A greenspace that connects Jersey City’s Downtown to western neighborhoods is now home to refurbished amenities and infrastructure upgrades that officials hope will create more recreational opportunities for the city’s youth.
Mayor Steve Fulop and local community groups recently cut the ribbon on the new and improved Gateway Park. The space is situated just outside of Downtown in the shadow of the elevated Turnpike extension in an area that otherwise doesn’t feature a ton of parkland.
Jersey City collaborated with several organizations on the effort, including Friends of Gateway and the Jersey City Parks Coalition (JCPC). Upgrades to the space include a new multipurpose turf field, a resurfaced basketball court with new hoops, revamped stormwater drainage systems, and a brand-new playground with sections for kids of all ages.
The plaza area of the park was also reconfigured with the plan of accommodating more public events in the future. The $500,000 turf field installation was funded through the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund and includes stormwater drainage infrastructure.
“Even before COVID brought the need for parks to the forefront, we have always prioritized accessible outdoor community space, and Gateway Park is one of the many park improvement projects we have completed in recent years utilizing grants to provide safe spaces for residents to connect and actively enjoy the outdoors,” Fulop said.
Barkha Patel, Director of Jersey City’s Department of Infrastructure, noted during the event that Gateway Park had “severe subsurface issues” that were likely linked to Super Storm Sandy and subsequent weather events. The improvements to the park aim to alleviate wear and tear that stormwater can do to the space.
Friends of Gateway initially spearheaded the renovations as part of an effort to commemorate JCPD Lt. Christopher Robateau, whose watch ended in Jan 2017.
“We always felt that reviving the park for the benefit of all neighborhood children and the community would assist in improving the community’s mental and physical health while strengthening the bridge between police and the community,” added Alika Muhammad, Friends of Gateway President.