Jersey City Mayor Fulop and Administrator McCarthy Visit Berry Lane Park Project
Contact: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj
(New York, N.Y. – November 21, 2014) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, on her first trip to New Jersey, was joined by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop at the Berry Lane Park project to highlight EPA funding that has helped Jersey City transform a formerly contaminated site into the largest municipally-owned park in the city, with two basketball courts, two tennis courts, a baseball field, a soccer field, and a playground.
“Bringing back activity that increases the value of a community is good for our health and great for local economies, and what makes that possible is working together,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “By contributing about $2.6 million dollars through our Brownfields program, we are proud to support Jersey City in cleaning up and transforming this property into the largest municipally owned and operated park in the city.”
“We are grateful for the investment by the EPA through the Brownfields program into Jersey City and Berry Lane Park,” said Mayor Fulop. “This is one of the most exciting projects as we are reclaiming a site that was contaminated and truly a detriment to the community and developing it into an expansive park with passive and active recreation for all of our residents.”
Jersey City used about $2.6 million from EPA’s Brownfields program, along with other federal, state and local funding, to first tackle the contamination on the parcels and then begin building the park. Before the park could be built, the property needed to be cleaned up and old buildings had to be demolished. The 17-acre Berry Lane Park property was once home to rail yards, junk yards, auto repair shops, industrial facilities, and warehouses.
Since 1997, the EPA has awarded Jersey City $2.6 million in brownfields funding, specifically for the Berry Lane Park project. To date, the EPA has provided a total of $4.3 million in brownfields funding to Jersey City for this and other projects and about $50 million in Brownfields funding to help revitalize communities across New Jersey. Over a period of five years, Jersey City acquired the 11 properties that ultimately make up the new park. The properties were investigated and, in many cases, cleaned up so that the parcels could be turned into the 17-acre park. Berry Lane Park was designed with direct input from residents and local officials working through a series of planning sessions with the project’s architects and planners. In addition to providing recreational opportunities, the park will contain 600 new trees and a rain garden. Cleanup and grading work to get the property ready for construction is completed and construction to complete the entire park is expected to start in 2015.
In FY13, the Brownfields Program’s funding for cleanup and redevelopment activities leveraged $1.5 billion dollars and over 10,000 jobs, significant increases from FY12.
For more information about how the EPA is making a difference in communities through its Brownfields program, visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/