Chiropractic care is a drug-free, non-invasive approach to overall wellness and healing that focuses on correcting issues with your musculoskeletal system. When performed by a licensed chiropractor, it can alleviate and even eliminate common problems such as:
To treat your conditions and help reduce your pain, chiropractors use time-tested, hands-on techniques to adjust your spine, neck, back, and other joints throughout your body to restore proper function, mobility, and alignment. Once your body is in proper alignment, it functions optimally, leading to improved overall wellness and health.
Unlike some sports rehab clinics in The Garden State, chiropractors from NJ Sports Spine & Wellness work with you one-on-one to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific goals and needs relating to your pain and ability to live a normal life. Because our team takes a holistic approach to healthcare, we cover all aspects of your health and wellness when developing your chiropractic treatment plan. That way, we increase your chances of living a fulfilling life free of pain and worry about throwing your back out.
Seeing a chiropractor can quite literally change your life for the better. According to the American Chiropractic Association, in general, chiropractic therapy is a more effective solution for back pain than other treatments like addictive pain pills, surgeries, and yoga. When combined with services like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and acupuncture, chiropractic care may be the key you need to open the door to a pain-free life.Shedule An Appointment
Some of the many benefits of seeing a reliable, licensed chiropractor include the following:
Perhaps the most obvious reason to make an appointment with a chiropractor is for back pain relief. Some people only need to see a chiropractor when they have occasional back pain, such as when they wake up in the morning. Others, such as those who have been in serious car accidents, need regular chiropractic adjustments and therapies, which are often supplemented with techniques like physical therapy and acupuncture.
There are many causes of back pain that range from advanced conditions like having sciatica and herniated discs to everyday issues like poor posture and sleeping in a harmful position. Your chiropractor's job is to pinpoint the cause(s) of your back pain and build a customized plan to address your musculoskeletal conditions. Once that happens, pain relief follows shortly after.
At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, we craft personalized chiropractic plans for every patient we treat, with the goal of avoiding harmful surgeries and addictive medicines.
If you've never experienced a headache in your life, you're exceedingly rare. Just about every American will suffer from a headache at some point or another. For some, headaches only happen occasionally and are not much more than an annoyance. For others, headaches evolve into crippling migraines that can affect quality of life, ability to work, and much more.
If you find yourself digging into a bottle of Aspirin or something stronger when you have a headache, it might be time to visit an NJSSW chiropractor.
Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you didn't sleep a wink the previous night? Do you have to take sleep aides like Ambien in order to drift off to dreamland? If you have chronic back pain, getting a full night's rest is easier said than done. From misaligned spines to improper sleeping posture, your chiropractor in Ocean Grove can use manipulation therapy and other techniques to boost blood flow and align your vertebrae, so your body can heal itself and help you rest better.
One of the best things about seeing your chiropractor is that when your session is over, you often feel great. The pain relief feels phenomenal. When you're not in pain, you have a more positive outlook on life, and often enjoy better sleep, blood pressure, and even sexual relations. It makes sense, then, that chiropractic care has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety, which promotes relaxation and improved mental health.
At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we work with a long list of athletes who suffer from sports injuries and other problems that can manifest from being active. For professional athletes, having a trustworthy chiropractor to care for them is needed for their careers. But you don't have to be a pro athlete to benefit from chiropractic care. Ordinary people that enjoy active lifestyles can reap tremendous rewards through chiropractic care, such as improved range of motion and relief from compressed discs.
Whether you enjoy impromptu games of tag football or simply want to play with your kids, seeing a chiropractor can help you be healthy and active without fighting back, neck, and joint pain. That's especially true when chiropractic therapy is used in conjunction with acupuncture, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.ies and addictive medicines.
Your NJ Sports Spine & Wellness chiropractor in Ocean Grove may use a range of techniques to restore function and alignment in your body. Some of the most common techniques our chiropractors use include:
Life has a habit of being unexpected. Sure, some surprises only hurt your bank account, like last-minute renovations in your home. But severe incidents, like car accidents, can inflict physical injuries that cause you long-term pain. These problems, like neck and back injuries, affect many Americans daily. Even worse, many hardworking people turn to risky surgeries and addictive pain medications, only to find themselves deep in a hole that seems impossible to get out of.
