Jersey City Invests $3 Million on Widespread Park Improvements Based on Community Input

JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven Fulop, in conjunction with Mira Prinz-Arey and the Jersey City Open Space Trust Advisory Board, announced today $3 million in city park improvements spanning all 6 wards of the city.

Official said in a statement that this is the first allocation of the Open Space Trust Fund dollars via the city ordinance that the Fulop Administration enacted in 2016, and the recommendation of distributing the funding which came through the community appointments on the Open Space Trust Advisory Board.

“We’re ready to move forward with plans to make the area more secure for everyone to enjoy, while also preserving the historical aspects which has great significance to the city,” said Mayor Fulop. “With this funding now in place, we’ll soon have complete public access to encourage even more use of the historic landmark.”

According to Jersey City officials, the largest recipient of grant dollars is the 14-acre site located in The Heights, Reservoir 3, which has been a priority for both Ward D Councilman Michael Yun and Mayor Fulop. This $400,000 in Open Space Trust funds, combined with three other grants, brings the total funding in place for Reservoir 3 to over $2.5 million, and is expected to fully fund complete access in 2020 including a more structured trail outlining the perimeter of the reservoir with new fencing and lighting throughout the area.

The application is currently with the State Historic Preservation Office, and once approvals are in place, the rehabilitation will commence. Plans to restore the reservoir, built in the 1870s, include the stabilization and preservation of the original pump houses, which ceased operations 30 years ago.

“I am delighted to see that the hard work and dedication of local activists like the Reservoir Preservation Alliance is being rewarded by this most recent allocation, and I commend Mayor Fulop for his continued commitment to the development and maintenance of Jersey City’s Open Space,” said Ward D Councilman Michael Yun.

The three grants dedicated to Reservoir 3 are:
Hudson County Open Space - $500,000 to build perimeter fencing.
New Jersey Historic Trust Grant - $750,000 for the historic pump house restoration.
Green Acres Grant - $884,334 for lighting and trail development.

“Our vision is that the site would be open every day, made more accessible and safe, and used as an outdoor classroom,” said Cynthia Hadjiyannis, President, Reservoir Preservation Alliance. “The landmark would be preserved and adaptively reused and the natural landscape, water levels, and wildlife would be managed.”

The reservoir restorations further the administration’s ongoing efforts to revitalize parks and expand access to outdoor recreation across the city. In addition to Reservoir 3, the administration is announcing plans for widespread improvements at various parks citywide by utilizing Open Space Trust funding.

Earlier this year, the Jersey City Open Space Trust Advisory Committee was formed to determine the distribution of $3 million in Open Space Trust funding based on community input. The large-scale improvement project consists of parks of all sizes spread throughout Jersey City as requested by local residents. While the city has regularly allocated municipal resources to maintain and improve local parks, this overhaul is on a much broader scale.

“This was a carefully designed process to make sure everyone and every proposal was heard by the Committee,” said Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, Chairperson of the Open Space Trust Advisory Committee. “Having been a part of this selective process, I’m confident each neighborhood will greatly benefit from all of the various park improvements.”

Residents can anticipate visible work throughout the city beginning this spring on the following parks:

Ward A:
Martiniak Enright Park - $200,000 for a complete overhaul including landscaping, benches, and other passive improvements.
Audobon Park - $100,000 for lighting improvements.
Ferris Triangle - $500,000 for a new play structure, splash pad, fitness loop, electricity and water.

Ward B:
La Pointe Park – updated splash pad, monument repair, and solar powered park benches to provide free Wi-Fi and charging stations.
Boyd Mcguiness Park – sunshade, bulletin board, and solar powered park benches to provide free Wi-Fi and charging stations.

Wards C&D:
Canco Park – $100,000 to install park benches, charging station, fencing, water fountain, and soft toddler playscape modules.
Pavonia-Marion Park - $500,000 to build fencing for easier access, expand the playground, resurface the basketball courts, replace bleachers and fix the cement pavement elevation, as well as add landscaping, trees, benches, picnic tables, chess tables, a water fountain, multipurpose use for Martucci Field, and a dog park.
Pershing Field - $50,000 for the restoration of the Historic Bell Flagpole.
Reservoir 3 – $400,000 towards general renovations.

Ward E:
Van Vorst Park - $200,000 to improve a playground structure and surface, shade structure for the sandbox, and installation of synthetic landscape lawn.
Mary Benson Park - $200,000 to clean and repaint memorial, refurbish original water fountain, tree planting, and painting the grounds surrounding both park monuments.
Brunswick Community Garden – $3,000 for pruning of an unhealthy mulberry tree to meet safety standards.
Hamilton Park - $300,000 to install park benches, picnic tables, and an overhaul of the dog park.

Ward F:
Bergen Hill Park – $200,000 for fencing installation where none currently exists, stonewall restoration, night lighting, pergola/seating area, security cameras, and walking paths.
Arlington Park – $100,000 for landscaping improvements, fencing, murals, and cosmetic gazebo work.

IMAGE CREDIT: jersey city.org