Jersey City officials announces completed improvements at Bayside Park this morning, the 25th overall citywide since March, which were made possible via $846,000 in Community Development Block Grants.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“In Jersey City, we have made a commitment to open space by not only renovating parks but also opening new parks, whether it’s Coles Street Park or Fairmount Park or Bethune Park or even Berry Lane Park, which didn’t exist ten years ago and has become one of the most popular parks in our City,” Fulop said at the presser.
“We are opening new parks throughout Jersey City. It is a big accomplishment, especially considering Jersey City is one of the most densely populated cities in the region.”
With each park upgrade and expansion project, the administration works closely with community groups like the Jersey City Parks Coalition (JCPC) and solicits feedback from surrounding residents and park maintenance crews.
JCPC Board Trustee Chris Perez, who founded the Bayside Park Neighborhood Association, a volunteer community organization that worked closely on the park upgrades in Bayside Park, spoke in favor of the renovations.
“We appreciate Jersey City’s response to our needs and investment to improve Bayside Park over the past 12 years. Progress in the park is an ongoing team effort involving support from volunteers and community organizations. We look forward to Jersey City’s continued commitment to Bayside Park and open spaces all about the city,” he said.
Since March, more than 25 park improvement projects have been completed in all six wards, with eight in A, five in B, three in C, one in D, five in E and five in F
“We changed our permitting process to make it more accessible. All of our fields now have a QR code to scan to access our parks, and since June, we’ve had 1,000 kids use our fields here at Bayside Park. That didn’t used to happen,” said Department of Recreation and Youth Development Director Lucinda McLaughlin.
“That happened as a result of the purposeful efforts by the City in terms of staffing, permitting, and allocating monies for upgrades. We are doing that in every park across the City to improve people’s experiences. We are activating underutilized parks by using federal funding for projects big and small, such as slide repairs, new safety surfaces, pitchers mounds, soccer goals, and more. It doesn’t happen by accident. It happens with important investments of resources and community partnerships.”
At Bayside Park, the in-house team repurposed salvaged pieces from the refurbished basketball court in Lena Edwards Park to resurface three Bayside basketball courts.
Construction on several major park projects began in 2023 and will be finished in the new year, including a new plaza and park at Bergen Square, safety upgrades and a new continuous recreational path at Reservoir 3, safety upgrades at Leonard Gordon Park, and a new turf field at the Riverview Park field.
“Densely populated areas like Jersey City tend to have smaller pocket parks, and so we are strategically working to improve existing open space areas significantly and are also taking our efforts a step further by identifying opportunities to create new parks that never existed to ensure community access to parks and open space and reap all of the benefits that come from that,”added Department of Infrastructure Director Barkha Patel.
“With each project, we are also being intentional about incorporating sustainability elements such as subsurface stormwater retention.”