Jersey City Residents in the Park
A group of residents near Washington Park founded the Washington Park Association of Hudson County, Inc. (WPA) in 2008. The park itself is a 100-year-old, 22-acre park in Hudson County between Union City and Jersey City.
The association’ purpose is to create opportunities for positive change in the park, to uplift the surrounding neighborhoods and create a stronger sense of community.
The Washington Park Association team is a group of dedicated locals who seek to maintain the urban greenspace, improve park safety and curate a series of family-friendly outdoor activities for residents of all ages to enjoy. Since 2008, the Washington Park Association has brokered an MOU with the City for 24/7 police patrols, planted over 400 trees, and wrote and collaborated on grants that brought in over 3 million dollars. This funding combined with the efforts of the WPA team and volunteers has turned a rundown, crime-ridden park into a jewel the whole community can be proud of and enjoy.
HealthierJC + Washington Park Association
For the Washington Park Association of Hudson County, building a Culture of Health means fully utilizing the park as a Jersey City resource for the public good. Not only are parks perfect for organized recreational sports, but they are also great for farmers’ markets, instructed and self-guided exercise activities, gardening, arts, and music programming. WPA believes that access to public parks is a valuable quality of life asset, and making parks greener, safer, and more peaceful can help increase a community’s health.
The goals of the Washington Park Association closely align with the HealthierJC mission to expand access to quality education, promote fellowship, and build future community leaders. In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC acknowledged the contribution of the Washington Park Association in advancing a Culture of Health in Jersey City.
Thanks to the HealthierJC mini-grant, the Washington Park Association was able to host the annual Spring Planting & Community Safety Program, which attracted approximately 100 children and teen volunteers.
Washington Park Association volunteers prepped, planted, mulched, and watered various plants to enhance park landscaping. These dedicated young people also worked side-by-side with local police and union representatives to plant 3 trees in the park honoring fallen Jersey City officers.
Bringing neighbors and police together for a thoughtful planting remembrance reminded all those in attendance to value their roles as Jersey City citizens, and to respect and honor those who protect us. During this park memorial, a representative from the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) stopped by to lend support, acknowledge this act of patriotism and distribute #HealthierJC promotional items. This successful community event for WPA volunteers and public safety officers made stronger ties and deeper community connections.
Washington Park Association continues to be a 100% volunteer-run non-profit that allows residents to both contribute and enjoy the open green space in their community.
Throughout the year, the WPA is committed to the ongoing maintenance and beautification of Washington Park, offering community activities like the Summer Garden Maintenance Program, Yoga in the Park, and Movies at the Park.
WPA urges all residents to help clean the gardens and plant new trees and flowers alongside their neighbors. No gardening experience is necessary and all ages are welcome! Students can earn community service hours for participating.
Washington Park Association will also continue to pursue grants to fund community park upgrades, programs, and activities. They also look forward to partnering with HealthierJC to promote the quality of life benefits of green, open, and safe public spaces in Jersey City.
For more information about Washington Park Association, please visit the organization’s website at http://www.wpanj.org/