This project will transform more than 17 acres of property—including former rail yards, junk yards, auto repair shops, industrial facilities, and warehouses—into recreational space for Jersey City residents. When complete, the project will result in a 9% increase in the amount of useable open space in Jersey City.
The park’s design has been the result of a series of charrettes conducted by local officials with residents, contracted architects and planners. When complete, Berry Lane Park will include two basketball courts, two tennis courts, a baseball field, a soccer field, and a playground. These active recreation components will provide opportunities to this neighborhood where more than 60% of residents are children under 18 years of age. Additional passive recreation areas—including 600 new trees and a rain garden—will also be included in the park. The park’s design also considered existing site features that were incorporated into the design. For example, existing concrete silos, remnants of the former rail yard, will be outfitted with spraying mechanisms and will serve as a spray park.
All of the land that comprises the park had been designated as a brownfield—vacant, abandoned, or underutilized former industrial or commercial properties that have been contaminated and are in need of cleanup. An environmental investigation concluded that heavy metals, petroleum contamination and hexavalent chromium were present in the soil and remediation was necessary prior to any development. Through funding obtained from federal, state, county and local agencies, remediation of the park began in in July 2012.