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The Trust for Public Land in Action: 2019 C E L E B R AT I N G W HAT YO U M A D E P O S S I B L E IN NEW JERSEY AND BEYOND


Thank you for supporting The Trust for Public Land! Together with partners like you, we are improving life for millions of people in millions of wonderful ways: creating climateresilient communities, boosting health and wellness, advancing economic opportunities and learning outcomes, conserving and protecting our most precious landscapes, and reconnecting people to the lands and experiences that bind us together. From the transformation of green schoolyards in New York, Georgia, and California to the conservation of places of adventure in Montana, Utah, and Maine—we couldn’t do this inspiring work without you. Working together, we have built an incredible legacy. Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has helped connect over 8 million people to nature by protecting more than 3.6 million acres and completing more than 5,400 park and conservation projects in meaningful places. These special places become a trailhead to a lifetime of experience in nature and to exploring and protecting the parks and public lands we all own and love.

In towns and cities across the country, people are exercising, playing, and connecting with nature and with each other in parks, trails, gardens, and playgrounds. And here at home in New Jersey, students are learning in new outdoor classrooms, residents are connecting with their neighbors in park planning meetings, and families are experiencing nature together in close-to-home parks and vast, inspiring landscapes that leave them awestruck. You help create these moments. You amplify community voices. You ensure public access to the wildlands and open spaces that define our region. You create parks, trails, and greenspaces for people all across New Jersey and the country to enjoy. We are so proud of everything we have accomplished so far—but more than that, we are excited for all the brilliant work that’s yet to come. We know this work is inspiring, it is necessary, and it is just the beginning. Thank you for your partnership!

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Blueberry Acres

Southampton Township, NJ


Dundee Island Park PA S S A I C , N E W J E R S E Y After our successful public space transformation of Newark Riverfront Park, our neighbors up the river in Passaic asked us to bring our park development expertise to Dundee Island Park—a long neglected public space isolated from the community by a set of dormant railroad lines and fencing. Thanks to funding from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Office of Natural Resource Restoration, Passaic County Open Space Trust Fund, and additional private funding, we are renovating the 6.7-acre park and making it accessible to the thousands of people who live within a 10-minute walk. We’ve been working with the Passaic community since fall 2018 to identify what they want in their new public space. Together we have developed a MKW + ASSOCIATES: TOP, BIRD’S EYE AERIAL RENDERING. BOTTOM, AMPHITHEATER RENDERING.

Dundee Island Park rendering Passaic, NJ

design that includes environmental education, a community garden and space for a farmer’s market, a performance area, a riverwalk, a picnic area, a playground with a splash pad, Fitness Zone® equipment, and a boat ramp. We also brought in a local artist to lead our creative placemaking efforts at the park. This artist has already begun working with the community to create an art feature that reflects the people that the park serves. The new Dundee Island Park will change the riverfront in Passaic. “These park improvements are just the beginning of our efforts to upgrade recreational space for all our residents and families,” says Mayor Hector Lora. “This could be the biggest thing to happen to Passaic in four decades.” With construction underway, we eagerly await opening the park to the public in fall 2020.


Feaster and Pittman Parks NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY Everyone deserves a quality park within a 10-minute walk of home. That’s why we’re bringing great parks to the cities that need them most—like New Brunswick, which sees parks as a crucial ingredient to support healthy communities. Until recently, the long-term neglect of Feaster Park and adjacent Pittman Park deprived a diverse community of access to a welcoming neighborhood destination. In response, the city asked The Trust for Public Land to join them in redesigning the parks with Rutgers University. Resident groups and non-profits like Unity Square Neighborhood advocated for new and revitalized exercise features, a basketball court, and outdoor classrooms for students at the neighboring Paul Robeson Community Theme School for the Arts.

RUTGERS CENTER FOR URBAN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY (CUES)

feaster park – now New Brunswick, NJ

feaster park rendering New Brunswick, NJ

The community celebrated the completion of their concept design in February 2019. During construction, The Trust for Public Land will serve as liaison to the city to ensure that the construction phase and completed parks fulfill the needs and wishes of the 16,000 people living within a 10-minute-walk of these special places. We also worked closely with Mayor Cahill to advance a ballot measure that will dedicate new public funds to park development and stewardship. As a result, the measure was included and approved on the citywide ballot in November 2019. We are proud to have contributed to this vital opportunity for residents and neighbors to come together in support of welcoming, safe green spaces in New Brunswick.


Green schoolyards and parks NEWARK, NEW JERSEY

We have helped to build Green, Healthy Schoolyards across Newark, from Lafayette Street School in the Ironbound to Sussex Avenue Renew School in Fairmount. This year, we continued our commitment to equity and community in our schoolyards. Now we’re partnering with Newark Public Schools and Congregation Ahavas Sholom at Lincoln School to redesign their playground to include new amenities like rain gardens and outdoor classrooms. Our signature participatory design process provides environmental and STEM education for students while engaging them in imagining a greener future for their entire neighborhood. We look forward to completing the early planning for the Lincoln School playground in early 2020 and raising the funds necessary to make this renovation a reality.

