Highland Park, New Jersey

By | September 28, 2023

According to timedictionary, Highland Park is a small borough located in Middlesex County, New Jersey. Situated on the Raritan River, the town covers an area of approximately 1.8 square miles. Despite its small size, Highland Park boasts a diverse and vibrant community, rich in history and natural beauty.

The borough is characterized by its hilly terrain, with elevations ranging from 40 to 260 feet above sea level. This topography gives the town a distinct visual appeal, with winding streets and picturesque views. The natural landscape is further enhanced by the presence of mature trees, parks, and green spaces, creating a tranquil and welcoming atmosphere.

The Raritan River serves as a prominent feature of Highland Park’s geography. It flows along the town’s eastern border, offering residents and visitors opportunities for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and picnicking. The river also provides a scenic backdrop for the town’s waterfront area, which includes Donaldson Park and its expansive open spaces.

Highland Park is also home to the Donaldson Park Arboretum, a beautiful botanical garden that showcases a wide variety of trees, plants, and flowers. The arboretum offers visitors a peaceful retreat and serves as an educational resource for those interested in horticulture and conservation.

In addition to its natural features, Highland Park is known for its tree-lined streets and well-preserved historic homes. The borough has a rich architectural heritage, with buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The historic district of Highland Park, located along Raritan Avenue, includes several notable structures, such as the Highland Park Presbyterian Church and the Highland Park Public Library.

The town’s geography also plays a role in its transportation infrastructure. Highland Park is conveniently located near major highways, including Route 27 and Route 18, providing easy access to surrounding areas. Public transportation options include NJ Transit bus routes and nearby train stations, making it a commuter-friendly community.

Highland Park’s geography has influenced its development as a diverse and culturally vibrant town. The borough is known for its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and cultural events. The downtown area, centered around Raritan Avenue, offers an array of dining options, boutiques, and art galleries, creating a lively and inclusive atmosphere.

The geography of Highland Park also contributes to its strong sense of community. The town’s small size fosters a close-knit environment, where neighbors know one another and residents actively participate in local events and initiatives. The numerous parks and green spaces provide gathering places for community events and recreational activities, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

In conclusion, Highland Park, New Jersey, is a small borough with a rich and diverse geography. Its hilly terrain, proximity to the Raritan River, and well-preserved historic buildings contribute to its unique charm and beauty. The town’s natural features, cultural offerings, and strong sense of community make it an attractive place to live, work, and visit.

History, Economy and Politics of Highland Park, New Jersey

Highland Park, New Jersey is a vibrant and diverse community located in Middlesex County. With a rich history, a thriving economy, and a unique political landscape, the town has become a desirable place to live, work, and visit.

Historically, Highland Park was settled in the early 17th century by the Dutch and English. Originally known as “Ompoge” by the Native Americans, the area was later renamed Highland Park due to its elevated location along the Raritan River. The town quickly developed as an agricultural community, with farming and mills being the primary sources of economic activity.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Highland Park experienced significant growth and development. The construction of the Raritan River Railroad in 1882 brought increased connectivity and commerce to the area. The town became a popular residential destination for professionals working in nearby New York City, leading to the construction of many beautiful Victorian-era homes.

In terms of the economy, Highland Park is home to a diverse range of businesses, including small shops, restaurants, and professional services. The downtown area, known as the “Raritan Avenue Corridor,” is a bustling hub of activity with a mix of local and international cuisine, specialty stores, and cultural establishments. The town’s proximity to major highways and public transportation options makes it an attractive location for businesses and commuters alike.

Highland Park’s economy has also benefited from its close proximity to Rutgers University, one of the nation’s leading public research universities. The university brings a steady flow of intellectual capital and research funding to the area, supporting various industries and fostering innovation.

Politically, Highland Park has a unique landscape characterized by progressive values and community engagement. The town has a council-manager form of government, with a mayor and six council members elected by the residents. The local government focuses on issues such as sustainability, social justice, and community development.

Highland Park is known for its active and engaged citizenry. The town hosts numerous community events, such as farmers’ markets, art festivals, and cultural celebrations, which foster a strong sense of community and promote local businesses. Residents actively participate in local politics, organizing grassroots initiatives and advocating for progressive policies.

Additionally, Highland Park has a long history of championing social causes. The town was the birthplace of the grassroots organization “Food & Water Watch,” which advocates for safe food and clean water. Highland Park has also been at the forefront of LGBTQ+ rights, with the town council passing an inclusive non-discrimination ordinance in 2013.

In conclusion, Highland Park, New Jersey is a vibrant and progressive community with a rich history, a diverse economy, and an engaged political landscape. From its agricultural roots to its thriving downtown area, the town continues to attract residents and visitors who appreciate its unique charm and commitment to social progress.