Parks becoming “Playgrounds”

Church Square Park {in disrepair}

Wow, didn’t Church Square Park JUST get re-done? Boy, those brainiacs at City Hall sure know how to pick winners!

The playground artificial surface already being ripped out. WTF?

Regardless if this was “an area in need of repair,” why can’t they fill this “safe rubbery surface” instead of replacing it? God forbid junior falls on the one square inch of surface that isn’t soft and cushy. Man, when we were kids there was none of this over-protective BS on the ground. I guess that’s why finding a “real” man will become a rarity in the future.

Church Square Park in Hoboken NJ already in disrepair

Less parks in Hoboken, NJ – More playgrounds!

1/16/2013 Update:

Over the past couple weeks, Hoboken411 has received many emails from residents regarding Church Square Park.

The general tone basically boils down to how astounded people are at how much of the useful “open space” has been transformed into what is now essentially a giant kiddie park.

One reader even suggested renaming the “park” to Church Square Playground.

(Oh and we already mentioned another case of “scope creep” that takes place regularly here when it comes to city contracts. They all of a sudden realized they need tens of thousands of more property taxpayer dollars for these toys…)

26 Responses

  1. Chow says:

    The footprint of the new equipment is identical to the space used by the old equipment.

    Additionally, by far, the number of people who utilize the parks in this town are families. There are no twenty-somethings just hanging out in the park. The elderly also come out when the weather warms up, but they disappear during the cold months.

    The dog run takes up a significant area of space and is exclusive to dog owners. At night time there are tons of teens playing on the new playground equipment, which is better than having teens with nowhere to go roaming aimlessly.

    What is the demographic of the complainers? I am very curious.

    • ktbc says:

      I agree 100% with Chow. I do not have children. Nevertheless, I find these complaints baffling. How can you be opposed to children having a place to play???

      I live directly across the street from Church Square Park, so that park is part of my day-to-day life. I can’t tell you how uplifting it is to see so many families enjoying the park and spending time with each other, engaged in fun and leisure! I am certain it is one of the most utilized parks in town.

      I love the Hoboken parks and take advantage of them. I use the dog parks regularly. I spend time relaxing in the open areas at Pier A & Pier C. I run along the waterfront at least a 2-3 times/week. I think the town has done a great job of at least trying to meet the needs of different groups when it comes to park space. There are open areas for relaxing, there are dog parks, there is a skate park, and a hockey ring, and basketball courts, and the entire f’ing waterfront. Yeah, there are issues with the original shoddy construction of the waterfront parks, but hopefully we’ll see some progress on that front. I do not understand what you people are complaining about. God forbid we have space for the children!! You sound like a bunch of a’holes to me.[quote comment=”219110″]The footprint of the new equipment is identical to the space used by the old equipment.Additionally, by far, the number of people who utilize the parks in this town are families. There are no twenty-somethings just hanging out in the park. The elderly also come out when the weather warms up, but they disappear during the cold months.The dog run takes up a significant area of space and is exclusive to dog owners. At night time there are tons of teens playing on the new playground equipment, which is better than having teens with nowhere to go roaming aimlessly.What is the demographic of the complainers? I am very curious.[/quote]

  2. SlappyWhite says:

    Obviously you dont have kids and you have never been to this park at noon. There are about 4 different schools that use this park at recess for grades pre-K to 8. Some classes use the park twice a day. So, common sense would dictate more areas dedicated to children. Yet there is still areas for adults to walk and play activities (kick a soccor ball, play basketball).

    Would you prefer it just be grass? I dont understand why you would even bring this up as an issue? You dont have kids so you question the merit of building a children’s park. Did you ever think that if young families have more activities for young children that they will be more likely to remain in hoboken for a longer period of time?

    So you know, there are a lot of low-income families that use this park. So, we are not talking about a park just for affluent families sending their kids to private schools. You cannot find a better investment for a community then having activities for children.

    And as for your earlier comment regarding the safety of the new spider web. My four year old climbs on it everyday and absolutely loves it. Her teachers watch all of the children very closely while they are on the ropes.

