Dehart Park is the only (free) park in Maplewood that closes its courts at 10:00pm

Did you know that according to Township of Maplewood NJ Part II General Legislation Chapter 193 (see below for the full language of Chapter 193) all tennis and basketball Courts in Maplewood Parks are open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset EXCEPT FOR DEHART PARK which is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.? WHY IS DEHART THE ONLY (FREE) PARK TO HAVE ITS COURTS OPEN SO LATE EVEN THOUGH ITS IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA? There has NOT BEEN ANY MENTIONED THAT THE THE PARK HOURS WOULD CHANGE. 

Please join your neighbors and sign the petition to restore the closing hours OF DEHART PARK to sunset. Send an email to CloseDehartParkatSunset@gmail.com and we will come to you so you may sign.  Together we will make a difference. Stay informed and involved contact us at the above email address with any additional information you may want to share. 

Township of Maplewood New Jersey June 5, 2021

Chapter 193. Parks and Recreation Areas

Article IV. Park Hours

S 193-23. Opening and closing hours; artificial lighting.

All parks within the Township of Maplewood will be open to the public during the times set forth below:

A. Borden Park shall be open from 5:00 a.m. to sunset. The hours for the use of the fields and courts shall be from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.

B. DeHart Park shall be open form 5:00 a.m. to 10:30pm. The hours for use of the fields and courts shall be from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Artificial lighting is available only for those users who receive permits from the Recreation Department.

C. MapleCrest Park shall be open form 5:00 a.m. to sunset. The hours for use of the fields and courts shall be from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.

D. Memorial Park shall be open form 5:00 a.m. to 10:30pm. The hours for use of the fields shall be from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. The hours for the tennis courts and basketball courts shall be from 8:00 a.m. to sunset Monday through Saturday and from 10:00 a.m. to sunset on Sunday. Tennis court users may apply for a permit to use the tennis courts after sunset under artificial lighting conditions Artificial lighting for the basketball courts will occur only during Recreation Department sponsored and/or sanctioned activities.

E. Orchard Park shall be open from 5:00 a.m. to sunset. The hours for use of the fields and courts shall be from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.

    F. Walter Park shall be open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday. Artificial lighting is available only for those users who receive permits from the Recreation Department. (There is a $10 fee to use this park for residents and a $25 fee for non-residents so you have to pay to use the courts)

    G. Notwithstanding the above, the Director of the Recreation Department of the Township of Maplewood may grant a waiver of closing times to accommodate special activities (Fourth of July, Omni fest, etc.


        That's a strange question as it is answered in what you posted: 

        DeHart Park shall be open form 5:00 a.m. to 10:30pm. The hours for use of the fields and courts shall be from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Artificial lighting is available only for those users who receive permits from the Recreation Department.

        What are you indicating has changed? Many teams have used the fields with permits at DeHart park until 10pm (or 10:30pm) for over a decade (probably over 2 decades). It's the only Maplewood park with field lighting (other than the district's Underhill turf field).

        (ETA: And from what you posted, Walter Park also seems to have court lighting until 10. It is also in a residential neighborhood.)


        It seems that Walter Park (across from Memorial Park) is open until 10pm as well...


        Its not a question its a petition to close the courts at sunset as it had been. Right now the courts are open till 10pm but that is not how it was. 


        Why would you install lights at a park that closes at sunset?


        drummerboy said:

        Why would you install lights at a park that closes at sunset?

         The lights are not on every night. Once the sun goes down the park is dark. The lights turn on for organized events only that are played on the field at DeHart park


        sprout said:

        What are you indicating has changed? Many teams have used the fields with permits at DeHart park until 10pm (or 10:30pm) for over a decade (probably over 2 decades). It's the only Maplewood park with field lighting (other than the district's Underhill turf field).

        (ETA: And from what you posted, Walter Park also seems to have court lighting until 10. It is also in a residential neighborhood.)

        I had never heard of Underhill turf field until this morning. I understand one young man was killed and another wounded at Underhill turf field last night at 10:00p.m.


        Maybe they should leave the lights on. It would probably be safer.



        FilmCarp said:

        Maybe they should leave the lights on. It would probably be safer.


         yes that is true, and for the sake of safety all the other parks have tennis and basketball court curfews of sunset.


        marylago said:

        It seems that Walter Park (across from Memorial Park) is open until 10pm as well...

         Walter Park is only open if you pay the $10 fee.


        closedehartparkatsunset said:

        marylago said:

        It seems that Walter Park (across from Memorial Park) is open until 10pm as well...

         Walter Park is only open if you pay the $10 fee.

         Your argument might hold merit (that there is no fee to use DeHart and it’s open until 10pm), but the fact is that Walter Park is open until 10pm. You said no other park is open until 10pm. That’s my only point. 


        marylago said:

         Your argument might hold merit (that there is no fee to use DeHart and it’s open until 10pm), but the fact is that Walter Park is open until 10pm. You said no other park is open until 10pm. That’s my only point. 

         Maybe you have more info than I. Is any one able to get in to the Walter Park tennis courts at any time? Walter Park from what i was told is comprised of only tennis courts for which you must pay the $10 fee first in order to get access. Is this right?


        B. DeHart Park shall be open form 5:00 a.m. to 10:30pm. The hours for use of the fields and courts shall be from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Artificial lighting is available only for those users who receive permits from the Recreation Department.

        So how are people supposed to use the fields under the lights with a permit if the park is closed?


        closedehartparkatsunset said:

        Maybe you have more info than I. Is any one able to get in to the Walter Park tennis courts at any time? Walter Park from what i was told is comprised of only tennis courts for which you must pay the $10 fee first in order to get access. Is this right?

        During daytime hours, anyone can access Walter Park. The fee seems to be to turn the lights on at night. https://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us/walter-park

        Local teams pay a field-use fee to Maplewood Rec dept for the season. So for teams using DeHart park at night, getting the lights turned on seems to be contained within the season fees.


        The basketball courts in Memorial Park have lights and are open well past sunset. My guess is that they are open to 10 p.m. as well.


        Prior to circulating a petition, has anyone from your group advocating closing DeHart Park at sundown spoken to the township committee, the recreation advisory committee, and/or the recreation department to find out why DeHart Park is on a different schedule than four other parks?  For example, if the answer is scheduled night games on the main field and your concern is with the basketball and tennis courts that are immediately adjacent to residences, perhaps you can suggest an earlier closing time for those facilities than for the main field.  If the answer is that DeHart Park is the only one of the parks you list that was created specifically as a sports center, perhaps you can demonstrate that the function of the park has morphed over time to make the park more multipurpose now.  This would be a good time to open a dialog since the town is presently reexamining closing hours at Maplecrest Park.


        closedehartparkatsunset said:

        I had never heard of Underhill turf field until this morning. 

         Underhill field is school district property, although I assume other groups may also use it.  It is Columbia High School's home field.  So, different governing body in charge there.


        sac said:

         Underhill field is school district property, although I assume other groups may also use it.  It is Columbia High School's home field.  So, different governing body in charge there.

         Thank you for the clarification. 




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