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Camden County NJ

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Cherry Hill is a township in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township had a population of 71,045, reflecting an increase of 1,080 (+1.5%) from the 69,965 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 617 (+0.9%) from the 69,348 counted in the 1990 Census. As of 2010, the township was the state’s 15th most populous municipality and the second-largest in Camden County (behind the city of Camden, the county seat), after having been the state’s 13th most populous municipality in the 2000 Census. An edge city of Philadelphia, Cherry Hill is situated on the Delaware Valley coastal plain, approximately 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Center City, Philadelphia.

The area now known as Cherry Hill was originally settled by the Lenni-Lenape Native Americans before being displaced by the first settlers from England, namely Quaker followers of William Penn who arrived in the late 17th century. The first settlement was a small cluster of homes named Colestown, in the perimeters of what is now the Colestown Cemetery on the corner of Route 41 (King’s Highway) and Church Road. The municipality was founded on February 25, 1844, in Gloucester County as Delaware Township from half of the area of Waterford Township, and became part of Camden County at its creation some two weeks later on March 13, 1844. Portions of the township were taken to form Stockton Township (February 23, 1859) and Merchantville (March 3, 1874). At its territorial peak, Delaware Township included all of modern-day Cherry Hill Township, as well as the neighborhood of North Camden and the municipalities of Merchantville and Pennsauken (including Petty’s Island in the Delaware River).

The township’s population grew rapidly after World War II, and continued to increase until the 1980s. Today, the municipality’s population is stable with new development generally occurring in pockets of custom luxury houses or through the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of commercial and industrial areas.

Origin of the name

Cherry Hill was a 19th-century farm on Kaighn Avenue (Route 38), owned by Abraham Browning. The farm property later became the Cherry Hill Inn (now an AMC Theatres Cherry Hill 24 movie theater complex), as well as an office campus (now a shopping center with big-box retailers), and today’s Cherry Hill Towers and Cherry Hill Estates housing developments.

Adding to the prevalence of the Cherry Hill name, developer Eugene Mori branded several properties using the name, including the Cherry Hill Inn and Cherry Hill Lodge hotels, Cherry Hill Apartments, and Cherry Hill Estates. Cherry Hill Shopping Center (now known as Cherry Hill Mall) opened in 1961 opposite the old Cherry Hill Farm site, featuring 75 stores within a single enclosed space.

When the township sought a new post office, another New Jersey municipality in Hunterdon County was using the name Delaware Township. The United States Postal Service insisted on a name change, suggesting “Deltown”. Delaware Township mayors Christian Weber and John Gilmour pursued public write-in campaigns to select possible titles, and chose Cherry Hill from suggestions that included Chapel Hill, Cherry Valley and Delaware City. The name “Cherry Hill” was chosen by the township’s citizens in a non-binding referendum in 1961, and was officially adopted November 7, 1961.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Cherry Hill township had a total area of 24.244 square miles (62.792 km2), including 24.097 square miles (62.410 km2) of land and 0.147 square miles (0.382 km2) of water (0.61%),

Ashland (2010 population of 8,302), Barclay (4,428), Cherry Hill Mall (14,171), Ellisburg (4,413), Golden Triangle (4,145), Greentree (11,367), Kingston Estates (5,685) and Springdale (14,518) are unincorporated communities and census-designated places (CDPs) located within the township.

Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Coffins Corner, Colwick, Cooperstown, Deer Park, Erlton, Freeman, Huttons Hill, Locust Grove, Orchard and Woodcrest.

The township’s eastern border with Burlington County is defined by the Pennsauken Creek. The creek separates Cherry Hill from the communities of Maple Shade Township, Evesham Township (and its Marlton neighborhood), and Mount Laurel Township.

The Cooper River forms the southern border with Haddon Township, Haddonfield Borough, and Lawnside Borough, through the Maria Barnaby Greenwald Park and parallel to the east-west Route 70.

To the north, Cherry Hill borders Merchantville Borough and Pennsauken Township, while Voorhees Township shares its southern border along County Route 544 (Evesham Road).

