I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight regarding substantial improvements to Church Square Park, namely an open, community-based decision to place an artificial surface on a heavily used but small portion, approximately 1/8th the size of the park.
As you may know, the park is heavily used by the many schools in the area, causing much wear and tear in the area. Over a year ago, I asked school administrators and interested residents to offer their opinions on the best usage of the site. As a result of many meetings with school representatives, it was determined that proposed water play area would consume too much space for a limited period in such a heavily used park.
It was decided that the best use would be to recap the most heavily used portion with artificial surfacing to provide consistent year-round usage designed specifically to meet the needs of park-goers with a soft and cushioned based with improved drainage, unlike Astroturf. This plan was approved by the City Council on March 7, 2007, and bid publicly to a contractor.
This plan is not inconsistent with regional public parks. In fact, this practice has been implemented in Manhattan. Locally, our Soccer Field, Little League Field and High School Field have artificial surfaces. They are economical and provide endurance for constant use.
There are eight schools in the vicinity that use this park for recreation. Our goal is to keep it green on a long-term basis to maximize utilization. In the future, we are working on our long-term goal of creating 20 acres of open space, and have already implemented work on 1600 Park Avenue, which will be a centerpiece of the Hoboken Cove parks project.
Additionally, we are striving to purchase the former Henkel/Cognis site as well as property in the southwestern are for parks and ball fields.
Church Square Park has undergone a metamorphous from a passive park to a recently updated active facility utilized by residents of all ages. The resurfacing plan, approved by residents, the City Council and this Administration is the most prudent option.
Mayor David Roberts