Berkeley Heights

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Berkeley Heights

Berkeley Heights is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township’s population was 13,183,reflecting a decline of 224 (-1.7%) from the 13,407 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,427 (+11.9%) from the 11,980 counted in the 1990 Census.

Berkeley Heights was originally incorporated as New Providence Township by the New Jersey Legislature on November 8, 1809, from portions of Springfield Township, while the area was still part of Essex County. New Providence Township became part of the newly formed Union County at its creation on March 19, 1857. Portions of the township were taken on March 23, 1869, to create Summit, and on March 14, 1899, to form the borough of New Providence. On November 6, 1951, the name of the township was changed to Berkeley Heights, based on the results of a referendum held that day.

In Money magazine’s 2007 Best Places to Live rankings, Berkeley Heights ranked 45th out of a potential 2,800 places in the United States with populations above 7,500 and under 50,000.

In its 2010 rankings of the “Best Places to Live”, New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Berkeley Heights as the 19th best place to live in New Jersey.  In its 2008 rankings of the “Best Places To Live” New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Berkeley Heights as the 59th best place to live in New Jersey.

Geography

Berkeley Heights is located at 40°40′35″N 74°25′30″W (40.676393,-74.425027). According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 6.266 square miles (16.229 km2), of which, 6.211 square miles (16.087 km2) of it is land and 0.055 square miles (0.142 km2) of it (0.88%) is water.

Berkeley Heights is located partially on the crest of the Second Watchung Mountain and in the Passaic River Valley, aptly named as the Passaic River forms the township’s northern border.

Berkeley Heights is located in northwestern Union County, at the confluence of Union, Morris, and Somerset Counties. Berkeley Heights is bordered by New Providence and Summit to the east, Scotch Plains to the southeast, Chatham to the north, Watchung to the south, and Warren Township and Long Hill Township to the west.

Downtown

Downtown Berkeley Heights is located along Springfield Avenue, approximately between the Plainfield Ave. intersection and the Snyder Avenue intersection. In addition, a post office, the Municipal Building, police station, train station, Walgreens, Stop & Shop and other shops and services are located in this downtown section.

A brick walk with personalized bricks engraved with the names of many long-time Berkeley Heights residents runs from near the railroad station towards Kings grocery store. A memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks adjoins a wooded area alongside Park Avenue, just southwest of downtown.

 

Education

Public schools

Columbia Middle School on Plainfield Avenue.

The Berkeley Heights Public Schools serves students in pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2009-10 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Mary Kay McMillin Early Childhood Center (PreK-1st grade; 372 students),Thomas P. Hughes Elementary School (2-5; 317), Mountain Park Elementary School (2-5; 282), William Woodruff Elementary School (2-5; 234), Columbia Middle School (6-8; 598) and Governor Livingston High School (9-12; 1,043 students).

The high school serves public school students of Berkeley Heights Township, along with those from neighboring Borough of Mountainside who are educated at the high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Mountainside School District.  Governor Livingston also provides programs for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Cognitively Impaired, of which students are enrolled from all over north-central New Jersey.

A woodsy area.

Governor Livingston was the 36th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine’s September 2012 cover story on the state’s “Top Public High Schools”, after being ranked 24th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.

Private schools

There are three private pre-kindergarten schools in Berkeley Heights. The Westminster Nursery School is located at the corner of Plainfield Avenue and Mountain Avenue, the Union Village Nursery is located bordering Warren Township at the corner of Mountain Avenue and Hillcrest Road, and the Diamond Hill Montessori is located along Diamond Hill Road opposite McMane Avenue.

There are no primary or secondary private schools in Berkeley Heights.

Civic amenities

Health

The Summit Medical Group is located on Mountain Avenue and there is also an entrance on Diamond Hill Road. It is the main medical facility in Berkeley Heights.

Public library

Library entrance.

Interior view of the library.

