Council of New Jersey’s Largest City Endorse Once-in-a-Lifetime Greenspace Project
NEWARK, NJ – July 9, 2021 – The Newark City Council, the governing body for New Jersey’s largest city, today approved a resolution of support for the Essex-Hudson Greenway Project. This resolution of support recognizes the value of the Greenway, especially the portion that falls within the City, and encourages the State of New Jersey to set aside sufficient funds to secure the property and advance construction.
“The Essex-Hudson Greenway Project presents the City of Newark with a unique opportunity to provide our residents with a safe place to walk, bike, and experience nature. We encourage Governor Phil Murphy and other leaders at the state level to support our efforts to make this project a reality,” said North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr., who co-sponsored the resolution with Council Vice President Luis A. Quintana.
Quintana stated, “For majority minority communities like Newark, outdoor recreational spaces, like the Essex-Hudson Greenway, can be a game changer for the health, equity, and vitality of our constituents. We truly appreciate the positive impact that the Greenway would bring to the citizens of Newark and to surrounding communities and the region.”
Other proponents of the project cite the expansive economic, public health, environmental and a range of other benefits, including expanded opportunities for broadband and addressing severe sewer overflow issues which have long plagued homeowners in Newark and communities along the route of the proposed linear park. The project will also address equity issues for minority and overburdened communities both adjacent to and near the Greenway’s route.
In January 2020, OSI secured a time-limited purchase agreement with Norfolk Southern for the purchase of the former Boonton Line which traverses eight municipalities in Essex and Hudson Counties. Having already secured one extension to finalize the deal, time is running out to complete the purchase of the property. Under terms of the $65 million purchase agreement, the transfer deadline is quickly approaching.
For walkers, runners, cyclists, hikers and others, the proposed Essex-Hudson Greenway would create nearly nine miles of linear park, connecting Montclair, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, Kearny, Secaucus, and Jersey City. Driven by The Open Space Institute and its partners – the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition and the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance — work has already begun on the project in terms of planning, surveying, environmental assessments, and more.
The project has already garnered support from a wide range of elected officials, including New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, United States Representative Mikie Sherrill, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Essex County Commissioner Brendan Gill, State Senator Teresa Ruiz, Mayors Michael Gonnelli (Secaucus), Michael Melham (Belleville), Michael Venezia (Bloomfield), Stuart Patrick (Glen Ridge), Sean Spiller (Montclair), and Steven Fulop (Jersey City).
The project is also supported by more than 100 local advocacy groups, representing business, environmental, religious, transportation, public health, faith, and civic causes. A full list of supporting organizations is available here.
For decades, local community leaders have been calling for the creation of a linear park on the former rail line property to create a safe, off-road trail to ride a bike and walk; ease traffic and offer active transportation options; create alternate commuting options; provide close-to-home, easy access to the outdoors; and bring much needed greenspace to urban communities. Currently, the line creates a blight and a hazard to every town along the line.
For more information on the Essex-Hudson Greenway Project, visit www.essexhudsongreenway.org.
About Open Space
Founded more than four decades ago, the Open Space Institute (OSI) has partnered in the protection of 2.3 million acres across eastern North America from Quebec to Florida. Over the past 16 years, OSI has worked to protect more than 21,000 acres of New Jersey farms, forests, and local parkland within the Highlands, the Pinelands, the Bayshore, and the heavily developed northeastern suburbs. In addition to the Essex Hudson Greenway, OSI’s current projects include efforts to help protect land and improve water quality in the Delaware River Basin and provide public access to the 1,200-acre Jersey City Reservoir in Boonton and Parsippany.
About New Jersey
Bike & Walk Coalition
The New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition (NJBWC) is the only statewide advocacy organization for bicyclists and pedestrians and provides a collective voice for everyone who believes that a more rideable and walkable New Jersey means a more livable, equitable, and sustainable New Jersey. NJBWC officially adopted the Essex Hudson Greenway Project in 2014 and has been a leader in building the advocacy campaign to make it a reality.
September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance
The September 11th National Memorial Trail is a 1,300-mile system of trails and roadways that links the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The route serves as a symbol of national resiliency and character and as a tribute to the fallen heroes who perished on September 11, 2001, and the many heroes who have committed themselves to the response for their country.