N E W A R K E R S C E L E B R AT E PA R K S Newarkers showed their commitment to parks and open spaces in 2019 by: • Forming park friends groups to care for community parks and public spaces; • Hosting youth-led beautification projects at Jesse Allen Park and a weekly farmer’s market; • Celebrating the 10th season of the Park Rangers youth enrichment and education program; • Inviting residents, the Newark Police Department, and others to celebrate National Night Out to highlight parks as safe places to gather with family and friends.

UNITED PARKS AS ONE

Since 1995, The Trust for Public Land has worked with residents and partners to create and improve green spaces for everyone to enjoy in Newark. In 2019, we continued this vital work on several fronts.


Cooper’s Poynt Family Schoolyard CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY LOOKING AHEAD Our climate-smart, community-first approach to reinventing the public realm will take shape at Rafael Cordero Molina Elementary School, Benjamin Franklin Bridge Park, and Mastery High School of Camden, where we will introduce youth to careers in the growing green jobs economy through sustainable design, green infrastructure, resilience planning, and hands-on stewardship.

We know parks and green spaces, when designed by the community, are an essential part of a healthy community. And we know green schoolyards help stabilize neighborhoods by offering places to gather, relax, and be active. We invest in the communities that stand to gain the most from the public health, social, and economic benefits that well-designed and community-supported parks and trail systems provide. That’s why in 2018, we launched our Parks for People—Camden efforts to support the community in the creation, development, and stewardship of public spaces around the city.

We opened a new playground and basketball courts to the delight of the 400 students and 4,000 neighbors. Other new features at the playground include exciting play equipment, basketball courts, and outdoor learning laboratories. In addition to providing the community with new ways to play outside, the new elements will also improve Camden’s climate resiliency by capturing stormwater with porous pavement, absorbing excess carbon with lush rain gardens, and cooling the neighborhood by removing hot asphalt. Principal Janine Casella said the schoolyard lets the students know they are valued. “That’s what they’re feeling right now, they’re feeling loved.”

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C O O P E R ’ S P O Y N T FA M I LY S C H O O LYA R D Previously, the students at Cooper’s Poynt Family School in North Camden spent their recess on a cracked asphalt lot. Learning outdoors was not an option. With help from partners like you, we transformed this uninspiring lot into the first green schoolyard in Camden.

Join us as we celebrate the release of Green + Healthy Camden, an interactive mapping tool that brings the power of strategic planning to Camden. In order to best utilize the data presented in this decision support tool, we are leading a coalition in partnership with the city and local nonprofits to create a five-year parks and open space plan. Most importantly, this park planning framework will engage the community directly in park planning in the city.

Cooper’s Poynt Family Schoolyard Camden, NJ


Foote’s Pond Wood MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY The popular Foote’s Pond Wood is located less than a mile from the historic Morristown Green in Morris County. The Trust for Public Land recently helped protect 11 acres adjacent to the pond, expanding the park to over 25 acres. The property’s prime location allows for increased recreational space for birders, runners, wildlife observers, nearby residents, and visitors from far and wide. There are over 1,400 people that live within a 10-minute walk of the park. Funding for the project was provided in part by the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Acres Program, and the Town of Morristown. The property is essential to groundwater recharge and plays an important role in protecting the

Great Swamp watershed. Preventing future development will eliminate potential impacts to an already stressed ecosystem. Now that the site is owned by the public, work has begun to expand and enhance the trail system. New trails are expected to be completed and open to visitors by the end of 2019. The property is currently open to the public, and the existing trails can be accessed at the trailhead off of James Street near Thomas Jefferson School. We are currently working on protecting additional properties in the New Jersey Highlands, the New Jersey Pinelands, and the Delaware River Watershed, all of which will help safeguard important sources of fresh drinking water.

TPL STAFF

Foote’s Pond Wood

Morristown, NJ


New Jersey Advisory Board We are so grateful for our volunteer leaders! Ron Weston, Chair Leonard Berkowitz Jim Gibson William Gibson

Susan More Pat O’Connell Brian Quinn Nick Silitch

SETH SHERMAN

Thank you

for supporting our land-for-people mission in New Jersey. We couldn’t do it without you.

Join us. The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.

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Scott Dvorak Director of Parks for People—New Jersey 973.241.5259 | scott.dvorak@tpl.org Leslie Brauman Senior Director of Philanthropy 212.574.6890 | leslie.brauman@tpl.org 60 Park Place, Suite 901 Newark, NJ 07102

COVER: TOP LEFT, TPL STAFF; TOP RIGHT, RICHARD FREEDA; MIDDLE LEFT, COLIN COOKE; MIDDLE RIGHT, SETH SHERMAN; BOTTOM, CHRISTOPHER T. MARTIN.

Profile for The Trust for Public Land

NEW JERSEY - The Trust for Public Land in Action: 2019  

Celebrating what YOU made possible in New Jersey and beyond.

NEW JERSEY - The Trust for Public Land in Action: 2019  

Celebrating what YOU made possible in New Jersey and beyond.

Profile for tpl_org