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A New Park for New-ark

Newark kids participating in the design of Nat Turner Park.

There are some great things going on with parks and neighborhood renewal in Newark, New Jersey, the state’s largest city just a stone’s throw from New York City and struggling to recover after years of decline. Today, the city opened a new park, thirty years after the city purchased the land. The Newark Star Ledger:

The city purchased a multi-acre plot across from the Felix Fuld Housing Complex in the mid 1970s. It sat unused for decades. Bernard Chase III, 40, said he played pick-up football games in the vacant lot as a kid.

Chase, a member of the group Friends of Nat Turner Park and a Pop Warner football coach, will now be able to watch his team play on a brand new synthetic turf field.

That field and other features of the nine-acre facility were opened today in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that attracted, among others, Mayor Cory Booker, former New York Giant running back Tiki Barber, and an official from the White House.

Aside from the turf field, the park includes a 400-meter regulation track, picnic areas, and a playground. Nat Turner Park is part of a public-private partnership between the city and The Trust for Public Land. Mayor Booker and the city dedicated $3 million to the park’s construction, New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection provided about $5 million and the rest of the $9 million project came from private donations. More information can be found in TPL’s press release.

One Response

  1. This is good news. In a similar relationship, City Fields Foundation in San Francisco works together with the city’s Recreation and Parks in a public private partnership to revitalize playgrounds with athletic facilities. Partnerships with the city, community-based organizations like the Neighborhood Parks Council, local foundations and private donors are key to the project’s success.

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