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DEP Commercializes and Politicizes History

Everything is a Promotional Opportunity

Can the Christie DEP do anything without either a commercial hook or self serving political promotion of the Governor?

I refer of course to the references in DEP’s press advisory below to the shop and the Governor’s controversial “sustainable parks strategy“, which are DEP’s code words for commercial revenue production.

Can’t they do the issue straight up?

This tawdry garbage taints the historical significance.

June 11, 2013

Cntact:   Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Bob Considine         (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna       (609) 984-1795

***June 13, 2013***
10 a.m.


TRENTON – On Thursday, June 13, at 10 a.m., Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin will keynote a ceremony for the opening of the new $8 million visitor center for Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan.

The state-of-the-art visitor center boasts interactive exhibits, artwork, timelines, maps and excavated artifacts from the day-long battle, as well as a souvenir and book shop. It is an example of the Christie Administration’s commitment to sustainable parks that enhance the visitor’s experience. 

The center will be opened to the public on Friday, June 14. This Saturday and Sunday marks the 235th anniversary of the Revolutionary War battle. More than 1,000 re-enactors are expected to participate in battle and encampment re-enactments during the weekend.

Location: Monmouth Battlefield State Park is located at 16 Business Route 33 Manalapan, NJ 07726.

Directions: From the New Jersey Turnpike, take exit 8 for Business Route 33. Follow Business Route 33 east for approximately 12 miles to the park entrance.

From the Garden State Parkway, take exit 123 to Route 9 south for 15 miles to business Route 33 west. The park is located 1.5 miles on the right.

For full schedule of events, visit: http://www.friendsofmonmouth.org/reenactment.html



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  1. zimmerman
    June 12th, 2013 at 13:11 | #1

    The old visitors center sold books and souvenirs as well. And admission to the park has always been free. Other state parks like Allaire, Round Valley and Cheesequake charge admission during the summer. Monmouth Battlefield generally seems like a low-key, quiet and noncommercial place, if you exclude the boisterous
    re-enactment stuff.

  2. June 12th, 2013 at 13:25 | #2


    You miss my point.

    Did prior administrations issue press releases about the old book store and use the park and an historical re-enctment to tout the Gov.?

    THAT’s my point.

    The DEP press office is undignified and over the top, in constant political campaign mode.

  3. Harry Schwartz
    June 12th, 2013 at 14:44 | #3

    @Bill Wolfe
    Glad you clarified your point. I enjoy the books, maps, etc that I find in State and National Park bookstores – I find it helps me expand my knowledge about the park’s history and environment.

    But you’re absolutely righht about the DEP always touting the Gov whenever it does something – although I thought that was their mission, not environmental protection and all that esoteric stuff!

  4. June 12th, 2013 at 15:33 | #4

    @Harry Schwartz

    Harry – I’m all for books! And reading! And bookstores in parks too.

    Exception when they peddle creationism, true story my organization was involved in, see:


  5. June 12th, 2013 at 15:36 | #5

    @Harry Schwartz

    Harry – this link may be more helpful:

    Creationist Book Re-Ordered & Offered as “Natural History;” Geologists Rebuffed


  6. jean public
    June 14th, 2013 at 09:37 | #6

    this is just my opinion, but I see all kinds of employees who are the ones who want the visitors centers for their own comfort. it is my thinking that what counts is the outdoors. you go there for the outdoors. all these visitors centers some of the people will neer get outdoors. they’ll look at the pictures in thecenter. and I thinkt hat is outside the box thinking. I am not an advocate of the many “visitors center” which can be quite expensive for taxpaeyrs.

  7. June 14th, 2013 at 09:46 | #7

    @jean public
    I see your point jean, but there is value in some aspects of the visitor center and parks need to cater to diverse interests.

    One example of abuse I’ve seen was at Washington Crossing SP, where a lovely old rustic cabin that served as a good place for kids to learn in a comfortable hands on setting was destroyed an an ugly, sterile, just awful new building was contracted.

    That was not just a huge waste of money, it made things worse and destroyed something valuable.

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