The community of East Newark will soon have its first community park. Florham Park-based BASF and the Borough of East Newark on Friday hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to announce the construction of the East Newark Riverfront Park, a five-acre property along the banks of the Passaic River.
The ceremony was attended by community leaders and residents, federal, state and
local elected officials, representatives from federal and state regulatory agencies, and
The former industrial property will be converted into a park, which will include green
space with a variety of options for recreational use and support the wellbeing of the
community. The park will also have wildlife habitats, something rare in dense urban
The project is expected to be completed in two years, according to BASF.
“We’re pleased this property will be restored and returned to the community as a
multi-use ecological space,” Tobias Dratt, president, BASF North America said in a statement.
“Converting the vacant property to a park will benefit the environment and allows the
public to connect with the waterfront by opening many new possibilities for recreation,
learning and community engagement.”
“This new park will enhance the community and improve quality of life for residents
and wildlife,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “The park will bring residents together and
allow families to reconnect and enjoy recreation and nature. I thank Mayor Grilo for
her leadership and ensuring this project gets off the ground.”
Once completed, the park — designed to support biodiversity — will be home to
pollinator gardens, meadow and wooded areas and native grasslands. This will
provide important habitat to migratory birds, bats, butterflies, and small mammals. In
addition, recreational features will offer opportunities for the public to walk or bike
along the riverfront and enjoy a natural setting for socializing.
Creating and conserving natural habitats in community parks helps to sustain nature,
even in the most populated urban areas, and play a key role in furthering sustainable
initiatives aimed at protecting and enhancing the environment.
The project was made possible through coordination and support of the federal
natural resource trustees — the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — as well as the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection and the Borough of East Newark.