few years, we have been fortunate to have the benevolence of Russ Davidson, the owner and founder of Redwood Tree Service and a lifelong resident of New Providence.  You may know Russ as the vital maintenance cog in keeping the ice skating surfaces clean and smooth at Oakwood Park over the past 10 years.  But it is with his latest contribution at Lions Park which I would like to recognize Russ and others who contributed to this project.

Russ and Redwood Tree donated machine time and resources in renovating the baseball diamond and worked in collaboration with our Borough DPW and New Providence PAL (who helped pay for the materials) to resurface the infield skin; removing the uneven infield grass and replacing the infield clay mixture throughout.  In addition, these improvements created a safer facility at Lions by removing dangerous tree limbs overhanging into the playing area.

With Darren Marcantuone acting as project manager, the pieces all came together.  The Borough DPW delivered diamond clay for the new infield along with quarry mix and to keep weeds down around the dugout areas and facilitate water run off away from the field and spectator areas.  With the help of fellow volunteers Dominic Callandriello and Mike Caggiano,  the bleachers were power-washed and the dugouts were painted the traditional green and gold colors.  I hope that you get the opportunity to see what a wonderful job these people did in taking a little piece of New Providence and taking pride to make it beautiful while watching baseball at Lions over the coming seasons.

You may hear me use the phrase “get your NP on” when recognizing volunteer efforts within the Borough. Certainly Russ, Darren, Dominic and Mike “got their NP on” to help create a beautiful result at Lions Park.  Within our town every day, we see ordinary people doing extraordinary things to make a difference.   I encourage you all to not only  recognize volunteerism, but hopefully by sharing this story you’re inspired to step forward and perhaps take care of other little pieces of New Providence that may just need a little TLC.   For these folks, N-P not only stands for New Providence…Nice Place, Nice People…but also Next Project.

 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

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