Jersey City officials came together to celebrate two major open space projects in the Heights: cutting the ribbon at Riverview-Fisk Park after $2.1 million renovations before breaking ground on a $6 million improvement project at Reservoir #3.
“A couple years ago, we put in place the parks’ Open Space Trust Fund, which was the first time Jersey City ever did something like that and it has been a tremendous resource to allow us to do these sort of renovations,” Mayor Steven Fulop said at the ribbon cutting.
“It is a small amount of money which yields tremendous benefit for the entire city and so we’re gonna continue on this track of renovating parks, improving parks: if there’s one thing that we learned in the tough year that we just experienced, it’s that open space and parks in places like Jersey City that are densely populated are tremendously important.”
Fulop also recognized the efforts of late Ward D Councilman Michael Yun in getting the project moving.
Jersey City Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, who chairs the Open Space Trust Fund Advisory Committee, explained the significance of the relatively new revenue stream and how it compliments what the city’s budget can do.
“This small percentage of tax goes into a fund that helps us expand and improve all projects across our ward. And if not for this trust fund, these kinds of projects would take a much, much longer time to realize and recognize – and it’s already been a number of years.”
Additionally, the Jersey City Parks Coalition and Riverview Neighborhood Association, along with other community groups, received praise for making sure this year-long effort ran smoothly.
At the end of the day, what I really want people to remember is yes, it was closed for a year. Yes, it wasn’t a great time for it to be closed because we had a pandemic. But look at what we have now: we’ve got a fountain, we’ve got a drinking station, we’ve got beautiful grass,” said RNA President Jocelyn Patrick.
A few blocks away at Reservoir #3, the city broke ground ahead of the upgrades planned for the roughly 150-year old landmark, which include expanding the trail and installing new lighting.
“The Jersey City Parks Coalition would like to recognize the collaboration between Mayor Fulop’s administration and the Reservoir Preservation Alliance for their ability to come together and mutually agree on much needed safety features and a design that integrates a strong community input in preserving the reservoir’s landscape, the environment, and elements that are par to it’s natural design,” said JCPC President Paula Mahayosnand.
Other dignitaries and groups that were present/represented at the events included Council President Joyce Watterman, Council members Yousef Saleh, Rich Boggiano, Rolando Lavarro, and Daniel Rivera, County Commissioners Yraida Aponte-Lipski (D-4) and Anthony Romano (D-5), the Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance, the Leonard Gordon Park Conservancy, and Boy Scouts Troop 466.