Category Archives: Riverfront News

August 27: 2nd Annual Dance Newark! “Movements of the World”

‪#‎Newark‬ ‪#‎Riverfront‬ Revival is proud to announce our 2nd Annual Dance Newark! event on Saturday, August 6th from 4-7pm featuring “Movements of the World” with ‪#‎HeritageIrishDanceCompany‬ (Irish Step Dancing),  Felipe & Rafael (Brazil), Ricardo Santiago (Flamenco), Kyle Marshall, Smiling David’s Dance StudioNai-Ni Chen Dance Company (Contemporary) and a special performance by Maurice Chestnut (Tap) &Storyboard P in association w/ Dance on The Lawn & New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) & the Gallery Aferro Mobile Portrait Studio w/ DJ Scotty Nevers


Newark Riverfront 2014 In Review

Just five years ago when Newark Riverfront Revival began its work, there weren’t too many reasons to visit the water’s edge of New Jersey’s greatest city. But things have changed! In 2014, over 3000 Newark residents & visitors came to relax, socialize, dance, perform, eat, explore, cheer & watch the river roll!

This year, Newark Riverfront Revival organized first-time events like the Praise by the Passaic Gospel Festival, the Riverfront House DJ Residency & Paddle on the Passaic Kayak Days. We continued traditions like our annual Walk to the Water & Orange Party, City & Port Boat Tours, movie nights & free Zumba & yoga. With Ironbound Community Corporation, we convened a proud third year of Friends of Riverfront Park monthly meetings. Throughout, we showcased Newark’s culture & spirit in our city’s newest public space & claimed the riverfront for Newarkers! As Larry Hamm of People’s Organization for Progress proclaimed as our featured River Day speaker, “The river belongs to the people!”

2014 also marked serious steps towards cleaning the river & expanding public access to it. In April, the EPA Regional Administration came to the Orange Sticks to announce the federal government’s proposal for cleaning eight miles of the Passaic River. Newark’s first public riverfront access outside of the Ironbound opened with a first stretch of Downtown Riverfront Trail between Penn Station & Cherry StreetPSEG’s remediation of the former Market Street Gasworks continued, setting the stage to open another segment of riverfront meadow near Raymond Boulevard & Prospect Street. Finally, the City of Newark, Essex County & Trust for Public Land advanced work on Segment 3 to begin construction in 2015, which will better connect the sports fields near Brill Street to the Orange Boardwalk & expand under the Jackson Street Bridge & beyond.

All of these good things from house parties to park construction to river remediation have only been possible because Newarkers & others have taken a stand & gotten involved in creating the riverfront that Newark wants. Going forward, we look forward to attracting every Newarker to the river’s edge & beyond! Please help us accomplish our goal by visiting our new website at newarkriverfront.orgsigning up for our email listfollowing on Twitterliking on Facebook & talking with your friends & neighbors about our river. See you all down by the water in oh-fifteen!

See the rest of Newark Riverfront Revival’s 2014 in review!

Newark Riverfront Revival Seeks Program Director

Newark Riverfront Revival (NRR) seeks full-time Program Director

Newark Riverfront Revival (NRR) aims to connect every Newark resident to their river. Since 2008, NRR has built the constituency for Newark’s riverfront by taking hundreds of people on boat and walking tours, hosting concerts, dance parties, a gospel festival, dozens of outreach events, design education programs for youth, and a City Hall exhibition. Since 2012, NRR has worked with Essex County, the City of Newark, Ironbound Community Corporation, Friends of Riverfront Park, The Trust for Public Land, and other partners to build and program over 15 acres of riverfront parks, including a walking and biking trail, sports fields and courts, floating boat dock, riverfront boardwalk, playground and other settings for relaxation, picnics, exercise, and environmental education. In 2014, with major support from the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Program and others, NRR organized 63 events June through September engaging thousands of people. NRR pursues a broad vision of environmental justice for Newark residents and others in seeking to build a riverfront that reflects, nourishes, and sustains the city’s deepest traditions and diverse population. NRR especially seeks to increase the participation of historically marginalized people in decision-making about the future of Newark’s riverfront.

