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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2012

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

LIBERTY STATE PARK TO HOST GIRL SCOUT COUNCILS OF
NEW JERSEY’S “BIG’’ CELEBRATION ON JUNE 23

Showcases Liberty State Park as Ideal Site for Major Events

(12/P64) TRENTON - Liberty State Park in Jersey City has been selected as the site for the Girl Scouts Council of New Jersey’s 100th anniversary celebration – a planned all-day event, concert and fireworks show with the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline serving as the backdrop.

Scheduled for June 23, the Girl Scout’s “Believe in Girls Celebration’’ is expected to draw thousands of scouts and their families from the tri-state area. It will feature some 100 activities on the scenic park grounds, culminating with evening concerts by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles and pop star Joe Jonas of the band The Jonas Brothers.

“This event will showcase Liberty State Park, with its scenic vistas, tremendous history and easy accessibility, as a terrific venue for major events for our state and the entire region,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. “It’s part of Governor Christie’s Sustainable Parks Plan to enhance and expand park programs, facilities, amenities, and offerings to generate more visitors and revenues that can make our parks more financially self-sustaining, while maintaining their environmental integrity.’’

“Parks are about families and youths and connecting them to the outdoors in New Jersey and to our great history,’’ said Commissioner Martin. “Liberty State Park is a perfect venue for the Girl Scouts’ celebration.’’ 

First Lady Mary Pat Christie, a former member and mother of two Girl Scouts, is the Honorary Chair of the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary year-long celebration in New Jersey.

“I admire how the Girl Scouts organization empowers our young women for future success.” Mrs. Christie said, “I’m also extremely proud the ‘Believe in Girls Celebration’ and its participants will get to experience first-hand this treasured historic park that stands as a symbol of inspiration and opportunity for millions of Americans.”

The BIG Celebration is set to begin at 1 p.m. on June 23 with fireworks and will conclude with fireworks around 10:30 p.m. Singer Rachel Crow, a finalist on last season of “The X Factor,” will lead the daytime performances.  New Jersey talent, including girl group Bloom and boy band Goodbye Friday, will also perform during the day.

Other activities and attractions include a cooking pavilion with cupcake decorating classes and healthy eating demonstrations, craft events, a tech pavilion featuring the latest hands-on devices, a soccer clinic, hip hop dancing class, obstacle course, astronomy experience, more than a dozen bounce houses, rock wall climbing, and many other attractions.

“We’re extremely excited to have Liberty State Park as the location for The BIG Concert, with its breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Manhattan skyline,” said Helen Wronski, President and CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey. 

 “Liberty State Park’s rich history and cultural significance make it the perfect spot for the culminating event of the Girl Scout Councils of New Jersey’s 100th anniversary.  We’re proud to look forward to another century of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place, and we’re proud to celebrate this mission in such a special place.”

Liberty State Park will remain open to the general public during this rain or shine event.

“We’re honored the Girl Scouts chose Liberty State Park as the site of their celebration,’’ said Lou Valente, Chief Project Advisor on Sustainable Parks for the DEP’s Division of Natural and Historic Resources. “We‘d also like to make this park a destination for other residents and groups, from New Jersey and elsewhere, to hold their events or just spend the day and take in the views of New York’s skyline.’’

The prestigious Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic was held at Liberty State Park last weekend, drawing more than 6,000 visitors. Currently, the park also is home to two travelling exhibits: Alcatraz: Life on the Rock and Gateway to Gold Mountain, The Asian Immigration Experience: Angel Island 1910-1940, which are on display for free through June 30.

In November 2011, Governor Chris Christie announced the state’s Sustainable Parks Plan designed to keep all 39 of New Jersey’s state parks and more than 50 historic sites open, to provide affordable recreation to state residents, especially during tough economic times. Components of the plan, which the Governor announced at Liberty State Park, include enhancing and expanding park programs and events to generate more visitors, with a goal of making the parks more financially self-sustaining.

Bringing a variety of events and attractions, like the Girl Scouts’ centennial celebration and the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, to Liberty State Park is part of the DEP’s overall strategy.

Liberty State Park consists of 1,212 acres with wildlife habitats, open water, fields, nature trails, bike paths, picnic tables and a two-mile waterfront walkway along the Hudson River - known as Liberty Walk.  It is the most visited State park with 5.2 million visitors last year.
 
The history of the park and region can be found at the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ) Terminal. The Interpretive Center is an environmental and historical education facility featuring exhibits focusing on the natural history and ecology of the Hudson River Estuary and offers programs for schools, community groups and the general public. Ferry service operation to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island departs from the CRRNJ Terminal. Liberty Science Center offers a variety of interactive exhibits focusing on invention, health and environment.

For more information on Liberty State Park, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/parks/liberty.html

For more information and tickets for the BIG Celebration and concert, visit: http://www.thebigconcertnj.com .

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