If you suffer from serious range-of-motion issues or you're in chronic pain, it's important to know that you have treatment choices. You don't have to put your health at risk to relieve your pain. One of the most successful non-invasive treatments offered for pain is physical therapy. The main goal of physical therapy is to restore movement and function to patients affected by illness, injury, or disability.
Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.
Once our PTs have made headway, they will often use our chiropractic therapy to provide the patient with more relief. Having the option of both chiropractic and physical therapy is often very effective, because your chiropractor in Ocean Grove can address nerve irritation and joint dysfunction while your physical therapist helps retrain your musculoskeletal system, allowing your body to heal faster.
Some of the biggest benefits of using physical therapy along with chiropractic care include:
Occupational therapy, or OT, is to help patients of all ages and abilities engage in activities of daily living, or ADL. Often, that means helping patients reclaim the ability to continue working, going to school, accomplishing day-to-day tasks, or other activities common to daily living.
Occupational therapy can benefit individuals going through many conditions, such as traumatic brain injuries, strokes, spinal cord injuries, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, and chronic pain. The end goal of occupational therapy is to help patients achieve the maximum level of independence and participation in their daily lives. If pain, discomfort, weakness, fatigue, or fear prevent you from participating in activities you love, an OT from NJ Sports Spine & Wellness could become the MVP of your wellness journey.
To give our patients the most complete pain relief and recovery options, our doctors and practitioners will often lean on the expertise of both a physical therapist and a chiropractor in Ocean Grove. By working together, your PT, OT, and chiropractor can provide you with a comprehensive approach to total-body functionality, from your spine and joints to your mind and range of motion.
Some of the most common benefits of using OT with chiropractic care include:
Acupuncture boosts your body's functions and helps improve its ability to heal through anatomic site stimulation - usually called acupuncture points or acupoints. To stimulate these points, acupuncturists at NJ Sports Spine & Wellness insert fine, sterile needles into your skin. Most patients don't feel any pain as needles are applied. Typically, needles are left in the skin up to 30 minutes. After your session, it's normal to feel incredibly relaxed.
While some practitioners still adhere to traditional philosophies, modern acupuncturists take an integrative approach to the therapy. Today, professional acupuncturists use these techniques to stimulate your body's natural healing and pain-fighting processes. When coupled with personalized care from a chiropractor in Ocean Grove as well as physical or occupational therapy, you can find real relief from the physical and emotional roadblocks holding you back. Some of the most reported benefits of acupuncture treatment include:
During an acupuncture session, you may feel a slight sensation of warmth or tingling at the needle's site of insertion. Generally speaking, acupuncture is painless and perfectly safe for you to consider. In fact, many practitioners and doctors recommend combining acupuncture with other treatment options like chiropractic adjustments.
Though acupuncture and chiropractic therapies come from different origins, both include non-invasive, holistic, and gentle approaches that don't require drugs to work. They also both facilitate total-body healing by addressing the underlying causes of your symptoms - not just the symptoms themselves.
Because acupuncture is known to release endorphins and improve blood flow, having a session prior to a chiropractic adjustment can be very beneficial. That's because, after acupuncture, your muscles are less stiff, more relaxed, and easier to adjust effectively. Over time, as you combine acupuncture and chiropractic therapy, you'll benefit from less inflammation and less pain as you heal from injuries or musculoskeletal conditions. That same truth applies to patients who undergo serious chiropractic adjustments.
At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our staff consists of licensed and highly-trained professionals, including specialists focusing on:
Every member of our team believes that the path to wellness and a pain-free life begins with customized treatment plans that cater to your needs and body. Unlike some chiropractors in Ocean Grove, we do not treat on-the-surface symptoms with one-size-fits-all therapies. We do not rely on powerful pain medications to mask your pain or invasive surgeries that require weeks of recovery. Instead, we address the root causes of your pain so that we can help you live the happy, healthy life you're craving.
To achieve that goal, we'll conduct an in-depth evaluation to learn about your medical history. We'll also perform diagnostic tests and speak with you one-on-one to get a better sense of your needs. From there, we'll recommend the therapies that can give you a new lease on life and be there for every milestone you hit.
