Amid all the chatter about artificial turf in Church Square Park ("Don't Touch Our Parks", Hoboken Reporter, Feb. 3), the fact that City Hall has taken away no fewer than five open play spaces in that park alone has gone unnoticed.
A lot of us parents are very upset that while the politicians talk about acquiring open space, they fall mute when the space we have is snatched away from our kids.
Dogs now enjoy more space to run than kids.
The City Council and Mayor need to stop hiding behind sub-committees, bureaucratic procedures and pie-in-the-sky plans. Our children need to be given their open space back to them, right now.
Church Square is the only place to toss a ball or play a pick-up soccer game after school for the vast majority of kids. The park used to have six (6) mini-fields open enough to have a little football game or such. But then came the dog run. And the baby playground. Then another baby playground. Then the landscapers came in and took out two more fields.
Last November, city landscapers planted over the next-to-last open play space within the half mile between Elysian Park and Pier A. As in the past, the city designed the landscaping in such a way as to make the space unusable and even dangerous for any running. The only space left now is the artificial field. But, if that one field is being used when you and your kids want to play, they're out of luck now.
The other parents and I have no problem with the dog run, or with trees. We all think Hoboken should live in peace and have more trees. There are lots of other good places in town to put them, too.
This newspaper reported that replacing the lost play space with a new area at a nearby school is being planned. The fact is kids aren't interested in the Mayor's plans, or artistic renderings of Pier C. They want a place to play around, right now.
May I remind everyone that Hoboken is still waiting for the promised ice skating rink and Sybil's Cave. Every kid deserves to have an open place to kick a ball.
Fortunately, a remedy is available. The landscaping is still fresh and young. The trees can easily be moved to new spots outside the park. With so many places begging for trees in Hoboken, leaving them where they are now doesn't make any sense.
Taking away some little kids cherished make-shift ball field and refusing to give it back is just plain mean-spirited. In the past three months, no one on the City Council or the Mayor's office has lifted a finger to give the kids their open space back.
Every parent who reads this letter should carpet-bomb Mayor Roberts and your councilperson with a phone call asking them to give the kids their open space back in Church Square Park, right now before the spring.
It's either that, or listen to your kids complain they have no place to play. They don't and won't, unless you get involved.