All of North Hudson's towns are working to ensure that there is a wide array of recreational options for the young and old.
Guttenberg While it is the second smallest of Hudson County's 12 municipalities, Guttenberg offers plenty of activities for its residents to remain occupied.
The town offers one of the best youth basketball programs in the area for both boys and girls, with the games being played at the town's lone elementary school, Anna L. Klein School. For several years, Guttenberg has been developing top-flight basketball players that have graced high school rosters throughout Hudson and Bergen County.
The Anna L. Klein School teams participate in the North Bergen Grade School basketball league.
The town also has a youth baseball and softball league for boys and girls ages 5 through 13. It begins with T-ball for the youngsters, straight through to Little League. Guttenberg has its own Little League facility inside North Hudson Braddock Park.
The town's baton twirling team, the Guttenberg Twirlers, is annually among the best performance twirling teams in the country, consistently bringing home national honors from competitions all over, especially in Walt Disney World.
The Department of Recreation also offers arts and crafts on Saturday morning for children ages 9 through 17, also at Klein School.
The town is in the process of finalizing a deal to build its first passive park on River Road next to the Bulls Ferry luxury housing complex. It should be completed by the end of 2006.
For further information about Guttenberg's recreational activities, contact Town Hall at (201) 868-2315.
Hoboken Even though Hoboken is only one square mile, it has its share of parks and recreational options.
The city's most popular parks are along the waterfront. Both Pier A Park and Sinatra Park have vast landscapes that draw thousands of visitors for their sweeping views and wide waterfront walkways. During the summers, those parks host Movies Under the Stars and outdoor concerts.
Later this year, the city will begin construction on Pier C Park, which is currently designed as a "play landscape," featuring space for volleyball, a play area for children of all ages, a fishing pier, and a picnic area with tables and grills.
Further north, Toll Brothers is constructing nearly five acres of public open space as part of its Maxwell Place on the Hudson residential project.
On the city's northern border with Weehawken, they city recently purchased two acres of land at 1600 Park Ave. Mayor David Roberts hopes through public/private partnership to build a nearly 6-acre park that will connect Hoboken and Weehawken.
In the city's interior, Church Square Park at Fifth Street and Park Avenue and the county-run Columbus Park at Tenth and Clinton streets are popular, with gazebos for events. There are playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, and dog runs.
While the city doesn't have a public pool, the Hoboken High School pool is open to the public in the summer, and the past several years the city has built a temporary above-ground pool. Also a private developer is in the process of building a public pool and community center on the city's west side.
The city also has a temporary ice skating rink.
Every year, the city's Recreation Department offers a full roster of mostly free events for the city's youths and adults. Activities include kayaking, Sailing School, basketball, karate, fencing, chess, soccer, swimming, and volleyball.
The city's historic Little League is also a popular option, playing games on a ballfield with views of the river and Manhattan skyline.
For the little ones during the summer, the city runs the popular Arts in the Parks program, which offers a creative outlet for children's boundless summer energy in an outdoor setting. Activities offered include: fingerpainting, small crafts, sand and water fun, storytelling, and yoga.
The city sponsors two Arts and Music festivals each year, and a popular Artists Studio Tour.
The Monroe Center for the Arts at 720 Monroe Street offers classes from dancing to quilting to music playing. For more information on city recreational activities call (201) 420-2094.
Jersey City Jersey City is the home of more than 70 parks and playgrounds. It also hosts a number of summer programs that attract more than 2,000 children between the end of June and the middle of August.
The major parks in the city include the massive state-run Liberty State Park at the southeastern end of the city, the city-run Pershing Field on Summit Avenue, and the county-run Lincoln Park, which extends from Kennedy Blvd. to Highway 1&9.
There are 14 swimming pools open to the public in Jersey City, with the most popular being the Pershing Field Pool on Central Avenue (open year round).
There is one public golf course located in Lincoln Park currently under renovation that will be operated by the Hudson County Parks and Recreation Department.
There is also a members-only golf course called Liberty National Golf Club under construction near Liberty State Park. The exclusive course will have an opening date of July 4 this year.
The city is also commissioning a master plan to document where the city's parks are located, and a number of city parks will be undergoing renovation this spring. Among them is J. Owen Grundy Park located at Exchange Place on the waterfront. The Planning Board in January approved a rehabilitation plan for the waterfront park built in 1985, which will include a new cover for the performing stage at the end of the park.
