JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) were joined by local skateboarding pros for the official grand opening of the Berry Lane Skatepark, funded in part by the Tony Hawk Foundation. At nearly 12,000 square feet, the skatepark is the largest in Jersey City, and the first poured-in-place concrete skatepark in Hudson County, completing the transformation of Berry Lane Park from the once toxic site into the premier destination it is today for the community to enjoy.
“This skatepark is a testament to the city’s resiliency and our commitment to invest in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood, as we’ve worked to transform this 17-acre property from polluted brownfields into useable, open space for residents to enjoy,” said Mayor Fulop. “Since opening in 2016, Berry Lane Park has been a premier destination for passive and organized recreation, and we expect this skatepark to be an even bigger draw for our youth and families.”
The Skatepark Project (Formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation) uses a selective process to choose locations nationwide to invest in building high quality, public skate parks for youth in low-income communities. What set Jersey City apart from other grant applicants is the administration’s commitment to reinvigorate the area and identifying the importance of expanding recreation in the neighborhood.
With the investment from this administration, the land in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood that was once plagued with old rail lines, junkyards and auto repair shops has been transformed into Berry Lane Park which now boasts an array of recreational features including a playground, Splash Park, exercise stations, basketball courts, tennis courts, a baseball field, a soccer field, and public space. The skatepark is the sixth and final phase of the park’s overall transformation project.
“From a demolished local DIY skatepark in 2007 to an effective partnership with the skaters, municipality and the JCRA, it’s great to see the Berry Lane Skatepark finally open. Support from the community has brought this space from untenable soil to a rich experience for action sports enthusiasts of all ages and schedules,” Alec Beck, Programs Manager for The Skatepark Project.
“People who make recreation a priority are more likely to feel satisfied with their lives overall, it’s the balance between physical and mental health. Having a recreational outlet helps people deal with common day to day issues more effectively as it makes people more optimistic about life,” said Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson.
The final phase of the Berry Lane Park improvements also includes a 2,000-square-foot pavilion as well as outdoor patio space, concession stand, public bathrooms, and locker rooms. The pavilion will provide additional design enhancements like walkways, curb extensions, benches, and bike racks.
“Berry Lane Park has become a state of the art recreational facility, so it is an exciting time to finalize this latest phase of construction and completing the transformation of a former industrial site starting with chromium remediation and ending with this state-of-the-art recreational facility that serves as a lifeline for our youth and local community to exercise and socialize,” said Diana Jeffrey, Executive Director of the JCRA.
Incorporating a $500,000 grant from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund, with construction completed by TSIVIKOS Enterprises Inc., New Jersey’s newest and among the largest skateparks includes: a lay back bank, hipped quarter pipes, a roller, A-Frame ledge combo, split level A-Frame with gap, three-stair rail, bump to ledge, kicker gap, flat rail over gap, clam shell, quarter pipe extension, pump bump, and will feature a backyard bowl at a 6-foot maximum depth with a 3,600 square foot circumference.
“I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of this monumental transformation which is truly representative of how far Jersey City has come in recent years,” said Councilman at Large Daniel Rivera. “We will continue with this momentum to further expand educational and recreational opportunities for all of our youth, empowering the next generation who are the future of Jersey City.”