Newark Riverfront Park Improving Community's Health & Wellness
As a part of our "Newark at a Crossroads" series, taped at NJIT, Anthony Cucchi, New Jersey State Director of The Trust for Public Land, talks about the new and improved Newark Riverfront Park on the Passaic River and how this park is strengthening this urban community by improving physical and psychological health. For more information, visit www.tpl.org.
"For decades children had no idea that there was a river in the community, the senior citizens knew there was a river, because they swam in it Riverfront Park is a brand new park, running right along the Passaic River. It is the first time in decades that the community has been able to access the river and the waterfront for recreational uses. It has a boardwalk, a beautiful orange color walking path, the people can go on with baby carriages and skateboards and bikes. There's a great story behind that, and the gentleman you're seeing on camera is gonna tell you, he is Anthony Cucchi and he is the New Jersey state director of the trust for public land how you doing Anthony? I’m well Steve, thanks. Tell folks what we were just looking at well, Newark Riverfront Park is one of more than a dozen public park projects that the trust for public land has helped to create in Newark and what you saw there was just the first phase of a much larger riverfront wide green way that the city of Newark is in the process of developing. Now again, that was along what river? The Passaic River the river on which the city of Newark was founded, back in way back when in the 1600’s. Back in the day really back in the day. Exactly. People thought that wouldn't happen, and it looks like that? It's a, yeah, amazing... many people said it wouldn't happen, but there have been dreams for many decades to establish a new green way and to convert what was an industrial contaminated riverfront into an amenity for the people of Newark and so that work is now happening. And describe what's there for people. Well the first phase of Newark Riverfront Park about three and a half acres was developed, lead by the trust for public land it encompasses about three acres of land, and it's the first phase of a much larger 20 plus acre park system that is under design. Right. Development now. And so what is the horizon wellness trail? Well, you know, interestingly Steve, you know, the need for park space, in Newark and cities across the country really is to accomplish many community benefits you know, if iIm... on the one hand, Newark Riverfront Park there's an economic development component to it, so as the riverfront is converted from a contaminated underutilized brown field into green space it's enhancing the downtown Newark for businesses, and so the city's really excited about the economic development component of it, but equally important is the health benefits of park space..."