As everyone knows, Jersey City is on the move. There are skyscrapers going up seemingly everywhere, cool restaurants, neat stores, pop-up beer gardens and more. This is especially true in Bergen-Lafayette. While we don’t quite have the infrastructure and shiny, pretty things that other areas of the city have, our advantage is that almost everywhere can be beautified and refurbished. All that it takes is someone that cares, a little funding and a lot of elbow grease. It’s great to see people coming together to change this place for the better.
Here’s a quick list of beautification projects happening in Bergen-Lafayette:
Rain Garden in Arlington Park
Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program received funding to create a rain garden in Jersey City and eventually decided on Arlington Park for its location. A rain garden is a planted depression, or hole, that allows rainwater runoff from impervious urban areas, such as concrete walkways, the opportunity to be absorbed. This reduces rain runoff by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground as opposed to flowing into storm drains or collecting on surfaces resulting in erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater. Representatives from Rutgers, Liberty Allstars, Royal Men foundation, Friends of Arlington Park and the Berry Hill/Claremont groups all came together to add a little more beauty to the park.
I’m sure we’ve all seen the fantastic murals that are going up all around town. It seems that every time you look around, another amazing artwork has popped up somewhere. This initiative is truly turning Jersey City into an outdoor art museum with places like Nashville, Tennessee and Sugar Hill, Georgia looking to emulate our mural program for their cities. By the time you read this, there will probably be even more murals than when I wrote this.
Two of the newest mural/art project in our area have been this fantasy/psychedelic exploration on the side of the Tenmarc building on the corner of Communipaw Ave and Manning Ave.
Then there is the aquatic journey on the old ACDelco Auto Parts building on Grand St. and Johnston Ave. It is truly amazing how much life some paint can bring to an area.
Flower Beds on Carteret
Sometimes the projects aren’t large or city-sponsored but are just as necessary. On Carteret Avenue, off of Ocean Ave., some citizens are getting together and installing flower beds around all the trees. It adds beauty, increases neighborhood pride and c’mon, you can’t tell me these little kids aren’t adorable!
Community Uplifting Project Community Garden – on Communipaw Avenue
Like the name says, it’s helping uplift the community. Detective Doris Johnson took on this project and it officially opened July 9th. There were dozens of old tires that the city removed and had taken to recycling plants. The fire department allowed them to use the nearest hydrant as a water source. Jackson Hill Main Street Project has sponsored the garden to use their 501c3 until their non-profit status is finalized. The NJ State Policemen’s Benevolent Association paid for their insurance and local business are sponsoring it by bringing seeds to plant. A true community project!