The Passaic River first attracted people to the place called Newark: Native Americans, European Puritans, American industrialists, immigrants from abroad, and the Great Migration of African-Americans. But for too long, Newarkers have been blocked off from the water’s edge. For decades, people who care about Newark’s riverfront have created visions and organized to bring Newarkers back to their river. Working together, the City of Newark, Essex County, The Trust for Public Land, Ironbound Community Corporation, Newark Riverfront Revival, and many other partners committed to Newark’s riverfront are bringing these visions to life by announcing the opening of Newark Riverfront Park.
To celebrate the latest accomplishment in reclaiming the riverfront, Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., The Trust for Public Land, the Newark Municipal Council, Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, New Jersey Green Acres Program, Ironbound Community Corporation and the Friends of Riverfront Park all gathered today (Saturday, August 3) to celebrate the opening of Newark Riverfront Park with a Walk to the Water featuring singers, dancers, residents from across the region strolling from Newark City Hall to the new park and a day-long festival at the water’s edge and on the river itself.
The new four-acre park on the Passaic River was realized after nearly thirty years of community advocacy for environmental justice by Newark residents and allies led by Ironbound Community Corporation and others. With the new segment of Riverfront Park, contiguous with the 12-acre Essex County Riverfront Park opened in June 2012, Newark and Essex County now offer over 15 acres of open space along the Passaic River. Developed by the City of Newark, Essex County, and The Trust for Public Land on properties owned by both Essex County and the City of Newark, the park will be placed under the ownership and management of the Essex County Parks System.