A new Liberty National plan would expand the Jersey City golf course into the Caven Point area of Liberty State Park as legislation moves forward to curb development of the open space.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Caven Point is a 22-acre peninsula located at the southwestern-most location of the park, accessible by the waterfront walkway. This area is frequently used by birders, and fishermen, and other nature enthusiasts.
Proponents of the golf course proposal argue it is not just a golf academy, it is a proven youth development program where life-changing opportunities are offered and fulfilled.
Furthermore, they have argued that if the proposed land swap that will allow the creation of The First Tee Learning Links funded by Liberty National is needlessly blocked, thousands of youth in Jersey City each year will be denied these same life-changing opportunities.
The plan comes at a time when the Liberty State Park Protection Act is moving through the state legislature which would prohibit the state Department of Environmental Protection from considering any proposal to commercialize, develop, or privatize Liberty State Park.
Specifically, the bill would prohibit any concession, conveyance, or lease within the 235-acre natural restoration area in the interior of LSP and at the Caven Point Peninsula.
“Liberty National Golf want to cut down trees and fill in wetlands for their wealthy members just to see the skyline. They will also be using an enormous amount of water, pesticides, and herbicides to maintain the course,” New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said in a statement.
“This land is held in the public trust and belongs to all of us, not just to be for a private club. This billionaire is trying to destroy wilderness and take our public land for millionaires.”
This is not the first time Paul Fireman, the founder of Reebok, has tried to build a new development at Caven Point.
Back in late 2016, Fireman was instrumental in pushing the 90-story Liberty Rising hotel and casino that would’ve been built at 100 Caven Point Road in the midst of a referendum on bringing casino gambling to the northern part of the state.
As public opinion began to turn, the Our Turn NJ group, backed by Fireman and Meadowlands Racetrack owner Jeff Gural, suspended their campaign before voters overwhelming rejected the referendum by a margin of about 78 percent to 22 percent.