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Bernards, NJ

Bernards, NJ, is a charming tapestry of rich history, diverse culture, robust economy, and an engaged community. Its idyllic landscapes, historic landmarks, quality education system, and thriving community service make it an appealing place to call home.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, a nature lover, a gourmand, or someone seeking a friendly neighborhood, Bernards Township offers something for everyone. It truly is a small town with a big heart, promising an exceptional living experience.

Tracing the Sands of Time: A Historical Glimpse of Bernards, NJ

Anchored in the roots of Somerset County, Bernards Township narrates a tale rich in history and culture. In 1760, the Township was originally established as Bernardston Township via a royal charter.

It was later incorporated as Bernards Township in 1798, taking its name from Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Baronet, the then governor of the Province of New Jersey.

As the years passed, parts of the Township were utilized to form other towns such as Warren Township, Far Hills, and Bernardsville.

The Bernards Inn, a landmark property in the heart of the Township, is a testament to the area’s historical essence.

First opened in 1907, this edifice witnessed numerous transformations, even being the first in town to advertise for moving pictures and illustrated songs in 1912.

Another milestone in the historical timeline was the establishment of the Hills Development in 1969, marking a significant phase in Bernards’ real-estate progression.

Demographics and Population Trends in Bernards, New Jersey

Bernards, New Jersey, with its rich history and vibrant community, offers a diverse demographic and an upward trend in population growth.

Racial and Ethnic Composition

Bernards demonstrates a multicultural backdrop, with a variety of racial and ethnic groups contributing to the local population. The distribution, as of the most recent data, is as follows:

Race/EthnicityPercentage
White64.7%
Asian22.8%
Hispanic7.7%
Others4.8%

The “Others” category encapsulates individuals identifying as Black, Native American, Pacific Islander, multiple races, and other racial or ethnic groups not listed explicitly.

Income Levels

In 2021, the median household income in Bernards stood at $160,286, outpacing neighboring regions such as Harrison Township ($159,848) and Chesterfield ($159,609).

Despite this relatively high-income level, about 2.0% of families in the township live below the poverty line, emphasizing the importance of ongoing social support and community development initiatives.

Population Growth

Over the past two decades, Bernards Township has seen consistent population growth. The population count rose from 24,575 in 2000 to 27,896 in 2020, marking an 8.5% overall increase.

The most recent decade (2010-2020) witnessed a growth of 1,178 individuals, translating to a rate of 4.4%. This steady rise illustrates Bernards’ continual development and attractiveness as a residential area.

Navigating Through Bernards: Transportation

Bernards Township offers a comprehensive transportation system, consisting of well-maintained roads and highways, public transportation services, and local volunteer efforts.

The network of roads, including Interstate 78, Interstate 287, and U.S. Route 202, facilitate seamless commuting within and beyond the township.

Public transportation, particularly the NJ Transit train service available at the Basking Ridge station and Lyons station, ensures easy accessibility.

The Lakeland Bus Lines also provide rush-hour service to Midtown Manhattan, catering to the needs of daily commuters.

Cultivating Minds: The Education System in Bernards, NJ

Nestled in Somerset County, New Jersey, Bernards Township proudly hosts an inclusive public school district that caters to learners from pre-kindergarten up to the twelfth grade.

Encompassing six schools, the Bernards Township School District boasted a student population of 4,874, with 456.1 full-time equivalent teachers during the academic year of 2020-21. This resulted in a comfortable student-teacher ratio of 10.7:1, ensuring personalized attention for students.

A key feature of the district is its specialized Integrated Preschool Program, designed specifically to meet the needs of children on the autism spectrum. This program is underpinned by the principles of applied behavior analysis.

The New Jersey Department of Education recognizes the district as a part of District Factor Group “J”, the highest among eight categories. These classifications facilitate statewide comparisons of districts based on shared socioeconomic factors.

The legacy of the Bernards Township School District is highlighted by its consistent record of academic distinction and an array of accolades.

During the 2009-10 academic term, Ridge High School received the prestigious Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence from the United States Department of Education. This marked the school’s second receipt of this top-tier recognition, having also won it for the 1986-87 school year.

In 2014, Mount Prospect Elementary School earned national recognition as one of 11 New Jersey schools honored by the United States Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

Further showcasing the district’s commitment to high standards, Liberty Corner Elementary School was among 15 New Jersey schools and one of nine public institutions acknowledged as a National Blue Ribbon School in the exemplary high-performing category by the U.S. Department of Education in 2015.

Healthcare in Bernards, NJ: A Beacon of Wellness

Bernards’ residents have easy access to an array of healthcare facilities nearby, including the Morristown Medical Center, Kimball Medical Center, and Monmouth Medical Center.

The Lyons Veterans Administration Hospital, a significant health facility, also stands within the township, offering dedicated services to the veteran community.

Discovering Bernards: Popular Landmarks

Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church: Founded in 1717, the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church is a testament to the colonial era’s architecture, showcasing the dedication and craftsmanship of that period.

The church is also known for its historic oak tree, a silent spectator to several centuries of the town’s evolution.

Even though the oak tree succumbed in 2016, the community remains reverent to its legacy, fostering a sapling germinated from the old oak’s acorn. This gesture speaks volumes about Bernards’ spirit of preservation and continuity.

Lord Stirling Park: Named after William Alexander, Lord Stirling, a local figure in the American Revolution, this park offers extensive walking trails, a beautiful environmental education center, and a variety of outdoor activities.

The park, built around the Lord Stirling Estate, serves as the Somerset County Environmental Education Center, offering a variety of environmental education programs.

The park is a haven for local wildlife, and the lush trails provide a tranquil retreat from the bustle of modern life, exhibiting a commitment to environmental conservation and community wellness.

The Brick Academy: Serving as a window to the past, The Brick Academy is an architectural marvel that dates back to 1809. Today, it is the headquarters for The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills.

Visitors can step back in time and explore the local history, reflecting Bernards’ education system of the early 19th century.

This fascinating glimpse into the past is a testament to the community’s dedication to preserving and showcasing its heritage.

Pleasant Valley Park: Known for its lively community gatherings, Pleasant Valley Park is the heart of Bernards’ recreation scene.

The park hosts summer concerts and Fourth of July celebrations, a reflection of the town’s vibrant community spirit.

With its community pool and numerous sports fields, the park caters to a wide range of athletic pursuits, underscoring the community’s commitment to an active lifestyle and family-friendly recreation.

Alward Farmhouse: The Alward Farmhouse is a historic site dating back to the late 18th century. It stands as a testament to the farming history of Bernards Township and gives visitors a glimpse into the past.

USGA Museum: Located in Bernards, the United States Golf Association Museum is a treasure trove for golf enthusiasts. It hosts a collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits that highlight the history of golf in the United States.

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary is a haven for nature lovers, offering hiking trails and birdwatching opportunities. It’s home to a diverse range of wildlife and plays a key role in local conservation efforts.

Devil’s Tree: A solitary oak with a storied past, the Devil’s Tree is surrounded by local lore and superstition. Some believe it to be cursed, while others see it as merely a unique local landmark.

Somerset County Courthouse: This historic courthouse, located in nearby Somerville, features striking architecture and stands as an essential symbol of Somerset County’s legal history.

Ross Farm: Ross Farm is a music venue set in a historic home, offering live performances in an intimate, unique setting. The Farm is also known for its efforts in local history preservation.

Cross Estate Gardens: Located in the heart of the Somerset Hills, the Cross Estate Gardens are part of the National Register of Historic Places.

These public gardens are beautifully maintained and feature a variety of native plants and blooming flowers throughout the spring and summer months.

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