Click to Home
Go To Search
SOMA – Two Towns For All Ages
SOMA Age Friendly Iniative Logo.jpg
Catherine Rowe
SOMA Age Friendly Initiative Coordinator

574 Valley St.
Maplewood Township, NJ  07040

Ph: (973) 762-8120 ext. 4005
Fax: (973) 763-4202

Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Our Mission Statement:

To identify, develop and coordinate resources, policies, programs and services

that support and empower all residents of Maplewood and South Orange

to age in place as full members of the community.

Recognizing the increasing number of residents over 60 and the desire to keep long-term residents in our communities, South Orange and Maplewood (SOMA) launched "Two towns for all ages." Under this new initiative, SOMA is taking a proactive approach to foster healthy aging and enable residents to age in place.

This age-friendly initiative engages all stakeholders in the community - government, businesses, schools, non-profits and people of all ages - to build a lifelong community.  To ensure programs and services in our two towns meet these important goals we strive/pledge/commit to:

  • Be responsive to the needs of older residents.
  • Combine the resources and interests of both towns to build a synergistic relationship that promotes and supports healthy aging.
  • Recognize the role older adults play in our communities and their contributions to the fabric of our diverse community.
  • Realize that improvements that benefit the older population also benefit the rest of our community.
  • Ensure older adults engage in the conversation and allow their concerns to be heard and acted upon.

Both towns are committed to the long-term continuity and sustainability of the Two towns for all ages initiative. 

June Newsletter

June 1, 2017

Dear South Orange and Maplewood Seniors,

Recognizing the increasing number of residents over 60 and the desire to keep long-term residents in our communities, South Orange and Maplewood (SOMA) launched "SOMA Two towns for all ages." Under this new initiative, SOMA is taking a proactive approach to foster healthy aging and enable residents to age in place.  Many of you have been involved in the planning, surveys and development of this program, and we appreciate your hard work.  One of our priorities is to help people stay involved in our communities and meet changing needs as people age.  For this, we have developed a calendar of events by, for and of interest to older residents of activities around our towns.  Please see the enclosed calendar.

Volunteer opportunities

Two Towns Triathlon, sponsored the South Orange and Maplewood Departments of Recreation, needs volunteers to help with this annual event for kids, starting at 7:00am on Saturday June 17th.  Volunteers needed to be lap counters, man water stations, help with participation ID and guide runners and bikers on their routes.  Will require standing outside.  For more information, contact Ronnie at (973) 762-8120 x 4004 or .

The Maplewood Fourth of July Committee is looking for volunteers to help with the day’s events.  Volunteers will receive free admission to the day’s events.  You can go to the Fourth of July website  and click Community Partners/volunteers.  Or, call (973) 762-8120 and leave a message at x 4005.

The Arts Unbound Showcase Store in Maplewood needs volunteers to help in the store.  Shifts are generally 2 hours.  Especially needed are shifts for Wednesday & Sunday afternoons.  Volunteers must be comfortable using a computer and chatting with new people.  If interested, please contact Margaret Mikkelsen at (973)-675-2787 or .  For more information about Arts Unbounds programs, including programs for seniors, visit

Classic Card

The very successful South Orange Classic Card programs is expanding into Maplewood!  This free card for residents over 65 offers discounts at local restaurants and businesses.  If you already have the South Orange Classic Card, you do not have to do anything.  If you do not have one and want to join, you can pick up an applications at the clerks’ offices at either Maplewood Town Hall or South Orange Village offices.  Or call (973)762-8120 x 4005 to have an application mailed to you. 

Senior Fitness

On Senior Fitness Day (May 24) More than 50  residents were able to sample the many classes offered by both towns’ Recreation Departments.  If you are interested in classes, the schedule for June is:

Mondays:        9am Aerobics              Maplewood Senior Center, 106 Burnett Ave.

                    10am Resistance           Maplewood Senior Center

                    10:15 Chair aerobics      The Baird        ** Until June 12

                     1 pm Tai Chi                Maplewood  Senior Center

Tuesdays:      9:30am  Zumba           Maplewood Senior Center

                        11am Aerobics          Maplewood Senior Center

Wednesdays:   9 am  Pilates              Maplewood Senior Center

                        10 am Toning 1        Maplewood Senior Center

                        10 am Walks            various parks (see calendar)

                        10:15 Senior Fitness The Baird        ** until June 21

Thursdays:       9:30 Zumba              Maplewood Senior Center

                      11:15 Chair yoga       The Baird        ** until June 15

Fridays:           9 am Toing II            Maplewood Senior Center

                     10:15 Senior Fitness   The Baird        **until June 22


Each town provides transportation for seniors during the week days using the commuter jitneys.  S. Orange Jitney service operates 5 days a week, Monday through Friday, to stores and stops within the Village. It also includes transportation to some out-of-town shopping areas on 3 Wednesdays each month. If the stop is off-route, advance reservation is required by contacting the Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs at (973) 378-7754, ext. 1.