    I can’t wait until you have children…you are going to look back at how foolish your thought process was!

  3. HOB424 says:

    We definitely need more open space and fields. There’s enough playgrounds for toddlers. Don’t be surprised is this issue comes up at the council meeting. Alot of parnets don’t like the new playgrouns because their toddlers can’t manage the equipment. What about a few years from now when their kdis are bigger, they will think alot differently. There’s enough for little toddlers. Older kids need much more open space and fields in this town. Or even adults who want to toss a football around, there’s not much open space to choose from.

    • SlappyWhite says:

      Ok, lets address HOB424: Older kids who like to play sports have few opportunities. For example, the baseball field; not only is it tough to enroll your kids on the team, but practice for young kids are at 7pm+. Also, you must realize that these fields (baseball, soccer) are used for sports. You cant lay on the grass and picnic or walk your dog. So unless you are actually playing a sport, you cant use the fields anyway. Not to mention, you dont have enough room for a field at Church Square park, so its a moot issue.

      But, yes, in general, there is limited places for sports field. If you view the city master plan, there should be more fields added over the next few years.[quote comment=”219112″]We definitely need more open space and fields. There’s enough playgrounds for toddlers. Don’t be surprised is this issue comes up at the council meeting. Alot of parnets don’t like the new playgrouns because their toddlers can’t manage the equipment. What about a few years from now when their kdis are bigger, they will think alot differently. There’s enough for little toddlers. Older kids need much more open space and fields in this town. Or even adults who want to toss a football around, there’s not much open space to choose from.[/quote]

      • HOB424 says:

        Agreed there’s not enough fields for the rec sports programs. There’s alot of teams that need playing and practice time. There’s alot of kids that sign up. Alot of these kids do not live here. Their parents choose to live in other towns and they don’t want their kids to play sports in the towns in which they live. This is a drain on the limited facilities we currently have.[quote comment=”219114″]Ok, lets address HOB424: Older kids who like to play sports have few opportunities. For example, the baseball field; not only is it tough to enroll your kids on the team, but practice for young kids are at 7pm+. Also, you must realize that these fields (baseball, soccer) are used for sports. You cant lay on the grass and picnic or walk your dog. So unless you are actually playing a sport, you cant use the fields anyway. Not to mention, you dont have enough room for a field at Church Square park, so its a moot issue.But, yes, in general, there is limited places for sports field. If you view the city master plan, there should be more fields added over the next few years.[/quote]

      • Chow says:

        Inaccurate statement. Hoboken residents are given priority over nonresidents in City run programs.

        This discussion is about playground equipment. The complainer who wrote to 411 would complain about soccer fields if this was a new soccer field.

        Everyone agrees that more is better, but space is limited and you have to make do with what you have in terms of space. [quote comment=”219129″]Agreed there’s not enough fields for the rec sports programs. There’s alot of teams that need playing and practice time. There’s alot of kids that sign up. Alot of these kids do not live here. Their parents choose to live in other towns and they don’t want their kids to play sports in the towns in which they live. This is a drain on the limited facilities we currently have.[/quote]

  4. Andrews says:

    Aren’t schools supposed to have their own playgrounds? And why would this cost have to come from the municipal budget and not the board of education? Mixing up school kids and public is a bit unfair. Can I use the bathrooms in the school during the day?

    • SlappyWhite says:

      Andrews: I tried to respond but looks like my original response was not admitted. here it is:
      Aren’t schools supposed to have their own playgrounds?
      – Most schools cant afford their own space, nor is there enough space in the city for each school to have its own space.

      And why would this cost have to come from the municipal budget and not the board of education?
      – Its a public area. You are paying for the soccer field even if you never used it. Church Square park is used by more non-students than students.

      Mixing up school kids and public is a bit unfair. Can I use the bathrooms in the school during the day?
      – You probably could although they dont usually let strangers in. But your property taxes are paying for teachers, doesnt mean you can sit in on a class. Anyone can use the park, not just school kids.