The Program Director will be responsible for supervising all aspects of the organization and will have primary responsibility for program development and fundraising to support and grow the organization’s $110,000 budget. The Program Director reports to the Newark Planning Director and Ironbound Community Corporation, Newark Riverfront Revival’s fiscal agent.

NRR has reached a critical point in its development and is poised to achieve its mission in new and broader ways. The ideal candidate for Program Director will demonstrate the vision, understanding, modesty, ingenuity, and hustle to take these efforts to a next level.


—Oversee development and execution of programs and projects in pursuit of NRR’s mission, including Newark boat tours, walkshops, concerts, physical fitness classes, movie nights, festivals, and more Responsible for overseeing performers/facilitators, equipment, publicity, logistics, etc.
—Lead fundraising and development from public, corporate, philanthropic, and fee-for-service sources to raise the necessary resources to sustain and expand NRR’s work
—Oversee NRR’s finances and operations
—Cultivate partnerships with community-based organizations, environmental advocates, community development corporations, schools, private property owners, and others
—Communicate with broad range of stakeholders and general public
—Lead marketing efforts through both traditional and social media, as well as on-the-ground outreach (WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Mailchimp, and graphic design skills a plus)
—Work with Essex County, City of Newark, and others to monitor and troubleshoot park maintenance—Collaborate with Newark Planning Office, Ironbound Community Corporation, Friends of Riverfront Park, and other partners to set organizational goals and monitor/evaluate achievements
—Advance development of riverfront capital improvements in cooperation with property owners, community-based organizations, and government agencies
—Perform other related duties as required


  • Minimum of BA in community development, environmental studies, or related field
  • 2-5 years of experience in community organizing, urban planning, or related field
  • Must be Newark resident
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends
  • Interest and/or background in planning for urban, waterfront, or institutional developments
  • Prior work experience with diverse stakeholder groups
  • Interest and/or background in urban park development and/or management
  • Excellent speaking and written communication skills
  • Bilingual in Spanish or Portuguese is a plus
  • Women and people of color are especially encouraged to apply

To apply

Please submit your resumé and cover letter by August 29, 2014. Your cover letter should discuss how your education, training, work experience, and vision will complement NRR’s need for leadership and innovation. Please include the names and contact information of three professional references, and your salary history and expectations.

Newark Riverfront Revival
Program Director Search Committee
920 Broad Street Room 407
Newark, NJ 07102

By email: newarkriverfront [at] gmail [dot] com

For further information, please refer to NRR’s website at

Download job description & application instructions.

Free Public Riverfront Yoga & Zumba!

June through September 2014, Newark Riverfront Zumba & yoga classes will fill the Meadow at Essex County Riverfront Park with life and energy. On Mondays, stretch out with Newark Yoga Movement . On Tuesdays, work it with Zumba instructor Sue Campbell.

Riverfront Yoga, 6-7 pm at the Riverfront Meadow (Enter park at Raymond Blvd and Brill St, take right and circle around to the Meadow.) Bring a mat or blanket. Free & open to the public.

Riverfront Zumba, 6-7 pm at the Riverfront Meadow (Enter park at Raymond Blvd and Brill St, take right and circle around to the Meadow.) Free & open to the public.

photo Zumba 7.9.2013

EPA announces Passaic River clean-up & 5/7/14 Newark Public Hearing


On April 11, 2014, at Newark Riverfront Park’s Orange Boardwalk, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced its long-awaited cleanup plan for the lower eight miles of the Passaic River. The proposal includes bank-to-bank dredging of the river and the removal of 4.3 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment. As per Superfund law, the clean-up will be funded by the companies responsible for the pollution. Newarkers and others have advocated for the river clean-up for decades; this announcement brings the dream of a clean, safe, and healthy river another step closer to reality.

