DEP Announces First Community
Playgrounds Project in the City of Trenton
Laurel Place Park
(05/122) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell, Department of Corrections
(DOC) Commissioner Devon Brown and Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer
today announced completion of the playground renovations at Laurel
Place Park in the city of Trenton. The park was revitalized through
a new initiative funded by DEP, in cooperation with DOC and the
city of Trenton, to renovate local parks to expand outdoor recreation
for New Jersey’s residents.
"Every child should know the simple joy of a safe playground,
the shade of a tree and all of the good associated with a neighborhood
park," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "This
program represents a great example of state agencies and local
government working together to improve the quality of our parks
The DEP Green Acres program is providing new play structures
for five urban municipalities with $250,000 of funding appropriated
during fiscal year 2003. As part of this pilot program each municipality
selected will identify a local park in need of new play equipment
and prepare the site for equipment installation.
“With the leadership of Governor Codey and Mayor Doug
Palmer, Community Playgrounds is enriching the lives of young
people in the State’s urban communities,” said Commissioner
Campbell. “The renovation of local, neighborhood parks
will help foster a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship
by ensuring all residents experience quality recreation throughout
The city of Trenton is the first of five municipalities to receive
new playground equipment as part of the Community Playgrounds
initiative. Laurel Place Park received additional renovations
including new sidewalks, lighting and posts, trash receptacles,
benches and the planting of 20 shade trees and 10 shrubs funded
through the city of Trenton.
“The strong partnership between the city of Trenton and
the State Department of Environmental Protection enables us to
work together to achieve common goals in ways that truly improve
people's lives,” said Mayor Palmer of Trenton. “Laurel
Place Park shows our mutual commitment to neighborhood parks.
This is a serious commitment for us - and we commend Commissioner
Campbell and Commissioner Brown for their statewide commitment.”
The DOC Community Labor Assistance Program installs the park
structures and equipment under the supervision of correction
officers and equipment manufacturers.
An integral part of Community Playgrounds is the skill-building
and community service opportunities that are afforded to inmates
of the DOC Community Labor Assistance Program.
“I commend the efforts of DEP and the city of Trenton,
who together with the DOC staff and inmates are revitalizing
parks for New Jersey’s urban areas,” said Commissioner
Brown. “I’m particularly proud of the offenders,
who are providing a valuable service to the community while learning
skills they can utilize to find employment once they are released.
Furthermore, when citizens see the quality of the work the prisoners
are doing, it sends out the positive message that offenders are
restoring the neighborhoods that they previously violated.”
The DEP Green Acres Program preserves open space and significant
historic resources, as well as expands park and recreation opportunities
for public use and enjoyment. DEP’s Green Acres Program
has protected over 586,687 acres of open space and created or
enhanced hundreds of parks throughout New Jersey, including many
in urban areas.