“Last summer, the second segment of Newark’s Riverfront Park opened to the public. Transforming deindustrialized, often polluted waterfronts into public space is a common strategy in contemporary urban revitalization, worldwide. But rarely has this tactic reflected such a long history of community-based activism for environmental justice and public access to the river.”
June through October 2013, Newark Riverfront Revival offered 42 Newark Boat Tours, bringing over 400 visitors to see the Passaic River for themselves and learn about how they can join the movement to connect Newark to its source. In August, for the first time, Newark Boat Tours began launching from the new public boat dock in Newark Riverfront Park, connected to the Orange Boardwalk. Also this year, in observation of Labor Day, we led our first special tour of Port Newark.
In 2013, the Friends of Riverfront Park continued to hold monthly meetings at the Riverbank Park Field House and provide a forum for everyone with an interest in the park to bring their ideas, proposals, concerns, and energy. The Friends are dedicated to developing programs to fill Newark’s riverfront with positive activity, ensuring public safety, and making sure that everyone in Newark has a reason to come check out the city’s newest riverfront parks. This year, the Friends played a key role on issues including park stewardship, fundraising, building a diverse constituency, and planning and staffing riverfront events. Friends were especially important to planning and running Newark’s second annual River Celebration. Please join us in 2014!
Every Monday and Tuesday July through September, Newark riverfront yoga and zumba classes filled Essex County Riverfront Park with life and energy. Over the summer, over 400 Newarkers stretched, jumped, and sweated alongside the mighty Passaic River. Special thanks to Newark Yoga Movement and Zumba Fitness with Beverly!
On September 13, 20, and 27, Newark Riverfront Revival organized a concert series featuring R&B, gospel, and house. The September 13 jazz R&B show featured the Newark-based Melectrix band. The September 20 featured the Symphony Hall Special Ensemble. The final September 27 concert introduced DJ Omar Abdullah a lifetime West Ward resident to the riverfront.
DJ Omar Abdallah spins house for a loving crowd:
We are happy to announce that the Newark Municipal Council adopted Newark’s River: Public Access & Redevelopment Plan (20 mb) by unanimous vote on August 7, 2013, and the new development regulations become effective September 19, 2013.
This plan updates Newark’s municipal development regulations along five miles of the city’s Passaic Riverfront. It replaces fifty-year-old zoning regulations primarily planned for industrial uses and lacking specific riverfront provisions with a legal framework that allows new uses and mixes of uses, consolidates design standards to create valuable urban places, and provides for public access as required by federal and state law.
Following the release of the public draft on February 27, 2012, a public information session was held at Newark City Hall on March 13, and public comments were collected until March 26. The following draft, released on June 4, 2012, included many small changes made in response to these comments. A public hearing on this plan was held by the Newark Central Planning Board on Monday, June 11, 2012. The following revision, dated April 20, 2013, including minor textual and graphic clarifications, was submitted for consideration by the Municipal Council.
For additional background, see the following:
For the next three Fridays, come enjoy the city’s newest park and the sounds of Newark music and musicians.
Newark Riverfront Music at the Orange Sticks
At the river along Raymond Blvd between Van Buren & Somme Sts
Just a 10-minute walk from Newark Penn Station
Or take the #1 bus to Ferry & Fillmore, then walk 1 block east to Somme and 2 blocks north to Raymond to enter the park.
Bring blankets & lawnchairs for maximum relaxation!
September 13, 7-9 pm
Jazz R&B featuring Melectrix
September 20, 7-9 pm
Gospel and other styles featuring the Symphony Hall Special Ensemble
September 27, 7-9 pm
House featuring DJ Omar Abdallah