      [quote comment=”219113″]Aren’t schools supposed to have their own playgrounds? And why would this cost have to come from the municipal budget and not the board of education? Mixing up school kids and public is a bit unfair. Can I use the bathrooms in the school during the day?[/quote]

      • HOB424 says:

        Why on earth should the board of ed pay fror playground equipment for private schools???[quote comment=”219118″]Andrews: I tried to respond but looks like my original response was not admitted. here it is: Aren’t schools supposed to have their own playgrounds? – Most schools cant afford their own space, nor is there enough space in the city for each school to have its own space.And why would this cost have to come from the municipal budget and not the board of education? – Its a public area. You are paying for the soccer field even if you never used it. Church Square park is used by more non-students than students.Mixing up school kids and public is a bit unfair. Can I use the bathrooms in the school during the day? – You probably could although they dont usually let strangers in. But your property taxes are paying for teachers, doesnt mean you can sit in on a class. Anyone can use the park, not just school kids.[/quote]

      • Hoboken Teach says:

        The majority of schools that use the playground during the day are public/charter schools. The private schools didn’t ask for it to be built, but will certainly take advantage of having it now that it is. With the lack of space in this town, schools depend on this area to give the kids the proper break from classes during the day. The playground was a great addition to the community and the kids absolutely love it.

        Are we really arguing about having playground equipment for the children of this community? Or the fact that the town spent a lot of money to upgrade an outdated one?

        This should be a good thing! Talk a walk around most days. You’ll see a lot of happy faces playing (and challenging themselves) on the equipment. [quote comment=”219122″]Why on earth should the board of ed pay fror playground equipment for private schools???[/quote]

  5. briank says:

    Once again this seems to be a non-issue for the majority of people, but being kept alive by 411 and one or two grumps. As a parent of two young kids, I am thrilled to see some money being spent on quality of life tangible things we enjoy, instead of the black hole of most spending in this town. And some of the cost was donated funds too (not sure how much).

  6. john14 says:

    I don’t care about who uses the parks, since my outdoor recreation doesn’t take place in Hoboken. A practical person doesn’t only think about how the parks are used and by whom. But how much will it cost to maintain down the line. If it were my decision, the parks would just be large parcels of grass and trees. Easier to maintain and less government involvement. Let the kids use their imagination with all the open space. I think the donations to this park were about 5 or 10%. In the end it’d be better if all parks in Hoboken were solely funded based on voluntary donations and time to clean, maintain. Politics should never be involved. That’s when the community becomes divided.

    • Mitch Ultimato says:

      Let me guess. You’re a “libertarian” who thinks all government is bad and no one should ever pay taxes on anything?[quote comment=”219128″]I don’t care about who uses the parks, since my outdoor recreation doesn’t take place in Hoboken. A practical person doesn’t only think about how the parks are used and by whom. But how much will it cost to maintain down the line. If it were my decision, the parks would just be large parcels of grass and trees. Easier to maintain and less government involvement. Let the kids use their imagination with all the open space. I think the donations to this park were about 5 or 10%. In the end it’d be better if all parks in Hoboken were solely funded based on voluntary donations and time to clean, maintain. Politics should never be involved. That’s when the community becomes divided.[/quote]

  7. HOB424 says:

    Sure residents get priority. However alot of ‘non-resident” kids play rec sports in town. That means we need extra teams that need to be accomodated on the limited field space we have. I doubt you will find many or “any” other towns that allow non-residents to play in rec sports.

  8. Mitch Ultimato says:

    411 has consistently shown a disdain for children in his posts, constantly complaining about strollers, kids in restaurants, and now kids in parks. On the other hand, if it has to do with making life better for dogs in Hoboken he is all for spending the city’s money on whatever it takes to make his Oscar a happy pup. Look, as many of the above posters have stated, the majority of people using these parks are school-age children and families with young kids. Those families pay taxes and are entitled to use the park space the city has created for them. The improvements in Church Sq Park were necessary and do not take up any space that wasn’t previously taken up by playground equipment. Seriously guy, whatever your gripe is with kids, it just makes you look like a grouchy old single man. If you are ever fortunate enough to have kids of your own, your tune would change instantly when you see the joy your kid has while running around a playground with other kids.

