WASHINGTON BOROUGH, NJ (Warren County) – Downton New Jersey will award the Washington Borough Business Improvement District the 2023 honorable mention for the Build Project Excellence Award for Veterans Park during a luncheon awards ceremony at the 2023 New Jersey Downtown Conference on Thursday, Oct. 19 at The Vogel in downtown Red Bank.
Each year, Downtown New Jersey recognizes New Jersey’s best downtown projects and programs completed within the last two years, as well as individuals dedicated to downtown revitalization. Downtown Excellence awardees are considered exemplary models worthy of emulation.
Veteran’s Park was created to add dimension to downtown Washington Borough. Through extensive fundraising, the Washington Business Improvement District creatively turned a burned-out, vacant property into a gathering space, attracting new businesses and shoppers to the area.
The space is used for the seasonal farmer’s market, preschool graduations, downtown dance parties, memorial gatherings, PRIDE events, and even open mic nights. The recent addition of a pavilion attracts further foot traffic, especially during the holiday, when the Borough Christmas Tree is placed in front of the pavilion, making for an excellent backdrop with holiday decorations and lighting on the pavilion posts and roofline.
In addition, the pavilion is often used during daytime hours for shoppers to sit and enjoy conversation with friends under the shade.
Built at no cost to the community, and drawing patrons to the business district, Washington Borough Mayor Ethel Country says Veterans Park is, “a wonderful addition to our downtown.”
“With each passing year, we are more and more impressed by the dedication and creativity of downtown organizations and their partners in providing services, engaging new audiences, and promoting economic development,” DNJ’s Executive Director, Courtenay Mercer said. “We are privileged and honored to recognize these efforts at our annual Downtown Excellence Awards ceremony.”