Hoboken officials broke ground on the Northwest Resiliency Park, the largest of its kind in the state, earlier today, two weeks after the city announced they planned to use eminent domain to expand the open space.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Mayor Ravi Bhalla, former Mayor Dawn Zimmer, and the Hoboken community officially celebrated the beginning of construction on the Northwest Resiliency Park with a groundbreaking ceremony this morning.
The park will balance nature, culture, and sports, plus above and below ground infrastructure to withhold up to two million gallons of rainwater during storms.
“Hoboken’s Northwest Resiliency Park will become a national model for parks across the country, as it combines critical open space needs along with major infrastructure to reduce flooding,” Bhalla said in a statement.
“When constructed, the park will provide both active uses for residents of all ages, as well as passive space for relaxation and enjoyment, reflecting the needs of our community. I thank the many partners at all levels of government who have made this milestone possible, and look forward to celebrating with residents when construction is complete!”
In a similar vein, Zimmer called the ground breaking “an enormous achievement” that will also be a difference maker in the $230 million Rebuild by Design project.
“The Northwest Resiliency Park is an enormous achievement that will improve the quality of life for Hoboken residents by adding much needed park space, while also providing a critical contribution to Hoboken’s Rebuild By Design strategy to protect our City from flooding,” she added.
“Thank you to everyone in my Administration who worked so hard with me to make this possible, and thank you to Mayor Bhalla and his administration for moving this critical project toward the finish line.”
Additionally, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise noted that the county will be contributing $500,00 to the project via their Open Space Trust fund.
Specifically, the Northwest Resiliency Park will include above ground green infrastructure such as lowland gardens and trees to absorb and manage up to 1 million gallons of water during rain events.
Furthermore, a large tank and filtration system will be built underground to store an additional 1 million gallons of rainwater. Rainwater will be released back into the system after storms, reducing flooding and combined sewer overflows to the Hudson River.
Other amenities will include playground equipment for children of all ages, a multi-purpose athletic field, basketball court, ice-skating rink, fountain, play valley and fitness loop. Passive park amenities will include a large lawn, park pavilion, lowland gardens, and seating areas.
The design of the park was produced through a robust public process that involved input from community members through meetings, surveys, and listening sessions.
The park was acquired and will be built with low interest loans from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank, with principal forgiveness because of the park’s green infrastructure features.
The buildout of the park received funding from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund and is expected to receive additional grant funding.
Construction for the park is anticipated to last up to three years.
For more information on the park design and regular updates on construction, visit the project website at http://www.hobokennj.gov/nwpark.