Hoboken opens N.J.’s largest resiliency park, offering open space amenities and flood mitigation infrastructure

Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and other officials cut the ribbon on ResilienCity Park on Monday at 12th and Adams streets in Hoboken. ResilienCity Park, formerly known as the Northwest Resiliency Park, is the largest resiliency park in New Jersey, offering more than 5 acres of public open space amenities and 2 million gallons of stormwater detention through above- and below-ground infrastructure.

“I am incredibly thrilled to celebrate the grand opening of ResilienCity Park, a testament to our city’s unwavering commitment to both our residents and the environment,” Bhalla said. “This park opening is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to create a sustainable and resilient community, serving as the largest resiliency park in our great state and a model for the rest of the county. Not only does this park provide much-needed, state-of-the-art open space amenities, it will also provide a critical defense against rainfall flooding, two critical quality-of-life improvements for our residents. Today, we celebrate the multiyear effort to transform this blighted land into a model of resiliency for all to enjoy. I am beyond grateful to all of our partners at the county, state and federal level for helping make this day possible, along with the members of our community who have waited for this day for years.”

“I extend my deepest gratitude to the (President Joe) Biden administration and our congressional delegation for their continued investment in the health and resilience of New Jersey communities, and to the city of Hoboken for its ongoing efforts to expand opportunity among its residents,” Murphy said. “The ResilienCity Park — the largest of its kind in the state — will connect New Jerseyans to green, open space while offering our children and families a host of recreational activities. Just as importantly, amid the increasing intensity and frequency of storm events due to climate change, this resiliency park will help protect Hoboken’s residents and properties from extreme flooding.”

Menendez (D-N.J.), who was an advocate for $10 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding that helped make this project a reality, said the project that is a shining example of community investment at its best: “Building the green infrastructure of tomorrow and an innovative stormwater management system that will reduce the risk of devastating floods, while providing Hoboken residents with a new active open space and multipurpose athletic fields.”

ResilienCity Park transforms a former industrial site into public open space that provides the public with a new multipurpose athletic field, a basketball court that doubles as a stormwater detention basin, playground, open lawn space, water spray area and other open space amenities. The park’s terrace pavilion, which will include a café and community room, is currently under construction and it is scheduled to open this fall.

An example of the city’s parks as defense strategy, the park is part of the state- and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-funded Rebuild by Design project, which aims to mitigate flooding caused by the heavy rain events that have become more severe and frequent due to climate change. Due in part to Hoboken’s topography, low-lying areas of western Hoboken can experience flooding if the city receives more than 0.8 inches of rain per hour.

The city has opened two resiliency parks since 2017: the Southwest Resiliency Park and the 7th & Jackson Resiliency Park, which together can detain a combined total of 670,000 gallons of stormwater during heavy weather events.

The city also will begin construction on the expansion of the Southwest Resiliency Park before the end of the year, doubling the existing park’s size from 1 acre to 2 acres and increasing its stormwater detention capacity from 200,000 gallons to 510,000 gallons. Hoboken is also currently conducting a public planning process to design a fourth resiliency park at 800 Monroe St.

Once all parks are completed, the city will have expanded resiliency parks by approximately 10 acres since 2016.