The Berkeley Heights Public library at 290 Plainfield Avenue, next to the Church of the Little Flower and across from the Columbia Middle School, is a member of the Infolink region of libraries, the Morris Union Federation (MUF) and the Middlesex Union Reciprocal Agreement Libraries (MURAL).  The library catalog is available online.

Police, fire, and emergency services

Police station and parking lot next to the train station.

The Berkeley Heights Police Department is located at the Municipal Building, 29 Park Avenue.  This is also the location of the Berkeley Heights Municipal Court.

The Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad, founded in 1942, is located at the corner of Snyder Avenue and Locust Avenue. The closest trauma centers are Morristown Medical Center (Morristown, NJ) and University Hospital in Newark. The closest hospital emergency room is Overlook Hospital in Summit. The all volunteer Rescue Squad provides emergency medical services to the township 7 days per week. As of the summer of 2011 the squad has over 50 members including over 35 certified EMT’s. The squad also enlists College Students and has an active High School Cadet program. In 2010 the rescue squad responded to nearly 600 calls for assistance.

The Berkeley Heights Fire Department is a volunteer fire department with 40 members that operate out of a fire station located at 411 Hamilton Avenue, across from the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue. The department has three engines, one ladder truck, a rescue truck with the Jaws of Life, an air truck, and several support vehicles. In 2010 the department responded to 665 calls.

Parks and recreation

Peppertown park near the train station.

Memorial park.

Playing field.

Located in Berkeley Heights are many municipal parks, including the largest one, Columbia Park (located along Plainfield Avenue). Columbia Park boasts tennis courts, two baseball fields, basketball courts, and a large children’s play area. It is owned by the Recreation Commission. In addition to those located at each of the schools, athletic fields are located along Horseshoe Road (Sansone Field) and along Springfield Avenue (Passaic River Park).

There are three Swimming clubs located in Berkeley Heights: the Berkeley Heights Community Pool (Locust Avenue), the Berkeley Swim Club (behind Columbia Park), and Berkeley Aquatic (off of Springfield Avenue).

Also, the Watchung Reservation and Passaic Valley Park are in the township and maintained by Union County. The Watchung Reservation has hiking trails, horseback riding trails, a large lake (Lake Surprise), the Deserted Village of Feltville, and picnic areas.

Feltville

Roads

The major roads in Berkeley Heights are Springfield Avenue, Mountain Avenue, Snyder Avenue, Plainfield Avenue, and Park Avenue. Springfield Avenue and Mountain Avenue run east-west, Snyder Avenue and Plainfield Avenue run north-south, while Park Avenue runs northeast-southwest. Each of these roads is heavily residential (except parts of Springfield Avenue) with only one travel lane in each direction.

Berkeley Heights is served by Interstate 78, which runs from the Holland Tunnel to the Pennsylvania State Line.

Public transportation

Commuter train tracks headed eastbound to New York City.

Train station.

The Berkeley Heights station is part of the Gladstone Branch of the New Jersey Transit commuter rail system, serving Hoboken Terminal, Newark Broad Street Station, and Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. Berkeley Heights is also in close proximity of the Summit train station, which provides frequent commuter rail service to New York City.

NJ Transit offers local bus service on the 986 route.  Lakeland Bus Lines also provides commuter bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminalin Midtown Manhattan and a connection to Gladstone.

Freight rail transportation was, until recently, provided by Norfolk Southern via off-peak use of New Jersey Transit’s Gladstone Branch line. The Berkeley Heights plant of Reheis Chemical located on Snyder Avenue was the last freight customer on the Gladstone Branch.

Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately 18 miles (29 km) east of Berkeley Heights.

Business and industry

A delicatessen next to the supermarket, now closed.

Hardware store.

  • Berkeley Heights is home to the Murray Hill Bell Labs headquarters of Alcatel-Lucent. The transistor, solar cell, and laser were invented in this facility when it was part of AT&T.
  • Berkeley Heights is also home to L’Oréal USA’s New Jersey headquarters.

All information about Palatine courtesy of Wikipedia.

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