Thielke Arboretum of Glen Rock

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Frederick W. Morris, a doctor in Ridgewood, built his home in Glen Rock in the early 1900’s. He loved trees and planted many different species on his property. After his death in the early 1940’s, the property passed on to several owners and became neglected.

In the 1950s, a developer bid on the property and proposed a crowded housing development for the site. The neighbors organized and petitioned the Borough government to buy the land for conservation.

In 1954, the borough purchased the eleven acres for $44,000 and designated it a park. The Glen Rock Garden Club toured the new park land and discovered the diverse species of trees that were now 50 years old. The Borough rededicated the park as an arboretum in 1963.

The non-profit Arboretum is maintained by a group of volunteers, the Friends of the Glen Rock Arboretum. Carol Thielke, a long time borough resident, founded the friends group in 1994. The Arboretum had grown wild and polluted in the previous 30 years.

Thielke’s volunteer group improved the forest with the help of the Boy Scouts and other community groups, creating walking trails and an educational center for local school groups. Glen Rock named the park in Thielke’s honor in 2009. She passed away in 2016, but the non-profit she created still conserves, maintains and enhances the arboretum.

I visited the arboretum during the Spring 2020 Covid shutdown. I enjoyed walking along the lovely paths and boardwalks in the early morning.

Location: 460 Doremus Ave, Glen Rock, NJ 07452
Designation: Town Park
Date designated or established: 1954
Date of my visit: 6/17/2020

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