1960s Timeline


  • Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders passes a resolution to create the first county park.

    Shark River Park Entrance in 1965
  • Shark River Park established. First 24 acres acquired from NJ Highway Authority; land was left over from Garden State Parkway construction. Another 40 acres of surplus land from Neptune acquired in 1962.  Shark River Park opened in 1961.
  • Planning Board completes first Recreation and Open Space Plan for county.




  • Turkey Swamp Park established.Turkey Swamp Park opened in fall 1966, including the family campgrounds; but wasn’t dedicated until 1967. Nomoco opened in 1994 for group camping. The park has been growing steadily ever since, and in 2010, is by far the Park System’s largest property.




  • Park System hired a naturalist and expanded the list of nature programs offered throughout the parks.  This marks the beginning of the Naturalist Division.  Early programs included very popular campfire events that hosted up to 50-100 campers at Turkey Swamp Park, and nature walks at Holmdel, Turkey and Thompson Parks.


  • Howell Park Golf Course established. Purchased 303-acre property with matching grants from Green Acres and Federal Open Space Fund. 
  • Historic Longstreet Farm established.   It opened in 1971 (barns and barnyard). Farmhouse opened in 1983
    Longstreet Farm 1975
  • First issue of Green Heritage newsletter, September 1967
  • More than 2,000 county park acres preserved; (1967 Annual Report)


  • Thompson Park established. Received gift of 215 acres from estate of Geraldine Thompson in 1968. Thompson Park was dedicated September 9, 1968.

    Thompson Park Visitor Center 1968. Note in-ground pool in front of building.


  • Durand Tract established. Received gift of 90 acres from Elizabeth T. Durand. The tract is leased to Freehold Township for municipal recreation through February 28, 2035.
  • Baysholm Tract (now Conservation Area) established. Received gift of 71 acre family farm from Helen Herrmann.
  • First Manasquan River Canoe Race held.
  • Annual Park System attendance reaches 406,601; there are 37 miles of trails.