If you're fed up of living with the limits of pain and lack of mobility, we're here to help you break free. Contact our office today to get started.
The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has been told it must stop blocking beach access or face penalties. |Updated Wed, Sep 20, 2023 at 5:22 pm ETOCEAN GROVE, NJ — The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has been issued a violation notice by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection over its continued practice of blocking public beach access on Sunday mornings.In a letter dated Thursday, Sept. 14, the NJDEP said the camp meeting association is in violation of a provision of the Coastal Area Facili...
|Updated Wed, Sep 20, 2023 at 5:22 pm ET
OCEAN GROVE, NJ — The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has been issued a violation notice by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection over its continued practice of blocking public beach access on Sunday mornings.
In a letter dated Thursday, Sept. 14, the NJDEP said the camp meeting association is in violation of a provision of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act that requires public access be maintained so the public can reach the sand below the mean high water line.
A request for comment from the camp meeting association was not immediately answered Friday evening.
Under the Public Trust Doctrine in New Jersey, private ownership of a beach only extends to the mean high water line. From there to the water the beach belongs to the public. The NJDEP has fought — and won — repeated legal battles with private owners up and down the Shore over public beach access dating back to the 1980s.
The NJDEP warned the association and Neptune Township in an Aug. 10 letter that the closures had to stop. Ocean Grove is a section of Neptune; the camp meeting association owns nearly all the property in the section. It existed as a Methodist enclave for decades, though its residential makeup has changed some in recent years. Read more: Jersey Shore Town, State At Odds Over Sunday Beach Restrictions
The violation notice, signed by Robert H. Clark, region supervisor of the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement, gives the association 10 days to cease "all unauthorized activities," which the NJDEP said involve the use of chains and padlocks to prevent public access to the beach between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon on Sundays from May through September.
"The Permittee cannot limit vertical or horizontal public access to any dry sand area covered under this permit nor interfere with the public's right to free use of the dry sand for intermittent recreational purposes connected with the ocean and wet sand," Clark said.
In response to the Aug. 10 warning, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association defended the closure, saying it “enhances religious and secular quality of life experiences in Ocean Grove which society recognizes as valuable.”
The policy to close Ocean Grove beach access has been in place for 154 years, Michael Badger, president of the organization, told NJ.com. This is the first year the policy has generated complaints, Badger said. Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association describes itself as "rooted in its Methodist Heritage," with the mission to "provide opportunities for spiritual birth, growth, and renewal through worship, educational, cultural, and recreational programs for persons of all ages in a Christian seaside setting."
The organization is not affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
The full violation notice can be read below.
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They want to make beach access a Shore thing.State officials ramped up the pressure on the Ocean Grove landowners’ group that is banning beach use on Sunday morning by restricting access to its boardwalk.The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sent the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist...
They want to make beach access a Shore thing.
State officials ramped up the pressure on the Ocean Grove landowners’ group that is banning beach use on Sunday morning by restricting access to its boardwalk.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sent the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist Heritage organization, a violation notice on Thursday demanding that the group allow people to enter the beach via the boardwalk there, NJ.com reported.
The DEP — which was following up a warning letter sent Aug. 13 — gave the group 10 days to comply by removing the chain and padlock barriers that block beach access from the boardwalk Sundays between 9 a.m. and noon.
Michael Badger, the organization’s president, said Friday that no fines have been issued.
The department also asked that representatives of the association “engage in compliance discussion” with the agency “aimed at resolving this matter as soon as possible,” Robert H. Clark, regional supervisor, wrote in his letter to the association’s director of operations, Steve Columbo. Badger told NJ.com that a representative of the group will meet with the state, to ensure all the facts are heard.”
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, whose vision is to “be the seaside community where all generations can know and grow in Jesus,” has for 154 years closed the nine access points from the Ocean Grove boardwalk onto the sand for three hours on summer mornings from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.
The group works to maintain the religious heritage of the town, which was founded in 1869 by Methodist ministers. After 100 years, the New Jersey Supreme Court deemed Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s charter unconstitutional, but the association still owns all the land and has a hand in governing the beachfront community of 3,000 inhabitants in Neptune Township.
