Newark’s Riverfront Park: An Example Partnership

Today, the City of Newark, along with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protect, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, and Keep It Green member organization, The Trust for Public Land, broke ground on a four acre expansion of Newark Riverfront Park along the Passaic River. The public/private partnership between the city, state, and non-profits has leveraged over $6 million for this historic project, which will create access to open space and recreational opportunities for thousands of families.

“Our continued work on Riverfront Park allows the Passaic River to serve as a front-door into the City,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “Partnerships like the one we have here with The Trust for Public Land, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Essex County ensure that residents and visitors alike benefit from the City’s growth and prosperity. Riverfront Park shows what can be accomplished by working together.” Research has shown that urban parks are extremely beneficial to the communities they serve. Not only do they increase quality of life for residents by offering areas to relax, exercise, and play, but they also have been shown to have positive effects on public health and the local economy. Additionally, urban parks provide habitats that inspire community members and children to learn about the world around them and they help to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

"Public parks and access to open space, especially in our urban centers, are vital to the health and prosperity of our communities," said Anthony Cucchi, New Jersey director of The Trust for Public Land. "Parks revitalize local economies, make cities more climate resilient, and connect people to the outdoors and each other, which is why The Trust for Public Land is excited to partner with Newark and the Department of Environmental Protection to create Newark Riverfront Park."

Open Space and land preservation has been a major topic of focus for many environmental groups and legislators, especially over the last few years. This concerted effort led to historic legislation to ensure state funds will be available for state, local, and non-profit park projects and partnerships like Newark Riverfront Park.

“Keep It Green is incredibly supportive of partnerships like the one on display today in Newark,” said Ed Potosnak, Chair of Keep It Green. “We applaud The Trust for Public Land, an active member of the Coalition, for making one of their top priorities ensuring all communities have access to open space. The benefits of urban parks are undeniable and we look forward to more of these projects being highlighted as the state begins to open up more funding opportunities for county, local, and non-profit projects.”

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