Friendly and Quiet with Excellent Schools
Once know as Turkey Town because of the large population of wild turkeys, New Providence is a quiet, friendly community. With approximately 12,300 residents, New Providence offers easy access to New York City – less than 30 miles away – and excellent schools. In 2016, New Jersey Family selected New Providence as New Jersey's Best Towns for Families 2016 Union County Winner citing its lovely downtown and top-ranked high school.
A mere 3.6 square miles in size, New Providence contains a large section of Murray Hill and borders the Chatham Township as well as Berkeley Heights and Summit. The name New Providence was given in 1759 by community members when after a balcony collapse at the Presbyterian Church left no injuries, members claimed it was due to divine providence. Half a century later in the 1900s, New Providence was known for its rose-cultivating industry which played a significant economic role for the town. Most of the homes you will find in New Providence were built in the 1950s and 1960s and impeccably maintained. A mixture of architectural styles adorns the streets and may consist of Colonials, split-levels, and ranches. Condos, townhomes, and co-ops are also easily found on New Providence’s tree-lined streets.
In 1994, New Providence was featured in a New York Times article, The Town 'That Grows With You'.
With an overall A+ rating in Niche, New Providence is one of the best towns for Union County residents:
The New Providence School District is highly-rated and in 2017 was named a New Jersey Schools/District of Character by the New Jersey Association for Social, Emotional, and Character Development (NJASECD). In the most recent niche.com survey, New Providence schools received an overall A+ ranking. The district undertook a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiative with professional development for the teachers and STEM course offerings for students. Approximately 55% of students in the high school participate in Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
The district has a noteworthy distinction in music. For the ten consecutive years, the New Providence School District was honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.
Also worth mentioning, one of the private schools in New Providence, The Academy of Our Lady of Peace, was recognized as a 2017 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence based on the school’s overall academic performance. This distinction is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Commuting To and From New Providence
New Providence offers easy access to New York City. Residents can take the Morristown line to New York Penn Station by boarding the train in Summit. Another option is the Gladstone Branch Line, accessible from either the New Providence or Murray Hill train stations, with trains going to Hoboken. In Hoboken, there are PATH trains available to New York Penn Station and easy access to the NY Waterway. For residents that take the train, there is a permit only parking lot available in New Providence.
For commuters looking to drive to the office, the town of New Providence is a short distance from I-78 and Route 24. There is also bus service offered by Lakeland Bus Lines which has a route from Bernardsville to the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal with several pickup locations in New Providence.
Parks & Recreation
New Providence has an enviable location situated between the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the Watchung Reservation. The Great Swamp NWR has 7768 acres of habitat and a variety of wildlife that includes over 244 species of birds. People can walk the many trails and observe, study and photograph the wildlife. The Watchung Reservation has lakes, trails, the historic remnants of the Village of Feltvile and the 10.8 mile Sierra Loop.
Parks are an important mainstay for New Providence, and approximately 9 percent of the acreage in New Providence is permanently protected, publicly-owned parkland. A historic park-like venue, the grounds of the Salt Box Museum, recently held the New Providence Book Festival. Just down Springfield Avenue in the heart of New Providence is beautiful Centennial Park, a popular venue for many outdoor township events. And for residents that like gardening, Sustainable New Providence has organized new community gardens with 28 plots available to residents via an application process.
For families, there are numerous athletic fields for children. Lions Field, for example, has ball fields and a basketball court. Lincoln Field has facilities for soccer, baseball, and basketball. Oakwood Park has ice skating in winter and bocce ball in the warmer weather in addition to the numerous athletic fields and a playground.
Residents of New Providence never lack for fun things to do. There is a summer concert series held in Centennial Park and sponsored by the New Providence business community. Often there is free ice cream for children along with face painting and magic acts. For Independence Day, residents converge on South Street for festivities, fireworks, and live entertainment. And in fall, the annual street fair brings pony rides, arts and crafts, performers and a petting zoo. Local restaurants join in selling different foods, and there are contests and games too. The day after Thanksgiving, New Providence hosts a Holiday Festival in the downtown. In addition to fireworks, there are celebrations of different cultures from around the world.
During the year, the New Providence recreation department has activities for all ages. For example, there is a Mini Explorers Camp for elementary-age children that teaches basic ecology concepts while exploring Lions Park. An array of art classes which include painting, drawing, sculpting, and crafts are also available. From babysitting workshops to tennis camps, there is something for everyone and the township even has a senior center with resources for its elderly residents.