Jersey City Freeholder Jerry Walker (D-3) says the state legislature must call for “a new study around contamination” at Liberty State Park in wake of the city council urging for the passage of the LSP Protection Act.
” … Everyone agrees on the importance of protecting the park, but what has been lacking is a discussion about how to make the park work better for our minority communities. The council took a vital step towards ensuring that conversation happens,” Walker said in a statement released by the Liberty State Park For All Coalition.
“By noting the need for more recreational activities and for more community representation, they have given a voice at long last to those who had not been heard on the park. I would especially like to thank Councilman Robinson for his efforts in moving this conversation forward.”
On July 15th, the Jersey City Council approved a resolution calling for the LSPPA to be introduced and approved by the state assembly and senate.
The measure, sponsored by Ward E Councilman James Solomon, passed 8-1, with only Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson voting no – expressing concerns about not enough “active recreation” opportunities at the park.
While Walker said the council vote was a good first step, the legislature now must examine the matter further and he wants to see the current bill amended or replaced to address “contamination” and create a new master plan for the park.
“… [The legislature] must pass legislation – either an amended Protection Act or a new bill entirely – that calls for a new study around the contamination currently at the park and has the framework for a plan to clean it up,” Walker added.
“It must pass legislation that creates a new commission that not only has true community representation, but listens, gathers ideas and creates a new master plan for Liberty State Park that works for every single member of our community.”
Friends of Liberty State Park President Sam Pesin has said that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection determined back in 2004 that LSP does not require any further remediation in the Caven Point portion of the park.
“The DEP will present their interior plans and studies at a public meeting probably in September, so this press release is based on their total lack of information, and as part of Fireman’s only goal of privatizing and destroying LSP’s Caven Point Natural Area for golf holes for millionaires,” Pesin added.
“Fireman just wants to delay the remediation, planning, implementation and opening up of the interior for the public’s use and enjoyment for his only goal of seizing Caven Point.”
Still, the Liberty State Park for All Coalition has continued to express concerns about contamination, as well as the fact that many amenities mentioned in a 1977 state master plan never came to fruition.
On the state level, the current version of the LSPPA has not been introduced in the assembly or senate yet.
A week after talk about plans to expand into Caven Point resurfaced, Liberty National golf course owner Paul Fireman pumped the brakes so that “social justice issues connected to Liberty State Park” could be addressed.
The Record previously reported that Fireman donated $10,000 to Walker’s non-profit, Team Walker.