On Wednesday, May 7, the US Environmental Protection Agency will hold the first of three public hearings on the proposed clean-up of the Passaic River. All are invited to learn more about the proposed clean-up and offer their thoughts and feedback to the federal government.

The hearing will begin with a brief presentation by the federal government followed by spoken comments from the public, which will be limited to two minutes. EPA will also accept written testimony. For more information please visit

Everyone who cares about the future of the Passaic and its neighboring communities should attend!

Passaic Clean-Up Public Hearing
Wednesday, May 7, 7 pm
Portuguese Sports Club, 55 Prospect Street, Newark, NJ 07105

Learn more!

“Judith Enck, regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who made the cleanup announcement at a riverfront park in Newark, said the Passaic has been plagued by pollution for far too long. ‘We’ve studied this for years. The river communities have suffered for long enough,’ she said.” 
“Massive, $1.7 billion environmental cleanup of Passaic River proposed by EPA,” Star-Ledger, 4/11/14.

“The E.P.A.’s plan is ambitious, necessary, long overdue and definitely good news for those who believe that humans should again enjoy this once-thriving waterway.”
“A Cleanup Plan for a Toxic River,” New York Times, 4/15/14.

EPA Fact Sheet: An Overview of the Problems (PDF download)
EPA Fact Sheet:  Overview of EPA’s Cleanup Proposal (PDF download)
EPA Proposed Plan for Cleanup of the Lower Eight Miles of the Passaic River (PDF download)
EPA Superfund website
Lower Passaic River Restoration Project website

“Newark’s River” Plan & Riverfront Park win 2014 Smart Growth Award

For Immediate Release


Award honors the community’s work in transforming its waterfront into an urban asset

 Newark, NJ –Mayor Luis A. Quintana, the Newark Municipal Council, Planning Director Damon Rich, Newark Riverfront Revival, Essex County, Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC), and The Trust for Public Land announced today that New Jersey Future has selected Newark’s River: Redevelopment & Public Access Plan and Newark Riverfront Park as one of its 2014 Smart Growth Award winners.

The City of Newark was one of eight communities to receive the coveted award. The construction of Newark & Essex County Riverfront Park and the adoption of the Newark’s River: Redevelopment & Public Access Plan were both recognized for demonstrating and advancing smart growth principles. These achievements, the culmination of 20 years of advocacy and planning, grew from sustained partnerships between public and private stakeholders. These partners came together to connect Newark with its river, to grow the city and its neighborhoods to the water’s edge, and to bring the life of the city to the amazing natural attraction at the heart of the region’s most populated place.

“We are honored that our longstanding efforts to re-connect our residents with our historic Passaic River and to improve the environment and quality of life there are being recognized by New Jersey Future,” said Mayor Quintana. “I commend everyone involved with this important project on gaining well-deserved statewide recognition.”

On August 3, 2013, Newark’s second segment of riverfront park opened to the public, featuring a bright orange boardwalk fabricated of recycled plastic lumber. Bringing Newark’s riverfront park area to a total of 15 acres, this opening occurred 20 years after the lower 17 miles of the adjacent Passaic River were declared a Superfund site. As accompaniment to the development and adoption of the Newark’s River: Redevelopment & Public Access Plan a few days later,these parks gave material evidence of Newark’s riverfront revival and also demonstrated strong application of smart growth principles.

The announcement of the award comes just in time for the launch of the 2014 Newark Riverfront program calendar next month. Organized programs include free and low-cost activities like concerts, boat tours, kayaking,  environmental workshops, movie nights, public art, youth day camp, and public exercise that are set to draw Newarkers and visitors to the City’s riverfront. Learn more at

“Newarkers have long known that growing our neighborhoods and downtown to the river is smart growth and sustainable development in action, and it is heartening and rewarding that others in our region and beyond recognize the same,” said Damon Rich, the City’s Planning Director and Chief Urban Designer and the principal author of Newark’s River: Redevelopment & Public Access Plan. “The Newark Planning Office and Newark Riverfront Revival aim to connect every Newarker to their river, so please join us this summer for a boat tour, a gospel festival, or a Zumba class, and join the movement back to the water.”