A number of recreation leagues operate throughout the year, including a Youth Fencing Program, Youth Flag Football, and Bowling.
For more information about Jersey City's parks, call the Jersey City Department of Public Works at (201) 547-4449. To inquire about recreation programs in Jersey City, call the Jersey City Department of Recreation at (201) 547-5003. For information on the county park system, call the Hudson County Parks and Recreation Department at (201) 915-1388.
North Bergen The township of North Bergen features an extensive recreation program for children, including one of the best youth football programs in the state.
More than 800 youngsters participate annually in the North Bergen Recreation Pop Warner football league and cheerleading squads, with ages ranging from 7 through 14. There are two segments to the league - the younger teams, which play in-house against each other - and the Red Raiders (the eldest team) which travels to other municipalities and faces teams from those towns.
North Bergen Recreation also has a strong basketball program for both boys and girls, a wrestling program that has developed young wrestlers' skills, a soccer program that is comprised of nearly 600 youngsters. The department just recently took over the township's youth baseball and softball program and made a triumphant return to Little League baseball in 2004.
North Bergen Recreation also sponsors the North Bergen Perfect Cheer program for aspiring cheerleaders. The young ladies perform all over the area in cheerleading competitions and consistently rank among the best in those competitions.
North Bergen is also the home to the county's second largest park, North Hudson Braddock Park, which stretches from 76th Street to the south to 92nd Street to the north between Bergenline Avenue (west) and Boulevard East (east). The picturesque park features a host of athletic fields, tennis courts, basketball facilities, a dog run, and a bicycle motocross course. It also hosts a state-of-the-art running track, workout and training facility inside Bruins Stadium, where North Bergen High School plays its football and soccer games.
There are also 11 different passive parks and playgrounds throughout the township that are run by the Department of Public Works, the best being Stan Newman Field (64th Street) that is a hotbed of a variety of activity throughout the course of the year.
While the town is currently without a municipal swimming facility (plans were recently introduced to have a new one built by summer 2007), the township does have an agreement with the municipal pools in Secaucus and Palisades Park, where township residents can receive a reduced rate.
For more information about North Bergen's recreational activities, contact the Recreation office at (201) 861-9601.
Secaucus The town of Secaucus offers one of the most diverse recreation programs in Hudson County for the young and old. In the fall, the Secaucus Recreation football program, which plays its games on the newly refurbished and restored Kane Stadium, traditionally brings out the best in the town's athletes. There is also a fine cheerleading program for the young ladies and a solid soccer program for both boys and girls.
In the winter months, Secaucus Recreation offers boys' and girls' basketball, wrestling, gymnastics and well as a fine men's basketball league.
With the town's recreational centerpiece, the Ice Rink at Buchmiller Park, located in the center of town, there are a lot of winter outdoor activities on the ice, including skating (both instructional and recreational), as well as a very successful youth hockey program.
In the spring months, the national pastime is featured, with more than 600 youngsters participating in youth baseball and softball. The Secaucus Little League program is perennially one of the best in terms of development and competition, and its facility is one of the most renowned in the state. The facility has been the host of the state Little League championships on two occasions and has been the annual host of the Little League state regional tournament for the last 15 years.
There is also a spring soccer program for youngsters to continue their soccer prowess.
In the summer, the Recreation Department is constantly active, offering such a wide variety of programs such as bocce ball for adults and arts and crafts for everyone. There is an extensive performing arts program that is held at the new Arthur Couch Performing Arts Center adjacent to the high school.
The town's municipal swimming pool in Schmidt's Woods is also constantly active.
The town also has a summer day camp for young residents, with the magnificent pool as a main attraction to the camp.
The new skateboard course is also a flurry of activity. The Recreation Department offers lessons on skateboarding and safety at the course, which is located across the street from the swimming pool.
There are three extensive parks, namely Schmidt's Woods, Snipes Beach Park and the Duck Pond. There is also the new Laurel Hill Park, which is part of the Hudson County Parks system.
The Mill Creek Marsh Trail, located behind the popular Mill Creek Mall shopping center, provides a safe haven for birdwatchers who would marvel at the variety of birds that migrate to the Meadowlands.
Canoe and kayak trips along the Hackensack River are available in Laurel Hill Park. The park also has two floating docks and the only unrestricted public boat ramp on the Hackensack River.
The Hackensack Riverkeeper also rents canoes and kayaks on weekends from April through October. Contact the Riverkeeper at (201) 920-4746 for more information.