Cherry Hill has a humid subtropical climate, with mild winters however subject to changeable conditions with occasional ice and heavy snowfall that usually melts within days of falling. Summers are long, hot and humid. The area can feel effects from Atlantic tropical storms. Precipitation is plentiful in all seasons.

Cherry Hill is a corporate and employment hub in South Jersey. TD Bank, N.A., the seventh largest U.S. bank by deposits, has headquarters in Cherry Hill. Melitta USA has its coffee roasting plant in the township. The Courier-Post, the fifth-largest New Jersey-based newspaper, is published in Cherry Hill.

Many residents of Cherry Hill also work elsewhere. Cherry Hill is an edge city within a half-hour commute to Philadelphia or Camden, and within an hour to Trenton or Princeton, New Jersey. A lesser number of individuals commute to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and a growing number of commuters commute to and from New York City.

Cherry Hill Mall, a principal shopping center in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, was the first enclosed shopping mall in the eastern United States, opening in October 1961.

Food and dining

Chick’s Deli is a deli best known for hoagies and cheesesteaks.

The Neulander murder occurred in Cherry Hill. Rabbi Fred Neulander was convicted of paying two men to carry out a “hit” on his wife Carol Neulander, who was murdered in the family home in 1994. He was sentenced to a prison term of 30 years to life.

Springdale Farms is Cherry Hill’s only working farm.

Barclay Farm House, a farm house constructed in 1816 and listed on the National and New Jersey registers of historic places.

Cherry Hill was the home of four of the five members of the Fort Dix 5, who were convicted in federal court in Camden on December 22, 2008 on a plot to kill soldiers at Fort Dix. The Cherry Hill members are Dritan Duka, 30, Shain Duka, 27, and Eljvir Duka, 25, as well as Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, 23. Ages were at the time of conviction.

Cherry Hill has 51 public parks, plus three parks owned by Camden County. Most parks have playground equipment, basketball courts, tennis courts, walking paths, and athletic fields. Croft Farm, which was originally a working mill and farm, is the only park with an arts center. It was originally built in 1753, and is a historic landmark in Cherry Hill. The farmhouse underwent many changes throughout the years, including an expansion in 1816. The property was sold to the township in 1985. It was formed into the Cherry Hill Arts Center in 1995, which serves the community for art classes, seminars, and concerts produced by the Cherry Hill Recreation Department.

Toward the last two weeks of April, one can see a two-mile avenue of continuous rows of cherry blossoms on Chapel Avenue between Haddonfield Road and Kings Highway. The avenue of cherry blossoms was conceived by a group of residents who wanted to unify the townspeople of Cherry Hill to participate in a community-wide celebration of the diverse community of Cherry Hill. This effort started in 1972 and cherry trees are still being planted every year by the Cherry Hill Fire Department and community volunteers.

Golf courses

Merchantville Country Club is a private country club in Cherry Hill. Woodcrest Country Club was sold at a bankruptcy auction in spring 2013, and is now a semi-private club open to the public.

At 72,000 square feet (6,700 m2), the Cherry Hill Public Library is among the largest municipal libraries in New Jersey. The current facility was completed in December 2004 to replace the 1966 Malcolm Wells-designed structure at 1100 King’s Highway North. The library is an agency of the Township’s municipal government.

Public schools

The Cherry Hill Public Schools operates 19 schools including an early childhood center, 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, two traditional high schools, and an alternative high school. Cherry Hill is the 12th-largest school district in the state of New Jersey and one of the largest suburban districts. The district has grown by about 2,000 students since the late 1990s, and employs 1,400 (about 1,000 teachers plus administration and staff). The District is governed by a volunteer Board of Education which consists of nine citizens elected at-large to three-year terms on a staggered basis, with three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election.

