By now you all must know that the City is in the process of replacing most of the remaining grass in the eastern half of Church Square Park (CSP) with Astroturf. The Roberts' Administration is making a very bad mistake: the Astroturf is expensive to put in (more than $130,000), difficult to keep clean, heats up in sunlight and is abrasive and dangerous to children and other users.
But what is truly horrible is that Roberts is ruining an historic park and one of the last vestiges of natural green space left in Hoboken, a green space that has been loved and visited by Hoboken's citizens for more than a century, and he is doing it without the approval of or input from Hoboken's citizens. This Astroturfing is the fourth elimination of major plots of plant life from CSP in the last two years - first one of the oldest trees in town was cut down and a large plot of grass and trees removed to create a kiddy park, then a large plot of grass and three mature trees were killed for an asphalted exercise area, the flowers surrounding the gazebo have been replaced by pavers, and now Astroturf. And Roberts' modus operandi is to sneak it in - nobody knows what is happening until they walk into the park and find trees cut down, fences up, grass gone.
Mayor Roberts, you are abusing your fellow citizens. It's time to admit you made a mistake - cancel the Astroturf contract and put back the grass. Please, fellow citizens, hound the Mayor and Council to stop the Astroturf! Get them to hold public hearings like they are supposed to when such major changes to our public space are contemplated. And come to the City Council meeting at 7 p.m. on August 8th to demand that they stop the Astroturf and any further destruction of our public parks.
If that Astroturf goes in, we will all regret it!