For more information about Secaucus Recreation, call (201) 330-2078.
Union City Residents of Union City can enjoy swimming all year at Union City's community pools located at the Bruce Walter Recreation Center at Fifth Street and West Avenue, and the Ron Dario Swimming Complex located on 47th Street and Palisade Avenue. The pools are open six days a week, and are free to all Union City residents. There are various times for the swim team, adult swim, Board of Education members and students. For information on the pools, call (201) 392-3696.
Different schedules are made for Saturdays, including Water Babies, a program for parents and children 6 months to 5 years of age, from 9 to 9:30 a.m. The pool schedule is subject to change.
Union City also has eight recreational parks, including Ellsworth Park and Juan Duarte Park. They are completing work on the new Jose Marti Athletic field as part of the middle school. It will be the newest site for all seasonal sports games until the new Union City Athletic Complex is constructed on top of the proposed high school at the old Roosevelt Stadium site.
Union City's co-ed team sports include baseball/softball, football, basketball, cheerleading, and their latest addition, soccer, which has completed registration and is scheduling its first instructional clinics.
For more information, contact Union City's Recreation Department at (201) 348-5747.
Weehawken The township of Weehawken offers a host of activities and programs through its dedicated Recreation Department, most of which are free of charge to Weehawken residents.
In the fall, the township offers youth football and cheerleading, as well as boys' and girls soccer. In the winter months, the Recreation Department coordinates basketball leagues for both boys and girls. In the spring, the township's baseball and softball programs handle close to 500 youngsters, playing at the magnificent Arricale Field, which is currently undergoing a facelift in time for Opening Day in April.
In the summer, Weehawken's recreational activities kick into full bloom. There are daily activities at each of the township's parks, namely Louisa, Pizzuta, Gregory and the kiddie park on Highwood Avenue, complete with arts and crafts, games and water sprinklers at each location.
There are dozens of other programs, ranging from basketball to cooking classes.
The department also hosts popular eating contests on Wednesday nights during the summer including pie eating and hot dog eating.
The department ends its summer program with a township-wide "End of Summer" spectacular, complete with games and refreshments at Weehawken Stadium.
In the near future, the township's recreational capabilities will be enhanced with the construction of a 16.4-acre waterfront park on Port Imperial Boulevard, complete with new baseball, softball and multi-purpose fields, a hockey complex and tennis courts.
The Recreation Department also sponsors the Weehawken Rowing organization that takes manmade boats and rows across the Hudson River on a regular basis in the spring and into the late summer and early fall.
The township also hosts several summer concerts along its parks on Boulevard East (Old Glory Park and Hamilton Plaza) and the Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center produces free summer concerts in Lincoln Harbor Park, which has drawn such popular recording stars as The Duprees, Jay Siegel and the Tokens, Ollabelle and jazz legend Paquito D'Rivera.
For more information about the Weehawken Recreation programs, call (201) 319-6061. For more information about the HRPAC's concerts, log onto www.hrpac.org.
West New York West New York hosts a wide variety of sports activities for its youngest residents.
The town's recreational programs and residents take advantage of eight parks, four athletic fields including Miller Stadium, and two tennis facilities.
Many of the sports clinics are run out of the various schools around town.
Currently, the baseball Little League is having its clinics at Public School No. 1 from November through April before beginning the spring/summer season.
Memorial Park on Park Avenue is also completing its renovations, and is scheduled to open by this coming summer, featuring a new Mediterranean-style design.
During the summer, some of the parks are prepared for recreational programs, like the sprinkler showers for kids on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., which usually occurs in Filmore, St. Mary's, and Washington parks.
Residents can also spend time at the community pool located on Boulevard East and Cliffside Avenue. However, at different times, there are different groups using the facility.
From Monday through Friday, recreation swim team practice is scheduled from 8 to 9:30 a.m. From 9 to 10 a.m. it's senior citizens only at no cost. During the summer, kids in the recreation program come to the pool from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and then from 12 to 6:30 p.m. it's open to the public at a fee of $5 for residents and $10 for out-of-town visitors.
To be eligible for registration in the recreation programs, children must show proof of West New York residency, and must be between the ages of 8 and 13. They will be accompanied by trained lifeguards and counselors.
On Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, the community pool is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at a fee of $6 for residents, and $12 for visitors. Seasonal rates are also applicable.
For information call the Parks and Recreation Department at (201) 295-5080.