Maplewood runs several trips to shopping (Shoprite, Bed bath & Beyond, Home Depot)  during the week, and offers “Dial –A-Ride” for door-to-door  service within Maplewood when not used for other trips.  You can schedule a ride one day in advance by calling the Maplewood Community Center at 973-763-0750.


The Fourth of July Committee is making several improvements this year to make the day more age-friendly, including a hospitality tent and golf carts to shuttle seniors from Baker Street parking and drop off. The Classic Card will give seniors a 50% discount for tickets, and for those without a card, you can sign up on site and receive the discount.  The Committee is exploring other transportation options – if you are interested in jitney service on July 4, please contact Cathy Rowe at (973) 558-0863 or .

Repair Café is a growing movement that helps people repair beloved objects, instead of throwing them away.  We are looking for volunteers with expertise in fixing, gluing, sewing or any type of repair to help us start a chapter here in Maplewood and South Orange.  If you are interested in being a repair expert, or just want to help out, please contact Cathy Rowe at (973) 558-0863 or Lorraine Graves at .

June Events

***Upcoming Events in Maplewood and South Orange (Events are free unless otherwise noted, registration may be required)***

Fridays & Saturdays, starting June 2    Downtown after Sundown

  • Sloan St. and Spiotta Park, 7:30 - 10:00 pm
  • Music each Friday & Saturday night though the summer, two venues per night.

Saturday & Sunday, June 3&4           South Orange Maplewood Artists Studio Tour

  • The Pierro Gallery, 11:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Art lovers, collectors, connoisseurs—shop local! Join your friends and neighbors around town for this fabulous art event. Details available at the Baird and online at

Monday, June 5                     

Computer class

  • South Orange Library, 10:00 AM
  • Internet basics and any other subject of interest will be covered

Tuesdays in June         Quilting Group

  • The Baird, 9:30 - 12:30
  • This group is for current quilters or others interested in learning how to quilt.   Drop in.

Tuesday, June 6         


  • Maplewood Senior Center at 106 Burnett, 1:00pm
  • Call (973) 763-0750 for titles

Wednesday, June 7    

S.O. Jitney Goes to Essex Green in West Orange

  • The Baird, 10:00 am
  • Register by calling (973) 378-7754 X1

Creative Writing Class

  • South Orange Library, 1:00pm

Art in the Park – first of the summer series

  • Wednesdaa, Cameron Park, near the duck pond, 6:00 - 8:00
  • June 7: "Paint a Picnic" Paint a picnic table for use during summer concerts.
  •  June 14: "Planet Yarn". Create a giant string art mural .
  •  June 21: "Life Drawing" Learn the basics while drawing a costumedmodel in an outdoor setting.
  • June 28: "Words and Letters" Creat a community mural from ecylecd books.

Wednesday Walks in the Parks - 10:00 am

  • Meet up with other seniors to walk, talk and start the day.  We will rotate  through the Maplewood and South Orange Parks:
  • June 7 - Dehart Park, Maplewood
  • June 14 - Meet at the Duck Pond in South Orange for the river walk
  • June 21 - Maplecrest Park, Maplewood, near the entrance at Oakland and Oakview
  • June 28 - Grove Park, across from B'nai Brith apartments

Thursday, June 8        

Lecture Series - Kris Fischer, Editor-in-Chief of the NY Law Journal, emeritus. "How media coverage of the law became mainstream"

  • South Orange Library, 1:00pm

Free Adult Health Screenings

  • Maplewood Town Hall, 10:00 am – noon

Digital Device Clinic

  • Hilton Library, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Drop in for help on how to use your devices – Ipad, smart phone, how to download an app or a book.

