Category Archives: Youth Education

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.

6/15 Orange Boardwalk Young People Focus Group

On Saturday, June 15, Newark Riverfront Revival was happy to host a church youth group to help think of ways to activate the soon-to-open second segment of riverfront park.

SneakPeak  SneakPeek6SneakPeek5  SneakPeek4
The group brainstormed ideas for the Orange Party on August 3 to celebrate the park’s opening.

We met and interviewed one of the construction supervisors, a graduate of West Side High School.

At the east end of Essex County Riverfront Park, we spoke with Kevin Sampson, the lead artist on “Song of the Passaic,” the mural-in-progress overlooking the park by Newark Murals.

Newark Riverfront Park sign prototypes

From the beginning of the design process for Newark’s second segment of riverfront park, many residents advocated for this area, which is too narrow for sports fields, to be a place for environmental education. Sister Carol Johnston reminded us all that this meant learning about the river, the plants, and the animals, and also, especially here in Newark, about how people come together to make the riverfront a better place: the movement for environmental justice is the story of why this park exists.

FebConstruction14  photo%201FebConstruction16  image005A large-scale routed map of Newark will show every Newark neighborhood in relationship to the river.

FebConstruction17  IMG_2572-1IMG_2574-1Selected steel rails along the boardwalk will be cut with water jets to illustrate how things work on the river, including factories, watersheds, sewers, and wildlife.

porcelinScreenprinted and enameled signs will be mounted on logs illustrating the nuts and bolts of river life led by Lenape people, the Morris Canal, Ironbound park supporters, and the Balbach Smelting Works.

Urban Waters Workshop

For the next two years, Ironbound Community Corporation and Newark Riverfront Revival have been awarded funding through the EPA’s Urban Waters program to develop and deliver educational programs for Newark young people about the Passaic River and the politics of the environment.

We are working to recruit a group of young people to work regularly on the project and create materials to help educate the rest of their city.

For our first project, we worked with a group of students from East Side High School. We met early at Cortlandt Street Family Success Center. Nice mural!

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The aftermath of Sandy was apparent. The Center was being used as a distribution point for emergency supplies. The goal of the workshop was to gather evidence about how the storm affected Newark.

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We visited “the Island,” a part of the Ironbound close to Route 1&9. We took notes and made photographs.

Here, the impact of the storm was clear and frightening. Many houses had been declared unsafe by the Buildings Department. Some had foundations that had completely collapsed.

RiverWorkshop3  RiverWorkshop4
We drove near the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority, which has been in the news due to problems caused by the storm. A guard advised us to move along. Closer to the seaport, we began to notice strange things about fences.

RiverWorkshop5a  RiverWorkshop5
We could not prove it, but it was easy to imagine these objects being put here by a large gush of water.

Besides the guard, we didn’t see many people. We did see signs of what kinds of businesses exist in this part of the city.

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A few times, we saw standing pools of water, but it was difficult to tell if it was a usual situation or caused by the storm. Stay tuned for further river-related explorations.

Newark Riverfront 3000 launch with Mayor Booker

Please join Mayor Cory Booker for the opening of the exhibition Newark Riverfront 3000, on view in City Hall’s Basement Rotunda in March and April 2009. A collaboration between Newark’s Division of Planning and Community Development, the East Ironbound Family Success Center, and the Ironbound Community Corporation the exhibition is the result of a 4-month project by students from East Side and Arts High Schools. The exhibition features documentation of the current state of the riverfront and visions of what might be there in the year 3000 in the form of models, drawings, and photographs.

The event will also announce the public consultation process for the design of Newark’s first riverfront park in partnership with the Trust for Public Land. Preliminary design ideas for the park are scheduled to be presented to the public on March 31 at City Hall.

A group of eight young people and mentors have begun work on a Vision Plan for the Passaic River called “Newark Riverfront 3000.” The group is currently undertaking field surveys, conducting interviews, and developing initial design concepts. Newark Riverfront 3000 will be unveiled at an exhibition at City Hall in Spring 2009.

Read the press release here.