This letter is in response to Al Sullivan’s article “A battle for the parks” which was featured in the March 30th edition of The Jersey City Reporter. Although his article is on target in many ways his brief depiction of Pershing Field is off the mark. To those not intimately familiar with Pershing Field, they would come away thinking that Height's residents have the greatest park since sliced bread and would require no further funding for improvement. This is far from the truth. While I agree with Mr. Sullivan’s statement that the day to day maintenance of the park has improved, the "amenities” he referred to are in dire need of refurbishing. The playground, although slated for renovation this year, has been in absolute deplorable condition for many years. The tennis courts and basketball courts lack the proper surfaces, markings, netting etc. Those that enjoy jogging tell me it's safer to run on the City streets than on the track due to its poor condition. The photos accompanying his article of the park’s historic walls do not show the sections that are damaged & crumbling.
As a member of the Jersey City Parks Coalition this story is not unique to Pershing Field as it is the same story with many of the City’s parks. While I understand the need and support to create new parkland, let's not pit neighborhood against neighborhood for funds that are needed to upgrade and maintain all our City parks. It is time to revisit the parks master plan that was created in 2008 and include a funding mechanism to care for all of our parks, both new & old for all the residents today and into the future.
Laura Skolar, President
Pershing Field Garden Friends