Friday & Saturday, June 9 & 10        

Maplewood – South Orange Book Festival

  • The MAPSO Book Festival brings together authors, readers and book lovers from all over NJ. At the Woodland, SOPAC, and other venues. For more information go to

Saturday, June 10      

Art & Music Reception

  • Maplewood Main Library, 3:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday, June 10 & 11    

Art exhibition "Lil Sperling: Retrospective. A Life in Art"

  • Winchester Gardens, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Please call to confirm parking 973-762-5050, option 0

Tuesday, June 13       

Pizza & Movies

  • Maplewood Senior Center at 106 Burnett, 1:00
  • Call (973) 763-0750 for titles

Wednesday, June 14  

Free Adult Health Screenings

  • Maplewood Main Library, 10:30 am – noon

Read Around the World: Barbados - The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson

  • Maplewood Main Library, 7:00 pm

Wednesdays at the Movies - "La La Land"

  • South Orange Library, 1:00 pm

Thursday, June 15      

Lunch & Learn  - Car Fit – sponsored by AARP

  • Maplewood Senior Center at 106 Burnett, 11:00
  • Register by calling (973) 763-0750

S.O. Free Blood Pressure screening

  • The Baird, 11:00 am

Coalition on Race: Coffee House Discussions. “Race and Privilege, Going Deeper”

  • Maplewood Main Library, 7:00 -9:00 pm

Saturday, June 17      

Yarn & Fiber Arts Group

  • Maplewood Main Library, 10:00 am to Noon
  • Knit, crochet, quilt, sew, embroider or do other creative things with yarn or fabric. Work on your projects & get feedback and advice from fellow crafters. Bring your supplies. All skill levels welcome!

Monday, June 19       

Computer class

  • South Orange Library, 10:00 am
  • Interesting databases offered by the library and any other topic of interest

Book Discussion Group - "Mary Coin” by Marissa Silver

  • South Orange Library, 7:00 PM

The Grass is Gayer OUT in the Suburbs

  • Maplewood Main Library, 7:00 pm
  • Maplewood Library is celebrating Pride Month with a special program featuring field notes from life in the burbs: readings and musings by local writers Peggy Hannis, Doreen C. Jones and Robert Shaffron. Co-sponsored by North Jersey Pride. Refreshments will be served. Free -- and open to everyone!

Tuesday, June 20       

Computer Explorations

  • Hilton Library, 1:00 pm
  • For computer beginners and intermediate users, get help with your specific needs.

Wednesday, June 21  

South Orange jitney goes to Target and Whole Foods

  • The Baird, 10:00 am
  • Register by calling (973) 378-7754, x 1

Creative Writing Group

  • South Orange Library, 1:00pm

Thursday, June 22      

Trip to Pier Village, Long Branch

  • Maplewood Senior Center at 106 Burnett, 9:00 am
  • Register by calling (973) 763-0750

Lecture Series - Amefika Gray, Filmmaker – “The Art of Filmmaking"

  • South Orange Library, 1:00pm

Saturday, June 24      

Senior Share

  • Maplewood Main Library, 1:00 pm
  • Speaker Margaret Ames on Naturally Occurring  Retirement Communities.

XRoots Fest

  • Floods Hill, 12-5pm
  • Enjoy multicultural entertainment representing the region’s diversity. It’s a day filled with music, dance, food, vendors, and hands-on activities to learn more about different cultures.

Saturday & Sunday, June 24 & 25    

The Friends of South Orange Library Book Sale! Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 10am-3pm

  • The Baird
  • Donation dates Wednesday June 21 (10 am- 4 pm) & Thursday June 22 10 am – 3 pm

Sat, June 24    

Wednesday, June 28  

Wednesdays at the Movies - "Fences"

  • South Orange Library, 1:00 pm

Thursday, June 29      

Lunch & Learn - Consumer Affairs - Don't get scammed!

  • Maplewood Senior Center at 106 Burnett, 11:00
  • Register by calling (973) 763-0750

Location Guide:

The Baird – 5 Mead St, S. Orange (973) 378-7754

Burnett Community Center – 120 Burnett Ave, Maplewood (973) 763- 0750

Maplewood Main Library – 51 Baker St., Maplewood  (973) 762-1622

Maplewood Hilton Library – 1688 Springfield Ave., Maplewood (973) 762-1688

Maplewood Senior Center – 106 Burnett Ave., Maplewood  (973) 763- 0750

The Pierro Gallery – inside the Baird, 5 Mead St., S.Orange  (973) 378-7833

South Orange Public Library (SOPL) – 65 Scotland Rd., S. Orange (973) 762- 0230

Winchester Gardens – 333 Elmwood Ave., Maplewood (973) 762-5050

If you would like to receive information, mailings and emails from SOMA Two towns for all ages, or post an event in our calendar, please email or leave a message at (973) 762-8120 x 4005.

574 Valley St.
Maplewood Township, NJ 07040
Hours of Operation 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Ph: (973) 762-8120