Hoboken Unveils New Jersey’s Largest Resiliency Park, Paving the Way for a Sustainable Future

Photo Credit: City of Hoboken

Hoboken, a vibrant city nestled on the banks of the Hudson River, has taken a significant step towards fortifying its resilience against climate change with the grand opening of New Jersey’s largest resiliency park. The unveiling of this ambitious project marks a milestone in the city’s commitment to creating a sustainable and environmentally conscious community.

Named ResilienCity Park, this expansive green space spans several acres and showcases innovative design elements that prioritize resilience and adaptation in the face of a changing climate.  Formerly known as the Northwest Resiliency Park, it offers more than 5 acres of public open space amenities and 2 million gallons of stormwater detention through above and belowground infrastructure.                                                                                                                                                                                                        The park not only provides recreational opportunities for residents but also serves as a crucial line of defense against the rising sea levels and extreme weather events that threaten coastal cities like Hoboken.

              “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,” said Mayor Bhalla. “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 multi-year 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 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,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “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.”  

“Today we are cutting the ribbon on a 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 multi-purpose athletic fields,” said Sen. Menendez. “I was proud to advocate for $10 million in FEMA funding that helped make this project a reality, in partnership with the city, state, and county, as we work to meet the climate challenges of the 21st century head on.”

              “I applaud Mayor Bhalla and the City of Hoboken on the grand opening of our state’s largest resiliency park,” said U. S. Senator Cory Booker. “ResilienCity Park represents the type of state-of-the-art resilient infrastructure New Jersey needs to mitigate the impact of climate change, such as extreme flooding and sea level rise. I am proud to have secured federal investment for this project and will continue fighting for funding so we can better protect our communities.” 

One of the key features of the resiliency park is its state-of-the-art stormwater management system. By incorporating sustainable drainage techniques, such as green infrastructure and permeable pavements, the park can effectively absorb and manage large volumes of rainfall. This innovative approach helps mitigate the risk of flooding, protecting both the park and the surrounding areas from the destructive impacts of storms.

In addition to its resiliency measures, ResilienCity Park offers a plethora of amenities that enhance the quality of life for Hoboken residents. The park boasts sprawling lawns, scenic walking paths, and vibrant gardens, providing a serene escape from the bustling city life. It also features playgrounds for children, sports facilities for recreational activities, and designated spaces for community gatherings and events.

Beyond its immediate benefits to the local community, the resiliency park aligns with Hoboken’s broader sustainability goals. The park promotes biodiversity by incorporating native plant species, creating habitats for local wildlife and improving overall ecological balance. Moreover, its green spaces contribute to reducing the urban heat island effect, providing a cooler microclimate in the surrounding areas.

The creation of New Jersey’s largest resiliency park was made possible through a collaborative effort between Hoboken’s city officials, urban planners, and environmental experts. It signifies the city’s proactive approach to climate change adaptation and the prioritization of sustainable urban development.

“From the County’s perspective, ResilienCity Park was an appealing “two-fer” for our Open Space Trust Fund,” said Hudson County Executive DeGise. “Not only were we able to contribute to new open space in a corner of the city that desperately needs it, but we are also able to support flood mitigation in Hoboken again with Trust dollars—something our administration has supported since Super Storm Sandy’s devastating impact on Hoboken back in 2012.” 

ResilienCity Park transforms a former industrial site into public open space that provides the public with a new multi-purpose 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 strategythe 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, lowlying areas of western Hoboken can experience flooding if the city receives more than 0.8 inches of rain per hour.  

ResilienCity Park can detain up to 2 million gallons of stormwater that would have otherwise flooded city streets and residential basements through a 1-million-gallon stormwater detention tank located below ground and up to another 1 million gallons through above-ground green infrastructure such as rain gardens and a cistern for on-site irrigation. During heavy rain events, stormwater will be captured by the above-ground infrastructure and fill the below-ground detention tank. The on-site 30 million gallon per day flood pump, constructed through a partnership with the North Hudson Sewage Authority, will pump the water from the tank to the Hudson River.  

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

The City will also 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 Street.  

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

The City will host a celebration on Saturday, June 24, to commemorate the park’s grand opening. The following is the full schedule of familyfriendly activities: 

  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – MLB Play Ball Clinicsfor residents ages 5 to 12 years old  

  • 11 a.m.  1 p.m.– Brooklyn Nets Youth Training Clinics; for residents ages 5 to 12 years old 

  • 12:30 p.m. – Cheer Dynamics showcase  

  • 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. -NJ Devils Ball Hockey Clinic for residents ages 5 to 12 years old                                                                                                                    

ResilienCity Park was funded in part by a $10 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure in Communities (BRIC) program, low-interest financing with $2 million in principal forgiveness through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund, as well as $1 million in grants from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund. Due to the multiple funding sources, including Hoboken’s dedicated Open Space Trust Fund, the park has been constructed at no impact to the municipal tax levy. 

“My DEP colleagues and I commend Hoboken on the grand opening of ResilienCity Park,” said Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette. “By reclaiming contaminated land to provide recreational opportunities and mitigate flooding, this remarkable park exemplifies the creative ideas communities across New Jersey, with the DEP’s help, are implementing to respond to the impacts of climate change – and it truly embodies the resilient spirit of the people of Hoboken.” 

“We are very pleased be a partner in this grand endeavor which brings parkland to the community and diverts millions of gallons of CSO to our Hoboken Treatment Plant, thus reducing the amount of untreated wastewater going into the river,” said Dr. Richard J. Wolff, Executive Director of the North Hudson Sewerage Authority. “The park, the storage tank below it, and the attendant pump station contribute to a cleaner waterway and bring us one, very big step closer to a truly recreational Hudson River.”  

“With the unveiling of ResilienCity Park, the City of Hoboken showcases its commitment to sustainable infrastructure and innovative solutions that protect people from hazardous flooding,” said Angie Fyfe, Executive Director of ICLEI USA. “As a pioneer in the Cities Race to Zero and with its nation-leading Rebuild by Design initiative, Hoboken continues to lead on climate adaptation and serves as an inspiring resilience blueprint for cities everywhere.” 

Hoboken’s resiliency park serves as a shining example for other cities grappling with the challenges of climate change. By embracing nature-based solutions and incorporating resiliency measures, communities can enhance their preparedness, protect their citizens, and create enjoyable spaces for generations to come.

As Hoboken ushers in this new era of environmental consciousness and community resilience, the city sets an inspiring precedent for others to follow. By investing in projects like ResilienCity Park, we can build a future that harmonizes with nature, safeguards our cities, and fosters a sustainable and livable planet for all.