Phase Three of Newark’s Riverfront Park is open. Earlier this month, Newark’s Mayor Ras J. Baraka officially opened the new four-acre section of the park that includes walking paths, river overlooks, and flood resilience features. The $6 million dollar initiative also features a Horizon Wellness Trail and a Fitness Zone.
Serving as Master of Ceremonies, The New Jersey Trust for Public Land State Director Anthony Cucchi cut the ribbon at Riverbank Park Fieldhouse along with the Mayor and dozens of representatives from key organizations.
This new phase includes more walking and bike paths as well as lighting and seating, enabling residents to enjoy Newark’s historic riverfront. The addition also grows Riverfront Park to a total length of one mile, covering 20 acres of contiguous parkland, along the Passaic River.
Designed by Lee Weintraub of Weintraub Diaz, Landscape Architects, Riverfront Park is “a direct and complete manifestation of our commitment to creating a greener and more sustainable city, to providing our residents with the highest quality of beautiful recreation facilities and green spaces, and enhancing the quality of life for all of our residents and visitors alike,” said Newark Mayor Baraka.
Mott MacDonald provided engineering and environmental services and TomCo Construction, Inc. worked on the project alongside construction management firm Cumming. Funding for this phase was made possible by a large grant from the NJ DEP Office of Natural Resource Restoration as well as other sources.
The Riverfront Park is being developed through a partnership with the City of Newark, The Trust for Public Land, the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, and Essex County’s Parks Department. Additional phases of the park are planned and a groundbreaking for the next phase was held at the end of October.
“Nearly 15,000 residents live within a 10-minute walk of Riverfront Park, and all now have access to a Fitness Zone funded by Healthcare Foundation of NJ to exercise in, and a variety of other opportunities to enjoy their waterfront,” said Director Cucchi. “What was once a brownfield where the public was not welcome, is now a focal point for community events and a driver for renewed economic growth in Newark.”
The Passaic River waterfront has deep historical significance for Newark. It was there that Captain Robert Treat and his Connecticut Puritans landed in 1666 and founded the country’s third-oldest city.