Now is the time for all City residents, especially those nearby Hamilton Park, to participate in what may be the final input into its planned renovation. This important meeting will be held Thursday, March 22nd at 7 p.m. in the Hamilton Square Building located at 1 McWilliams Place at the corner of 8th St. (on the East side of the Park).
Because the community input process is still unclear and incomplete, residents will be asked for further clarification regarding such park issues as more gardens and landscaping vs. less gardens and landscaping; more quiet, passive space vs. more athletic features and related to this, whether park space should be devoted to basketball, tennis and other courts or whether some or all such facilities should be located at alternative sites nearby.
What the majority of residents want and need for their historic park should be the renovated park they and their children can enjoy for generations. The Jersey City Parks Coalition (JCPC) is founded on the belief that a community becomes empowered through being allowed to choose the design elements for their community parks, allowed to guide its use (i.e., events, farmers markets) and help with its maintenance (i.e., community gardens). The community must make these important decisions, not some government official, not someone hired by a government official and not some "privileged minority."
The JCPC is proud that two years ago the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA) asked us to share with them the scientific methodology we've developed since 1991 for guiding community input to create a park master plan. This method was used in the only successful JC major park renovations; in Van Vorst Park, Ercel Webb Park and now, the completed plans for Pershing Field. The HPNA leaders that worked with us had a difficult task in that a few of their other officers wanted to dictate certain park elements and to thus not allow residents full democratic choice. The HPNA made their best effort given the politics, the complexity of this historic park and the needs of its community; and now, this March 22nd meeting may complete this input process. We thank the HPNA for their surveying efforts. We also thank the Friends of Hamilton Park (FoHP) for their contributions to this process and for their Park beautification efforts with the community gardens and the Hamilton Park Farmers Market.
We hope many JC residents attend this meeting to define their neighborhood's desires.
Jersey City Parks Coalition