New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings together concerned citizens and leaders to promote responsible land-use policies. The organization employs original research, analysis and advocacy to build coalitions and drive land-use policies that help revitalize cities and towns, protect natural lands and farms, provide more transportation choices beyond cars, expand access to safe and affordable neighborhoods and fuel a prosperous economy.

Newark Riverfront Revival (NRR) aims to revive Newark’s riverfront to bring concrete benefits to the City of Newark and its residents. Since 2008, NRR has built support for Newark’s riverfront by taking hundreds of people on boat and walking tours, hosting dozens of outreach events, organizing design education programs for youth, and staging a City Hall exhibition. Since 2012, NRR has worked with Essex County, the City of Newark, The Trust for Public Land, Ironbound Community Corporation, and other partners to build and program over 15 acres of riverfront parks, including a walking and biking trail, sports fields and courts, floating boat dock, riverfront boardwalk, playground and other settings for relaxation, picnics, exercise, and environmental education.


Newark’s Riverfront in Urban Omnibus


“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.”

Walking to the Water: Environmental Justice and Newark’s Riverfront Park, Urban Omnibus, 1/29/14

Recent riverfront news clippings

Waterfront recreation facility in Newark, The Star-Ledger, May 22, 2013

Passaic River mud flat cleanup set to begin near Lyndhurst park, New Jersey Record, June 3, 2013

Companies agree to pay $130 million settlement in Passaic River pollution caseThe Star-Ledger, June 11, 2013

Attorney General’s Office, DEP Announce $130 Million Partial Settlement With Several Principal Defendants In Passaic River Litigation, June 11, 2013


Press clippings

A triple-play of Passaic coverage from the Star-Ledger:

“The river walkers stop in their tracks and there is a collective gasp. There are the first orange planks of a boardwalk.”


Star-Ledger, April 14, 2013: Five reasons to clean up the Passaic River

Star-Ledger, April 14, 2013: A grand adventure on the Passaic River: A Q&A with Mary Bruno

Star-Ledger, April 14, 2013: The attempted murder of the Passaic River

Recent press clippings

WCBS 880, 4/27/12: Recycling a River

Newark, NJ Patch, 5/28/12: Judge: Company Liable in Passaic River Contamination

Star-Ledger, 5/30/12: Essex County opens Riverfront Park in Newark, a 30-year dream come true, 7/17/12: On The Waterfront, At Last


Plus, the Booker Administration and the Newark Municipal Council have declared their #2 accomplishment of the last five years as “Reconnected Newark to its River”!

Passaic clean-up begins

On Halloween, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a press conference to mark the start of remediation of the bed of the Passaic River adjacent to the former site of the Diamond Shamrock factory. Read more about the EPA’s Lower Passaic Restoration Project here, and the recent New Jersey Superior Court ruling on the Passaic River clean up here.

Senator Robert Menendez with EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck and US Army Corps of Engineers Colonel John Boule.

UPDATE from NJTV news

Recent press clippings

“Helping Newarkers reach the waterfront is not a luxury.”

Star-Ledger: Take me to the river: On the Passaic

“What if the city had a riverfront park where kids could frolic on grass, families could picnic and one could even launch a kayak or canoe into the water? That’s the vision for the seven-acre Newark Riverfront Park that the city has spent years designing, with community involvement.”

Star-Ledger: New DEP rules prompt concern

“Preparations are underway to remove 40,000 cubic yards of the highly toxic sediment from the Passaic River near the former Diamond Alkali plant in Newark, the Environmental Protection Agency said today.”

Star-Ledger: Workers prepare to remove highly toxic sediment from Passaic River in Newark