However, despite their efforts to limit beach use on Sunday mornings, Ocean Grove’s boardwalk and pier stayed open throughout the summer, and the beach itself can be accessed by neighboring towns — in the north from Bradley Beach or south from Asbury Park.
The president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association said he thinks the town is a victim of religious persecution from the state of NJ:|Updated Fri, Sep 22, 2023 at 10:44 am ETOCEAN GROVE, NJ — The president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association said he thinks the town is a victim of religious persecution from the state of New Jersey, after the state Department of Environmental Protection sent a violation notice to Ocean Grove last week for keeping beaches closed on Sunday mornings during the summer.&q...
|Updated Fri, Sep 22, 2023 at 10:44 am ET
OCEAN GROVE, NJ — The president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association said he thinks the town is a victim of religious persecution from the state of New Jersey, after the state Department of Environmental Protection sent a violation notice to Ocean Grove last week for keeping beaches closed on Sunday mornings during the summer.
"It seems as though the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, with its religious heritage, is being treated differently than other private and municipal beaches on the Jersey Shore," said Camp Meeting Association president Michael Badger.
A DEP spokeswoman said the agency would not be responding to Badger's assertions.
The DEP sent a violation notice on Sept. 14 to the tiny town of Ocean Grove, for their decision to close the beaches from 9 a.m. to noon on Sundays during the summer. This is the second violation notice from the state; the DEP sent Ocean Grove a first violation warning Aug. 10.
Ocean Grove began, and continues to this day, as a Methodist summer seaside retreat. The Camp Meeting Association, which is a Christian 501(c)3 non-profit, owns all the land in Ocean Grove, and also owns the beach.
Since the 1800s, Ocean Grove has closed public access to the beach on Sunday mornings. From 9 a.m. to noon on summer Sundays from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, the main staircase down to the beach is closed, and the town deliberately does not put lifeguards on duty.
Badger said Ocean Grove does this for two reasons, one religious and the other being quality of life.
"Keeping the beaches closed leads to a quieter, less crowded and more relaxed Sunday morning in Ocean Grove: You do not have the crowds that you have on a Saturday morning. You don't have the jingle from the ice cream trucks running up and down the beach. You can get a parking space so you can walk to breakfast or yes, walk to church," he said.
He argues there are many towns up and down the Jersey Shore that decide to close their beaches for a whole host of reasons:
"Look at Sandy Hook, which is run by the federal government, they close their beaches at night (All of Sandy Hook closes at 9 p.m.). After Long Branch had that problem with the pop-up parties last year, they closed their beaches at night. And Asbury Park, which just had the Sea.Hear.Now festival this past weekend, put barricades up at either end of their beaches to prevent people from getting onto the beach. Those barricades were in place all weekend," he said.
Last week, Jenkinson's made the unprecedented decision to padlock all the access gates along the beaches it owns in Point Pleasant Beach. Jenkinson's decided to do this due to rough ocean conditions from Hurricane Lee and after the town was sued by the family of a Morris County man who drowned in a rip current in September 2020. By Tuesday of this week, the DEP sent a warning letter to Jenkinson's telling them they were in violation of New Jersey's mandate to provide public access to the beach.
Badger contends Ocean Grove is being singled out for closing its beach access for a total of 15 Sundays, 45 hours out of the year.
"In Ocean Grove, it is only the public stairs down to the beach that is closed," he argued. "Any member of the public can still access the beach on Sunday mornings from either the north or south end of the beach. It's just the stairs that are closed."
"Going to court" not out of the question, says Ocean Grove leader
Badger also said Ocean Grove has no intention of complying with the state's request.
"The DEP has not said yet if there will be a fine, or how much, but there is a possibility when the beach opens on Memorial Day weekend 2024 we could be fined if we don't comply," he told Patch.
But "going to court" is not out of the question, said Badger this week.
Badger said he will be writing to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection this week to schedule a meeting and discuss the issue.
"The Department recommends that representatives of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association engage in compliance discussions with the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement aimed at resolving this matter as soon as possible," wrote the DEP on Sept. 14.
