Township dedicates ‘Area of Hope’ in Nutley’s Memorial Park I

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci unveiled Nutley’s Area of Hope last week in a ceremony at the new memorial’s location in Memorial Park I near the center of town.

In dedicating the area to those lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, Tucci, who led the township through the crisis as mayor for the first two years, referred to it as being “a light in times of darkness.”

“As we prepare for summer, we all continue to remember those we have lost to Covid-19, to cancer, to natural causes or for any reason,” he said. “I think everyone in town knows or has known someone who has suffered a loss over the past two years. Sometimes, it is difficult to understand pain and suffering and we look for a place to reflect on our feelings.”

The Area of Hope includes several benches with memorial plaques dedicated to loved ones who died during the pandemic, surrounded by beautiful flowers and shrubbery.

One prominent bench, dedicated by the Nutley Board of Commissioners, is in the name of beloved Nutley physician Dr. Michael Giuliano, who sadly died from COVID near the beginning of the pandemic.

“Dr. Giuliano served our town for over 40 years,” Tucci said. “We are honored to be able to pay a lasting tribute to his memory.”

The Nutley Department of Parks and Recreation created a place of great hope and peace in a world that sometimes seems ravaged by sadness and anger. The concept and in-house design for this project assisted in the quick completion and cost savings of the project.

Construction began in 2021 and is now fully completed for the community to enjoy.

“I would like to thank Commissioner Tucci and the Parks Department for designing the Area of Hope,” Nutley Mayor Dr. Joseph P. Scarpelli said. “This tranquil space will provide our residents a place to reflect, find peace and reboot their mind and soul.”

“We have determined that the best course for fulfilling a void and bringing added faith to our community was to create a place of healing and hope for our residents,” Tucci said.

Located in Memorial Park I, closest to the Chestnut Street entrance, the commissioner welcomes all to visit the area — for whatever the reason.

“It is a peaceful environment for reflection, remembrance and healing,” Tucci said. “We invite everyone to visit our Area of Hope.”

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.