I am usually satisfied with the development of new parks and the improvements of parks in Hoboken. I am proud of what David Roberts and the city of Hoboken have done concerning parks. But this time, I am disappointed. A toddler playground is being built in Church Square Park, and it is really unnecessary since there already is a toddler playground in Church Square Park.
For the last seven years, there was a group of trees in the field just northeast of the gazebo in Church Square Park it was called Correy's Grove, and was dedicated to a girl that was killed in a fire in 1998. The site of this memorial is where the toddler playground is being built. This memorial was moved to a different location in the park but its new location is in a stagnant dirt-covered area situated near the smelly dog run and is not as good a place to put it. Moving the memorial in the first pace was not good either because it was disrespectful. It's like uplifting your roots and hauling it over to something else. It's not consistent with what you've known for years. When you plant a tree for someone you expect it to stay there. You don't expect it to be dug up and relocated, unless it is absolutely necessary. And in this case, it wasn't.
The uplifting of "Correy's Grove" was a double-edged sword. Not only was a peaceful setting ruined, but also the new location of the trees are in a dirt area that used to be used by kids all the time. The new site of the memorial trees are now embedded into the place that used to be used by kids as a kickball field. There are other fields in the park available, but it is not the same, because of the prominent slab of concrete that is in the dirt field that the trees were moved to. This slab of concrete was used as "home plate" for all of the kickball games. But now, it is impossible to play here thanks to the whole toddler project and the moving of the memorial. And in addition to that, there is one less field to play all games in and one more unnecessary place for toddlers to play in.
I would also like to mention that one of the most oldest, most distinguishable and dignified trees in Church Square Park was removed and destroyed to make way for this new toddler park. It had been there for a very, very long time. Around 1995, most of it was cut down, but even though this happened, we were glad it was still alive. Until now. Now it's gone and there's nothing we can do. Nobody told us about this toddler project. Was it even discussed? Was there a consensus? In my opinion, there was no point to this project because there already is a toddler park at the southern edge of the park And if those responsible for this project really wanted to have a new toddler park, all they had to do was tear down the already existing toddler park instead of disturbing and relocating the rest of the park that has been tranquil and the same for 10 years.
It was bad enough that the last remains of the playground of the early '90s were removed from the field just northeast of the gazebo. It's also bad enough that the old, prestigious tree in the center of the toddler site was destroyed without letting the public know. It might be a sign that there's more of this type of disrespect of Hoboken land to come. This project is a disgrace, it is not needed by toddlers and is not an appropriate time or place to undergo this type of project. Church Square Park is too small for three playgrounds. It's time for the city to stop making quixotic and ambitious plans for parks and start looking at reality more. That means listening to what citizens have to say.
Tim Rounds, age 15
And the Rounds Family