In their Sept. 14 notice, the DEP specifically asked that Ocean Grove stop using a chain and pad lock on the stairs down to the beach.
On the topic of public access to beaches on the Jersey Shore, and Ocean Grove's continued battles with the state: NJ Looking Into Jenkinson's Beach Access Closure In Pt. Pleasant Beach (Sept. 15)
State officials have sent a notice of violation to the landowners’ group in Ocean Grove that has restricted Sunday morning access to the beach from its boardwalk.The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection did not specify any penalties in its Sept. 14 letter to the Ocean Grove Camp M...
State officials have sent a notice of violation to the landowners’ group in Ocean Grove that has restricted Sunday morning access to the beach from its boardwalk.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection did not specify any penalties in its Sept. 14 letter to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association but demanded within 10 days compliance with mandated corrective actions, such as agreeing to no longer use chain and pad lock barriers to block beach access from the boardwalk Sundays between 9 a.m. and noon.
The DEP previously sent a warning letter Aug. 13 and said officials from the department’s Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement observed violations of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act on Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, the last of 15 Sundays during the summer season.
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association officials have said the nine “step entrances” — access points from the Ocean Grove Boardwalk onto the sand — are closed between 9 a.m. and noon on the Sundays during the summer season, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. It is a tradition stemming from Ocean Grove’s origins as a Christian seaside resort and destination for Methodists.
The boardwalk and pier remain opened throughout the summer season, with the beach accessible by walking along the sand either north from Bradley Beach or south from Asbury Park.
However, DEP is alleging that the restriction runs afoul of the law.
“The department recommends that representatives of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association engage in compliance discussions with the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement aimed at resolving this matter as soon as possible,” regional supervisor Robert H. Clark wrote in his letter to the association’s director of operations, Steve Columbo.
Michael Badger, the president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, said Friday that no fines have been issued against his organization.
Badger told NJ Advance Media that he has spoken with DEP’s director of land resource protection, Jennifer Moriarty.
“The OGCMA will meet with the NJDEP to ensure all the facts are heard,” Badger said.
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association officials have said limiting beach access on Sunday mornings improves the “religious and secular” quality of life along its boardwalk.
Ocean Grove, a seaside community of roughly 3,000 residents, is not its own municipality, but a small section of Neptune Township set aside with a unique charter. was founded more than 150 years ago as a summertime, tent-revival religious retreat. It was governed by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association as a religious enclave for 100 years until the New Jersey Supreme Court declared its original charter unconstitutional after a series of lawsuits. However, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association still owns all the land and helps govern the beachfront community.
Protesters and counter-protesters were present Sept. 3 for the final Sunday of the season under the policy. The beach remained blocked with chains slung across the entrances and a sign saying the beach was closed — “An Ocean Grove Tradition.”
Some beachgoers jumped the barriers or went under the chains and sat on the beach.
The dispute over Sunday beach access is the latest in a series of controversies involving the Camp Meeting Association and some Ocean Grove residents. The Camp Meeting Association’s decision to rebuild a beach pier in the shape of a cross drew objections from some residents earlier this year.
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A controversial cross-shaped pier on the Jersey Shore will open to the public ahead of schedule, the local religious organization behind its reconstruction announced.Visitors will be able to walk on the rebuilt Ocean Grove fishing pier as early as Saturday, following a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association ...
A controversial cross-shaped pier on the Jersey Shore will open to the public ahead of schedule, the local religious organization behind its reconstruction announced.
Visitors will be able to walk on the rebuilt Ocean Grove fishing pier as early as Saturday, following a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association said in its announcement Monday.
The Methodist group previously said it expected the pier to be completed by Memorial Day.
Some residents objected to the shape of the pier when its cross-shaped design was unveiled in July 2022 at a groundbreaking in the Monmouth County resort town. Critics, including the nonpartisan advocacy group Neptune United, raised concerns about putting a religious symbol in a public space on the beach.
Officials with the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association — which helps governs the Ocean Grove section of Neptune under a unique charter — previously said they make “no apologies” for the symbolism of the new structure.
“We don’t mean to hurt anyone and we don’t mean to offend anyone,” Michael Badger, the meeting association’s president, said last year.
