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County College of Morris empowers Dover College Promise students to design landscape improvements

The Collaborative Effort Aims to Revitalize Waterworks Park in Dover

RANDOLPH TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) — The County College of Morris (CCM) Department of Landscape and Horticulture Technology (LHT) enthusiastically teamed up with CCM’s Dover College Promise (DCP) program to design dynamic planting beds for Waterworks Park, a public area in Dover, undergoing a spectacular transformation with improvements in lush greenery, inviting trailways and cozy sitting areas.

DCP is a grant-funded educational partnership between CCM and the Dover School District to offer motivated middle and high school students the opportunity to secure a college path. Approximately 96% of DCP students enroll in college upon graduation because of the successful mentorship program, tutoring, community projects and additional support offered to students.

This is the fourth DCP community project at Waterworks Park and is part of a $50,000 T-Mobil Hometown Grant program to redevelop the park by incorporating trails, plantings and sitting areas.

Ed Lopez, coordinator of DCP, and Professor Brian Oleksak, chair of the LHT department at CCM, are working together to help students effectively design enhancements for the community space. Dr. Anthony Spagnuolo and Professor Craig Tolley of CCM taught the students about invasive plants with pest and disease management, as well as how to enhance their designs, using computer software to create renderings. The group also worked on budgets to determine the cost feasibility of their greenery and ornamental selections.

“We had County College of Morris LHT students and Dover High School students working together to design an area to benefit the local community,” said Dr. Anthony Spagnuolo. “This was awesome!”

“It was so inspiring to see young people take such an active role in improving their community,” Olesak said.

The students also met with Denise Lanza, Executive Director, Morris County Park Commission, to learn about the organization that manages parks, facilities, and historic sites in Morris County.

“DCP students have built the Dover River Trail, participated in a river cleanup and recycling campaign, and recently created a Little Free Library at the park,” said Ed Lopez. “I am proud of their work and dedication to giving back to the community.”

CCM offers four certificates of achievement and three associate degrees for creative individuals who like the outdoors and are committed to preserving the environment. The Department of Landscape and Horticultural Technology program includes a foundation in plant science, soils, plant identification and design giving students a well-rounded study of ornamental horticulture. Questions about the LHT program at CCM can be directed to Professor Brian Oleksak, or Professor Craig Tolley,  Questions about DCP can be directed to Eduardo Lopez,

CCM is a renowned institution of higher learning known for its commitment to academic excellence, student success and community engagement. With a rich history of serving diverse student populations, the college has consistently strived to make education accessible and empowering to all. CCM is dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment that supports the growth and achievement of its students.

The college is currently accepting applications and registration for enrollment. For more information visit

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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