Verona is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. In 2008, New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Verona #1 in Essex County and #3 in New Jersey as “Top Places to Live in New Jersey”. In 1981, the borough was one of seven Essex County municipalities to pass a referendum to become a township, joining four municipalities that had already made the change, of what would ultimately be more than a dozen Essex County municipalities to reclassify themselves as townships in order take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies that allocated townships a greater share of government aid to municipalities on a per capita basis. Today, Verona uses just “Township of Verona” in most official documents, but some other official documents such as purchase orders still include “Township of Borough of Verona”.
The district has been recognized on three occasions with the Best Practice Award, honoring specific practices implemented by a district for exemplary and/or innovative strategies. In addition, three schools in the district was named a “Star School” by the New Jersey Department of Education, the highest honor that a New Jersey school can achieve. The school was the 70th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine’s September 2012 cover story on the state’s “Top Public High Schools”, after being ranked 53rd in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.
The Verona Fire Department is one of the largest fully volunteer fire departments in Essex County, staffed by over 60 firefighters. They have two stations, three engines, one ladder truck, one reserve engine, one brush truck, one utility truck, and two command vehicles. The Department, founded in 1909 shortly after Verona was created, celebrated its 100th year of service in 2009. The Essex Mountain Sanatorium opened in 1902 as the Newark City Home for Girls. With tuberculosis spreading through Newark, the site was converted into a sanatorium in 1907, against the wishes of local residents. Its location at the highest point in Essex County was believed to be beneficial and the facility was known for its high recovery rate before it closed in 1977.
Eagle Rock Reservation is a 408.33-acre forest reserve and recreational park in the First Watchung Mountain of New Jersey (U.S.), primarily in the communities of West Orange, Montclair, and Verona. The land is owned and administered by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. The Hilltop Reservation is a nature preserve located in Essex County, New Jersey, in the host communities of Cedar Grove, North Caldwell and Verona. It has over 200 acres, and is the most recent addition to the Essex County Park System. It is composed of lands formerly occupied by the Essex Mountain Sanatorium, a hospital center originally constructed in the early 1900s to treat tuberculosis patients. Hilltop Reservation is located on the Second Watchung Mountain, one of three Watchung Mountains which are long, low ridges of volcanic origin in northern New Jersey.
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