Monday, July 18, 2011

Kurt Gardiner for Freeholder - Columbus Park in Hoboken

Kurt Gardiner for Freeholder- Columbus Park Overview

This is the continuation of the Hudson County Park series that I started last week with Washington Park that services Jersey City Heights. This week I will give an overview of Columbus Park, Hoboken’s only Hudson County park.

Columbus Park as well as all of the other 8 Hudson County parks was built after World War One so it is important to understand that these were established when needs may have been different for constituents and urban planning had a different philosophy than at present.

This Saturday, I was able to walk though Columbus Park and make the following observations. Here is summary of both the assets of the park as well as some of the areas that need improvement…

Positive Observations of Columbus Park:
  • The people I was able to talk to really like the park overall and some even say they take their kids there every day.
  • It has really nice old trees that give great shade in the summertime heat.
  • The rectangular building is historic and can be used for certain events like dance classes, special events.
  • There are tennis courts and a basketball half-court.
  • There is a nice jungle gym for the kids.
  • There is a sprinkler/shower the kids can use to cool off in the summer.
  • People seem to really enjoy relaxing there based on my observations.
  • Of course, being a Mile Square City, you can walk to it from Hoboken.

Areas for Improvement for Columbus Park:  
  • The flowerbeds are really in bad shape with flowers dying. The soil needs to be improved and new sustainable planting need to be put in their stead.
  • This is not my idea as several people mentioned this: Put a bid out to vendors to have a small café in the rectangular building. It would add a nice dynamic to the park. There is storage in the basement that makes this feasible.
  • Several bushes are way overgrown and need to be pruned.
  • Some other plantings need to be weeded.
  • There is an old rusty payphone stand that has no phone. This can be removed.
  • The lights in the park could be replaced with something nicer. They are quite utilitarian at best or ugly at worst. Maybe a Green Acres grant is in order.
  • There are leaves that appear to b from last fall that need to be raked up.
  • Some areas need to be re-sodded where there is dirt.
  • At some point perhaps an overall provisioning of the Park is in order to see how it could be improved even more. Do we really need two flag pole areas? Perhaps we could have two poles in one of the areas and free up the space somehwere else? Just a suggestion.
Overall, Columbus Park is a great asset to Hoboken but I am concerned about some simple maintenance issues that could be addressed. This park is in Current Freeholder Anthony Romano’s backyard and yet these issues persist. It seems that a lot of money went into Washington Park for Jersey City Heights although the multi-sport field proposal seems at this point to lack a proper planning process and public input. Where is the love for Hoboken’s only Park?

Anthony Romano is generally considered an affable guy (even by me) but I feel he should also put some attention into his home town and deliver some bacon here and Columbus Park could use a littel more TLC. What has Anthony Romano really done to improve Columbus Park in his three year term? The silence that results could be due to County politics or some level of apathy. Hoboken and Jersey City Heights needs an advocate that cares about both parks that service District 5. At least I will offer voters a choice come November.

Park issues are just one of the reasons why I am running for Freeholder. Coming up is the drawing for ballot positions on August 15th. Again, I am Kurt Gardiner and I am running for Freeholder District 5 in November of 2011. Send any concerns to on any County issues you think need to be addressed until I get my campaign website up and running.

Below are some photos of Columbus Park: