Local Park Named Best In State

Timmy Reese, 3, is known by his family as the “slide master” as he enjoys the Jungle Playground. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  JACKSON – The Jackson Jungle playground was named by NJMom.com as the best playground in the state.

  “The criteria for best playgrounds all around the state were ones that appeal to a wide age range of children, have a theme within the complex, accessibility for everyone, and ones you’d feel are worth a drive to another town or part of the state,” Lisa Cohen Lee, managing editor of NJ Mom told The Jackson Times.

  “The Jungle playground, in particular, has visually appealing and sturdy all-wood play structures with lots of connecting features like rope walks, and covered towers, all within a safari theme, which made it one of the best in South Jersey,” Lee added.

  She said, “at NJMom, we inspire and connect parents in New Jersey with the most exciting, unique and fun, kid-friendly things to do and local businesses.”

  Locals already knew how great it was.

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  Recently, Samantha Helle and her sons Sebastian, 7, Bobby, 5, and her nephew Timmy, 3, joined their friends Christina Staiser and Jordan Dyscko, 4, for some fun at the playground.

  “We come out here a few times a week. It is a great place to go to and they always make friends here. It’s like a who’s who of kindergarten and pre-school kids in the area,” Helle said.

Christina Staiser, left, gives a push to Jordan Dyscko, 4, as Samantha Helle pushes her 5-year-old-son Bobby at the Jackson Jungle Playground which was recently named the best playground in New Jersey. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  “I like to play tag here,” Sebastian said.

  His younger brother Timmy is known as the slide master because he loves using the slide at the playground.

  “I love the swings,” Bobby said.

  Jordan said, “I love everything.”

  “It really is a great place for kids and even adults to visit,” Staiser said. She and Helle said they weren’t surprised to learn that the playground had been named the best playground in the state.

  The playground is near the justice complex and the local branch of the Ocean County library.

  During a recent Township Council meeting, Councilman Nino Borrelli praised the park. He also noted a recent front cover of The Jackson Times that featured an article about the Children’s Trail, adjacent to the playground. An Eagle Scout project added educational interpretive signs, benches, birdhouses and an entrance sign.

  “It was an honor and pleasure to meet the people behind the ideas for the trail and the enterprising Eagle Scout Matt McCall and his family, Karen Walzer – the chairperson for the Jackson Pathfinders – and the other Pathfinders, Eagle Scouts and volunteers. I am thankful for their vision and hard work on the Jackson Children’s Trail for kids and also adults to enjoy for years to come,” he said.

Bobby Helle, 5, takes a slide at the Jackson Jungle Playground which was recently named best playground in the entire state by NJMom.com. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  He encouraged residents to walk the trail which he said now includes signs about the different animals in that habitat such as white-tailed deer and “a few benches are located around the trail and a cool entrance sign as well that Matt McCall and others were responsible for putting up.” They also planted a Mount Laurel bush and they added some colorfully painted birdhouses around the trail which my 5-year-old granddaughter took notice of. I think it is a great example of what community is all about of what happened at the Jackson Children’s Trail that day. In this case enhancing a natural beautiful resource.”

  Council President Andrew Kern also commended those involved with improving the Children’s Trail. “That trail is specifically designed for children. The signs are at specific heights and everything is set up so you are able to navigate.”