    • hoboken411 says:

      @”mitch” – why don’t you try and read the story. These were sentiments of residents (possibly your neighbors). I don’t really give a crap one way or another. Take your liberal, indoctrinated views and shove ’em where the light doesn’t shine. I’ll tell you this much (since you feel the need to think you know me), that I don’t have disdain for kids – but I do feel bad for many of them who are being raised by asshole parents. I can only imagine how bad many of today’s kids will have it when they finally become adults in this world.

  9. TheMeedles says:

    Seems to me that the dog park is a worse use of space given the amount of people that actually utilize it. It takes up tremedous square footage in Church Square and also consistently smells very bad….

    • Adam_C says:

      We wouldn’t need big dog parks if we didn’t have stupid laws like no dogs on the grass or requiring a leash. If you want those dog control laws, you have to accept that. [quote comment=”219139″]Seems to me that the dog park is a worse use of space given the amount of people that actually utilize it. It takes up tremedous square footage in Church Square and also consistently smells very bad….[/quote]

  10. TheMeedles says:

    In addition, I always wondered why Hoboken doesn’t fence off the grassy areas of the park, like Central Park, in the off season to let the grass get back into shape. Half of church square is literally just dirt….

  11. iforgotmymantra says:

    I’m sorry to say that I am laughing this is torn up already. The plain asphalt playgrounds from my childhood were never re-paved, and for that matter did not need re-paving. Probably a few kids fell and knocked their teeth out and broke some bones, but this is what happens when you play without fear.

    • Journey says:

      The toddler section was not updated recently and the rubber surface was worn and crumbling. They did recently update the section for older children. [quote comment=”222812″]I’m sorry to say that I am laughing this is torn up already. The plain asphalt playgrounds from my childhood were never re-paved, and for that matter did not need re-paving. Probably a few kids fell and knocked their teeth out and broke some bones, but this is what happens when you play without fear.[/quote]

  12. animal_lover says:

    This admin does not represent the community-at-large. If it were not for the County Park – Columbus Park – there would be no park in Hoboken. The Parks were turned into playgrounds and the Library is not usable now because of the noise levels.

    The kids what know the pleasures of a large state or national park. The impetus of the Mommy contingent park to playground transform was a woman who thought why can’t I have the equipment of Liberty State in my community park. Sure enough they got Zimmer in and had no respect for the community park. Not just any community park but the one that houses a church and library.

    • Journey says:

      Hate on Zimmer all you like, but the truth of the matter is that most of the park to playground transformation began with Roberts.

      The astro turf at Church Square park.
      The toddler park at Church Square park.
      Pier C.

      Because of the Roberts projects at Church Square all changes have to go through public hearings. Have you shown up to voice your point of view?[quote comment=”222816″]This admin does not represent the community-at-large. If it were not for the County Park – Columbus Park – there would be no park in Hoboken. The Parks were turned into playgrounds and the Library is not usable now because of the noise levels.The kids what know the pleasures of a large state or national park. The impetus of the Mommy contingent park to playground transform was a woman who thought why can’t I have the equipment of Liberty State in my community park. Sure enough they got Zimmer in and had no respect for the community park. Not just any community park but the one that houses a church and library.[/quote]

      • animal_lover says:

        Yes, I have expressed the concerns from the very first stages and all along, as well as encouraging others to vote. And guess what happened today Journey. A group of children racing on the sidewalks knocked over an adult. The same group I had warned earlier, an adult guardian was no where in site.

        So yes Journey the community does care and regulary expresses its concerns but is ignored and thus why you must admit that the Communit-at-Large is not being served only damaged![quote comment=”222821″]Hate on Zimmer all you like, but the truth of the matter is that most of the park to playground transformation began with Roberts.The astro turf at Church Square park. The toddler park at Church Square park. Pier C.Because of the Roberts projects at Church Square all changes have to go through public hearings. Have you shown up to voice your point of view?[/quote]

  13. animal_lover says:

    Journey, a dissenting opinion is not hating on anyone. That sort of language is what breeds divisiveness.

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