Dear Editor: The article about 1600 Park in the Hoboken Reporter (September 1, 2013) gave undue credit to Hoboken Parks Org, (HPO) and we want to recognize the early efforts of others that preceded HPO.
Before HPO was even created in 2004, the fight for 1600 Park had been going on for over six years. It began in the mid-1990s when neighbors living near the park learned of a proposed development of two 23 story high-rise condos on the site. This small group of concerned citizens known as "Friends of 1600 Park," fought against the proposed development by attending dozens of zoning board meetings, educating the public, raising funds and hiring an attorney to challenge the multiple zoning variances sought by the developer.
It was out of this community action that Hoboken Parks. Org (HPO) was created in 2004 including many of the Friends of 1600 Park group. HPO continued the fight by advocating for acquisition of the land at 1600 for a park and helping to make sure that the land was identified in the City’s Master Plan as parkland. In 2004, HPO contacted the Trust for Public Land to seek their assistance in the land acquisition. With the help of many including the Trust for Public Land, the City acquired title to the site for parkland in January, 2006. HPO continued its involvement as a participant in Mayor Zimmer’ s 1600 Park Stakeholders Committee to provide community input on the park design. We thank Mayor Zimmer for recognizing the efforts of HPO at the recent ribbon cutting for the park opening.
This new park is a dream come true for HPO. While there may not be any “real grass” on the field, most certainly it has been built on the power of grassroots. HPO salutes the efforts of all those who fought for many years to make this new park a reality.
Leah Healey, HPO