Buena Vista Township has a diverse, cultural background. Many Italian families moved here in the early years. In 1953 a Russian community, New Kuban, was established on Weymouth Road. We have residents of almost every culture and religion. We have vast farmlands, beautiful Pinelands, wildlife, precious bodies of water and even beaches in Collings Lakes. While most people perceive this area to be flat, we are actually on higher ground than many areas in South Jersey. In the farmlands of Milmay, East Vineland and Richland, several rivers have their headwaters (starting point). The Manumaskin Drainage Basin (part of the Maurice River) along with the Tuckahoe and South Rivers (tributaries of the Great Egg Harbor River) are significant in their environmental impact to the region.
Our modern economy is made up of people of all different backgrounds - from laborers and farmers to casino executives.
The original reason that people came to this area was the soil that was available for farming and the sand which helped produce sand mining operations and glass manufacturing plants. Today, soil and sand are still the primary businesses in Buena Vista Township. Farms are abundant and companies such as Comar and Wilmad Glass are examples that the specialty glass and plastics industry is still in Buena Vista.
Our children are educated by the Buena Regional School District which serves both Buena Vista and Buena Borough as well as students in Estell Manor, Weymouth and Newfield.
The logo on the Township banner shows an eagle that symbolizes the Townships strength and states the slogan: "44 miles of Opportunity". In actuality, the size of the Township is just under 42 square miles. In 2000, we had a population of 7,655 and 2,727 homes. As we enter the year 2002, our population has grown and is estimated to be around 8,000 residents. Ninety percent of Buena Vista Township is located within the confines of the area known as the Pinelands. The area to the west of Union Road in East Vineland is the only portion of the Township that is outside the Pinelands. The Pinelands is a natural land reserve covering 53 towns in 7 counties in southern and central New Jersey. Beneath the Pinelands is the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, the largest underground supply of water on the east coast of the United States.
The Township is served by the New Jersey State Police. On November 8, 1996, the New Jersey State Police opened their Troop A Headquarters, serving all of South Jersey, on Route 54 in Buena Vista. The facility includes barracks and administrative offices. Five volunteer fire companies service the Township: Richland, East Vineland, BVT #3 (Newtonville), Collings Lakes and Milmay. Each fire district has commissioners that are elected by residents within their boundaries. Tax dollars are raised to operate the fire companies. Three volunteer rescue squads service the Township but do not receive taxpayer dollars, only contributions from the Township and public. The Collings Lakes Ambulance Association and the BVT-EMS are based in our Township. The BVT-EMS is a joint effort of the Richland and East Vineland Fire Companies and started operations in 2000. The Milmay area is served by the Dorothy Rescue Squad. Mutual aid is also provided to the Township by the Minotola Rescue Squad based in Buena Borough.
Our community has a "Township Committee" form of government. There are five voting districts. Five Township Committee members are elected for three-year terms to serve our residents. Each committee member is elected "at-large", meaning that voters from all districts of the Township vote on their elected leaders. The Township re-organizes each January. A member of the Township Committee is selected to act as Chairperson/Mayor of Buena Vista. An additional member of the Committee is chosen to be Vice-Chairperson/Deputy Mayor. The Township Committee is the decision-making body for the government of Buena Vista Township. All daily operations are handled by the Township Administrator as well as the various department heads. All business for the Township passes through the Township Committee, which acts on laws applicable to our community that are established by the state of New Jersey.
Sometimes our community is faced with a geographical identity crisis. Many people identify Buena Vista Township by the area they live in, such as Buena, Richland, Milmay, East Vineland, Newtonville, Collings Lakes, New Kuban, Lake Ann, Buena Acres, and Pine Lake Estates. Buena Vista Township is served by 10 post offices. Post office addresses like Williamstown, Newfield, Mays Landing, Minotola, Landisville, and Vineland add to the confusion. We are located in the western end of the Atlantic County on the border with Cumberland and Gloucester counties. Our voters cast ballots in New Jersey's 1st legislative district and nationally in the 2nd congressional district.
At the writing of this brief history, Buena Vista Township is 135 years old. In 1967, the 100th Anniversary of the Township was celebrated and was quite a festive occasion. As a resident of Buena Vista Township, you can feel proud of the history and culture that your community has inherited.
Back Main Page