NJDEP hosts Jersey City open house for Liberty State Park-South revitalization


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) hosted an open house to tout their revitalization of Liberty State Park-South yesterday.

Photo courtesy of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Here at Liberty State Park, and all across New Jersey, we are joining with the public we serve to build an open space and recreation legacy that will bring people and communities together to enjoy the environment we share,” Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said in a statement.

“My DEP colleagues and I are grateful to the many residents and visitors who have joined us throughout each phase of the LSP revitalization process, and whose thoughtful feedback is helping to ensure that new amenities will best serve the diverse needs of park visitors and our host community while conserving this most cherished open space for future generations.”

Their third open house centered on expanding recreational offerings and creating new community gathering spaces across the southern and waterfront areas of Liberty State Park.

Known as LSP-South, this second phase of the larger LSP Revitalization Program is located along Morris Pesin and Thomas McGovern Drives to the south, and between Freedom Way and the Hudson River to the east.

Future outdoor public recreational offerings in LSP-South would include several athletic fields and court-based sports.

The addition of athletic facilities and other amenities, such as water-based recreation, would increase the overall parks capacity in Jersey City by nearly 50 percent.

Public feedback provided at the open house will support the completion of a Master Plan for LSP-South that conserves valuable open space while creating a world-class destination that maximizes public programming.

When finalized, the LSP-South Master Plan will serve as a roadmap for short- and long-term park improvements in the southern and waterfront areas of the park.

The LSP-South Master Plan will complement work already underway to construct a nature-based Central Park at the heart of LSP and active recreational, arts, and cultural amenities along the mile-long Audrey Zapp Drive corridor in LSP-North.

Those who were unable to attend the open house can view the LSP-South materials and provide feedback online. Comments will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 19.

At the open house, the public interacted with multiple stations which displayed information on the park’s history and public feedback to date, alternatives for active recreational facilities, including athletic fields and court-based sports, play-based amenities, water-based activities, transportation and circulation, and other park improvements in the southern and waterfront area of LSP.

Interactive tabletop activities allowed stakeholders to place markers on a map of the park to identify their favorite areas, access points, and proposed new elements. The information and suggestions collected from the public will be used to refine and expand upon conceptual plans for LSP-South.

In addition to new materials on the LSP-South Master Plan, members of the public were again able to view previously presented plans for active recreation, arts, and cultural amenities in LSP-North, as well as plans for the nature-based central park that is now under construction in the LSP-Interior.

The LSP-South Master Plan is expected to be finalized and presented to the public in 2025.

“The LSP-South Master Plan will act as DEP’s framework for years to come as we move from the planning and design phases and into the implementation phase of the Liberty State Park Revitalization Program,” added New Jersey Assistant Commissioner for State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites John Cecil, Assistant Commissioner for State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites.

“The extensive outreach and public engagement we are conducting will ensure that Liberty State Park remains both a regional and international attraction for future generations, while still catering to the needs of Jersey City residents who experience ‘Liberty Park,’ as it’s locally known, as their backyard.”

The Liberty State Park Revitalization Program will bring more than 100 acres of active recreational, arts, and cultural improvements to Liberty State Park’s perimeter.

The next Liberty State Park Design Task Force meeting is slated for Tuesday, May 21st at 6 p.m. in the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal Building and will focus on the LSP-South Master Plan.

A public comment session will follow the meeting, which, along with the public comment session, will be held in a hybrid manner and online registration is now available.

“The LSP-South Master Plan will not only outline concepts for Liberty State Park’s southern and waterfront areas but will also integrate all three phases of the Revitalization Program,” noted Administrator for Urban State Parks and Initiatives Maggie McCann.

“We have heard loud and clear that parking, circulation through the park and transportation to and from the park are at the forefront of park users’ minds and the LSP-South Master Plan will address these concerns.”

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