“We are Christians and we are going to continue to be Christians in the public square, on our private lands,” he added.
Neptune United alleged the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, known as the OGCMA, did not follow state Department of Environmental Protection rules when it built the pier.
“Despite not obtaining the required permits, violating multiple DEP conditions, and having had exactly zero oversight by Neptune Township, the OGCMA is somehow allowed to have a ‘ribbon cutting and opening’ for a pier that will be walked on by tens of thousands of residents and visitors alike,” Neptune United said in a statement Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, Neptune United’s concern is not limited to municipal noncompliance and the underlying safety issues. Each day, Neptune United becomes more and more alarmed by the OGCMA’s blatant disregard for both the community and well-established law,” the statement said.
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association officials did not immediately respond to a request to comment on Neptune United’s statement.
The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association was issued a notice of violation by the Department of Environmental Protection on Sept. 22 for unauthorized activity under the Waterfront Development Act and Coastal Area Facilities Review Act, records show.
Badger said the state never fined the camp meeting association and work never stopped on the project.
“The beach, boardwalk and pier are open to the public and everyone is invited to use these amenities regardless of their faith, nationality, background, or personal characteristics. It is our hope that by experiencing the sun, sand, and surf people with be refreshed and draw closer to God who created all of nature,” Badger said in a statement.
The state provided emergency authorization for construction on Oct. 5 and the association followed up with the submission of a Coastal Area Facilities Review Act permit application on Nov. 7, according to DEP records.
A DEP spokeswoman said the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association was meeting the requirements cited in the Sept. 22 violation and was permitted to proceed with construction of the pier.
The new pier did not need to go through the local zoning board for approval, Neptune officials previously said.
“The Ocean Grove pier project received approvals from the state under the Coastal Area Facilities Review Act,” Neptune officials previously said in a statement. “Because it is property owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, and over water, the township did not have any zoning authority over the pier’s placement or design.”
The Camp Meeting Association spent nearly 10 months working on the $2 million project to restore the Ocean Grove pier — which was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy more than a decade ago — to its historic length of 500 feet.
The Camp Meeting Association raised $550,000 for the project through a three-year fundraising campaign called “American Treasure.” The money will go toward the new pier and beachfront facilities. The majority of donations to the campaign came from long-term camp donors, but $72,000 came from first-time donors, Badger said.
The remaining construction costs for the pier are being paid with $1.45 million from the Camp Meeting Association’s financial reserves.
Ocean Grove, referred to as God’s Square Mile by some of its residents, is a seaside community of roughly 3,000 residents located just south of Asbury Park. It’s not its own municipality — Ocean Grove is a small section of Neptune Township set aside with a unique charter.
It was founded more than 150 years ago as a summertime, tent-revival religious retreat for Methodists. It was governed by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association as a religious enclave for 100 years until the New Jersey Supreme Court declared its original charter unconstitutional after a series of lawsuits.
However, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association still owns all the land and helps govern the beachfront community.
The Ocean Grove Meeting Association was sued in 2007 when it barred same-sex couples from using its boardwalk pavilion for civil union ceremonies, which a judge later said violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.
Christian symbols can be found all around Ocean Grove. On the beach, a Christian flag flies beside the U.S. flag. Beach badges sold by the Camp Meeting Association include a cross, beach umbrellas available for rent are decorated with cross icons and there’s a cross mounted on the dunes at the beach.
Neptune United said the new pier is another effort by the Camp Meeting Association to imprint Ocean Grove with religious symbols.
“Neptune United remains committed to advocating for a community where everyone feels included, respected, and safe,” the group said.
The end of the pier hanging over the ocean is made of a different material than the rest of the boardwalk, making the cross shape stand out from the air and for those walking on the structure.
The end of the pier is made of a grey fiberglass specially designed with small gaps that allow water to come through it. That will help avoid the moisture damage common to wooden structures, Badger said.
The pier’s completion comes as Ocean Grove is gearing up for the community’s busy season. In May, the area, famous for its colony of canvas tents near the beach, begins to reopen for the summer.
There are 114 tent structures nestled around the Great Auditorium, the hub of activity in Ocean Grove, according to the Camp Meeting Association website.
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