Open Space Taken Away in Church Square Park
A reader sent this in today:
“Tonight at the City Council Meeting, a parent has threatened from the last City Council meeting that he is going to bring a bunch of people to protest the trees that were planted this last fall in Church Square Park and demand that they be removed RIGHT NOW. I saw him speaking at the last meeting on the televised version of the meeting. Apparently there was an article in the Hoboken Reporter that discussed the park’s situation and that incensed him to make the demands because the article stated they had no intention of removing the trees.
Then last week this man wrote a letter to the paper stating what he had said at that meeting demanding the immediate removal of the trees (in the dead of winter, yet). In the latest issue of the Reporter, another person wrote a letter this week stating that the park should have trees and yet another letter underneath that letter was from a parent calling for the ‘fields’ for soccer, football, or whatever be ‘reinstated’ for the kiddies with no regard to anyone else that uses the park. She claimed we don’t need a “Sherwood Forest” in the park.
Huh??!! I would hardly say the park could be described as a forest.
Because of political delays by the administration with the Mayor possibly wanting to add another salaried person on staff to determine the fates of our parks, it looks like Peter Cunningham can’t introduce a city ordinance tonight that was written by concerned citizens because of the problems of the systematic destruction and division of Church Square Park. The ordinance states the following:
- There will be no more changes to any existing public park without public hearings and public consensus that the changes should be made.
- Changes that have been made to the existing public parks in recent years (in particular, to Church Square Park) must also be considered in open public hearings and, if it is the majority public consensus that the changes be undone, Church Square Park and other public parks will be returned to their original state.
It also appears that the people that are demanding that the trees be removed, also seem to be having a problem with the dog run in the park and some are worried that demands will be made upon that facet of the park.
There may be a presentation by a park group that consults on public parks that will speak tonight at the city council meeting, so it looks like fireworks tonight between the factions. Come one, come all to state your views.”
Concerned Hoboken park citizen
Read the rest after the jump.
Some things just don’t make sense. First, Hoboken has been honored as part of the “Tree City USA” program. Then, a few 100 year old trees are removed to make way for kiddy park. Along with other tree butchering going around Hoboken. Of course our super artificial grass in the park really closes the deal.
But this week, over 10 tree saplings were planted smack dab in the middle of the remaining (natural) open space left in Church Square Park! What? One reader writes: “Many parents view this as a blatant slap in the face, as the trees were obviously planted to stop kids from playing on that grass. I guess the city wants every school kid who uses Church Square Park to play on the turf..”
While another reader, Richard Kurland, writes another letter:
“To the Editor,
Once again open space has been taken away from the children of Hoboken. The corner of Church Square Park just north of the dog run has been used as a soccer field, a kickball diamond and a Frisbee field. It is one of the last remaining areas of unobstructed, open space left in the park. That space is now gone. On Tuesday, November 13, five small trees were planted smack in the middle of the field. The purpose appears to be to discourage ball playing in this area. Similar trees were planted in all the formally open spaces throughout the western half of the park. All of these trees have been planted as barriers to prevent any active recreation. The City is trying to herd like cattle the scores of children into the single small artificial turf section of the park.
Writing a letter AGAINST trees may be going against the grain, however, the process by which these trees were planted is flawed. Absolutely no public input was sought for this project nor was any warning given to the public that this work would be done. We have seen the same lack of respect from the City when they eliminated grass in order in install the new toddler park and when they killed three old trees installing the northern monkey bar set. In addition, no input was sought for the installation of the artificial turf. Had the public been asked, perhaps the City would not have designed this space with very large tree wells that not only create many tripping hazards, but also provide the pebbles that are now spread throughout the turf creating additional hazards.
We ask that these new trees be removed and planted along the sidewalks of our more desolate streets. Open space, no matter how small, is what is needed most.”
Meryl Kurland, age 9
Aaron Kurland, age 7