OPEN SPACE PROJECTS IN HUDSON COUNTY
New Park Improvements Will Help Build Stronger Communities
(03/154) WEST NEW YORK -
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner
Bradley M. Campbell and West New
York Mayor Albio Sires today announced new parks along
the waterfront in West New York and Weehawken that the
state has approved for open space funding pending legislative
appropriation. The parks will transform abandoned piers
and link them to the existing Hudson River Walkway, providing
community residents with additional access to the waterfront.
"The projects announced today will reconnect residents
with their waterfront and their community by providing
more places to relax and enjoy the riverscape" said
Commissioner Campbell. "In November, citizens across
New Jersey will have an important opportunity to help more
families and communities benefit from similar opportunities
to create parks and to revitalize urban areas by voting
on Ballot Questions Numbers 1 and 2."
In West New York, one park project would develop a new
park on Pier 8. The project proposal calls for planting
lawn and trees and constructing benches, a gazebo and a
walkway for greater citizen access to the Hudson River
The Weehawken Pier B project would create a community
space on a restored pier, destroyed during Hurricane Floyd.
The Township is proposing to rebuild the pier with areas
for fishing and for outdoor concerts. Pier B abuts Lincoln
Park and is adjacent to another open space parcel recently
acquired with Green Acres funds.
Standing in Donnelly Park, one of the many parks in West
New York refurbished with Green Acres funds, the Commissioner
and Mayor were joined by Senator Bernard Kenny, Jr., Senator
Nicholas Sacco, County Executive Thomas DeGise, Mayor Richard
Turner of Weehawken, Mayor David Roberts of Hoboken, Mayor
David Delle Donna of Guttenberg, and local schoolchildren
and community residents.
"The West New York and Weehawken
pier projects are investments that will provide enormous
cultural dividends for generations of Hudson County residents," said
Mayor Sires. "With the transformation of these piers
into new parks and recreation areas, community residents
will have increased access to the waterfront and expanded
opportunities to escape the congestion and pressures of
The two pier park projects announced today were part of
the round of DEP Green Acres funding proposals approved
last week by the Garden State Preservation Trust. The proposals
must now go before the legislature for approval before
receiving final approval from the Governor. The Pier 8
project in West New York would receive $800,000 in funding
- $120,000 in loans and a $680,000 grant. The Pier B project
in Weehawken would receive an $800,000 matching grant.
The park improvements are further examples
of the significant commitment by the State and by Hudson
County and its communities
to develop recreational opportunities for urban residents.
To date, the Green Acres Program has awarded more than
$6.6 million in West New York alone to improve several
parks and to create or to refurbish playing fields, tennis
courts, walkways, swimming pools, and a stadium.
The latest round of DEP Green Acres funding proposals
also includes 13 other park and open space projects for
Hudson County, totaling more than $6.8 million in grants
and loans. Details on these projects can be found at http://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/releases/03_0150presspak.pdf.
Statewide, open space preservation and park development
are integral to Governor James E. McGreevey's smart growth
initiatives, providing focal points for urban and suburban
communities to gather and to relax. In complement with
efforts to redevelop underused brownfields and abandoned
urban areas, these policies are helping to revitalize New
Jersey's cities and to maintain the quality of life New
Jersey's residents deserve.
The Governor's brownfields initiatives include signed legislation
that expands tax reimbursements for projects that convert
brownfield sites into residential development. The Governor
has also provided $40 million in funding for brownfield
investigation and cleanup projects through the Hazardous
Discharge Site Remediation Fund.
The November ballot contains another brownfields initiative
- Public Question No. 2. This measure would establish a
long-term funding source to help clean up and redevelop
approximately 10,000 contaminated or underutilized sites
throughout the Garden State. The ballot proposal would
expand the use of Corporate Business Tax revenues dedicated
to the state's underground storage tank program, which
has a current surplus of $100 million.
The ballot proposal would allow the state to provide municipalities
and businesses with loans and grants, using at least 50
percent of the existing $100 million surplus as well as
future revenues, which generate a total of about $20 -
30 million each year. If voters approve, up to $50 million
would be available the first year alone, without any additional
cost to taxpayers.
Since Governor McGreevey took office, DEP's Green Acres
program has acquired more than 43,000 acres of open space.
The McGreevey Administration's continued efforts to save
open space would be enhanced by Public Question No. 1 on
the November 4 ballot. This measure, if approved, would
allow the Garden State Preservation Trust to issue an additional
$150 million in bonds for the preservation of open space,
farmland and drinking water in the Highlands, and for improvements
to local parks-without costing taxpayers additional money.
The Green Acres program was created in 1961 to meet New
Jersey's growing recreational and conservation needs. To
date, Green Acres has protected more than 500,000 acres
of open space and developed hundreds of public parks, bringing
the statewide system of preserved open space to more than
1.2 million acres of open space and farmland.
More information on both ballot
questions can be found at http://www.nj.gov/dep/antisprawl/ballot.