As of the 2013–14 school year, the district’s 19 schools had an enrollment of 11,266 students and 877.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.8:1. Schools in the district (with 2013–14 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Barclay Early Childhood Center (PreK; 300 students), Clara Barton Elementary School (K–5; 479), James F. Cooper Elementary School (K–5; 273), Bret Harte Elementary School (K–5; 419), James H. Johnson Elementary School (K–5; 434), Joyce Kilmer Elementary School (K–5; 471), Kingston Elementary School (K–5; 465), A. Russell Knight Elementary School (K–5; 357), Horace Mann Elementary School (K–5; 303), Thomas Paine Elementary School (K–5; 370), Joseph D. Sharp Elementary School (K–5; 321), Richard Stockton Elementary School (K–5; 420), Woodcrest Elementary School (K–5; 386), Henry C. Beck Middle School (6–8; 963), John A. Carusi Middle School (6–8; 863), Rosa International Middle School (6–8; 828), Cherry Hill High School East (9–12; 2,113), Cherry Hill High School West (9–12; 1,462) and Cherry Hill Alternative High School (9–12; 39).

For the 2001–02 school year, Cherry Hill High School East received the National Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence from the U.S. Department of Education. Three of the district’s schools have been named as “Star Schools” by the New Jersey Department of Education: Cherry Hill High School East (1999–2000), Thomas Paine Elementary School (2002–03) and Clara Barton Elementary School (2003–04). The district has five Best Practices Award Winners. SAT scores far exceed state and national averages, with Cherry Hill High School East’s average SAT score of 1668, ranking 41st in the state, and West’s 1,529 average ranking 124th in New Jersey, out of 349 schools with students taking the test that year. In 2013, the graduation rate was 95% for East and 89% for West. Newsweek named Cherry Hill High School East 85th overall among the nearly 30,000 public high schools in the U.S. in their rankings of “America’s Top High Schools 2015”.

Cherry Hill’s school district offered the International Baccalaureate certificate and diploma program at Cherry Hill West beginning in 2001, but phased it out at the conclusion of the 2007–08 school year. The IB Primary Years Programme is offered at Joseph D. Sharp, James F. Cooper and Thomas Paine Elementary Schools. This program is also a part of the IB Middle Years Programme offered for grades 6–8 at Rosa International Middle School (RIMS).

Private schools

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden operates Resurrection Regional Catholic School, a Pre-K to 8 elementary school resulting of the merger of St. Peter Celestine School and Queen of Heaven School, as well as Camden Catholic High School for grades 9–12.

The King’s Christian School is a private Christian fully accredited PreK–12 institution founded as the Christian Day School of Camden County in 1946.

Politz Day School of Cherry Hill is a private Modern Orthodox Jewish day school serving early childhood through middle school students, co-located with and supported by Congregation Sons of Israel.

Colleges and universities

Camden County College operates one of its three campuses at the William G. Rohrer Center at Route 70 East and Springdale Road.

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 309.36 miles (497.87 km) of roadways, of which 246.81 miles (397.20 km) were maintained by the municipality, 40.41 miles (65.03 km) by Camden County and 17.91 miles (28.82 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 4.23 miles (6.81 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

The New Jersey Turnpike passes through Cherry Hill Township. The Walt Whitman rest area (southbound at milepost 30.2) is located in the township, but the closest interchange is exit 4 in neighboring Mount Laurel Township.

Interstate 295 has three exits in the township. Exit 34A/B is Route 70 (Marlton Pike); exit 32 is CR 561 (Haddonfield-Berlin Road); and exit 31 goes directly to the Woodcrest station of the PATCO high-speed commuter rail line.

Other major highways in Cherry Hill include Route 38, Route 41, and Route 154.

Public transportation

NJ Transit bus service is available to and from Philadelphia on the 317, 404, and 406 routes, with local service on the 405, 450, 451, 455, and 457 routes. BoltBus, and Chinatown Buses provides frequent express service to and from New York City, and also frequent commuter service to and from the 34th Street – Hudson Yards New York City Subway station.

NJ Transit’s Atlantic City Line, traveling on the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Line route, stops at the Cherry Hill station, located on the west side of the tracks between the Garden State Pavilion shopping center and the newer development on the grounds of the former Garden State Racetrack.

The Woodcrest station of the PATCO Speedline is located in Cherry Hill, offering service between Lindenwold and 15–16th & Locust station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

As of 2016 two Taiwanese airlines, China Airlines and EVA Air, provides private bus services to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City for customers based in New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. These bus services stop in Cherry Hill.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

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