Lincoln Park West Marsh Restoration Observation Deck, Jersey City NJ
Project Purpose: NOAA Fisheries Restoration Center finds this project, the design and construction of an observation deck at Lincoln Park West to be satisfactory and consistent with our program objectives and the objectives put forward by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. NOAA as the lead federal agency for the project is pleased to continue to enhance the project and continue our partnership with NJDEP_ONRR, Hudson County, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to provide a unique parkland experience for the residents of Hudson County and the State of New Jersey. Our partnership has successfully employed $10.6M from the ARRA Funds and $3.0M from Federal and State-held natural resource damage funds to complete this project. Together we have closed and capped a landfill, constructed a wetland, enhanced marine fish habitat, restored a lake and established the first link in the future Hackensack River Trail system. The proposed observation deck was not originally a component of the design and construction contracts. Some remaining funds now exist from the ARRA grant and these funds have been assigned to the design and construction of the observation deck. Our remaining budget is insufficient to fund the entire amount needed. In requesting the support of CWRP we ask that you consider funding the unfunded portion of the design and construction of the observation deck. The deck will become a commanding focal point and center piece of the project. It will enhance the educational and optical experience of both the casual park user as well as the programmed usage of the park and the newly created wetland.
Brief Description: The Lincoln Park West Observation Deck is sure to attract a greater number of the public curious to see what has been accomplished on the site of the former municipal landfill. To date we have created a handicap accessible trail system, complete with interpretive signs, pedestrian bridge and a viewing knoll in order to heighten the experience of being in a marshland along with its teaming wildlife. The tower is proposed to be 20’x20’ wide with a height of 25’ to the top of the decking. Due to site constraints the deck is not designed to ADA standards for handicapped access. The lead federal agency, NOAA, had provided to the State of New Jersey a release from this requirement. See letter dated January 27, 2011.
Resource Values/Project Outputs: The performance outputs of the observation deck are thus:
- Provide Education and Awareness of Environment: To increase and enhance awareness of the wetland project by the public by creating a focal point and central destination within the project site from which to fully observe and appreciate the magnitude of the landscape accomplishment. In doing so the deck acts as a catalyst to enhance and magnify the experience of the user.
- Provide Educational Tools to Hudson County Parks: To assist Hudson County Parks to tell the story of the wetland; its function as wildlife habitat, sediment and pollution capture control, carbon sequestration and flood water retention. To assist in telling the story of the site’s and the region’s industrial history, landfill history and history as an underutilized and abandoned landscape prior to the conception of the project. To assist in telling the history of the project itself, which first took shape in the late 1990’s and came to full fruition in 2010.
- Provide a sense of safe arrival into the landscape: The focal point is designed to be inviting, to suggest that you have arrived at a safe and inviting place – a parkland, rather than an unknown entity. This we believe will increase the number of both casual users, such as strollers, joggers, walkers, and bikers for whom a recent survey suggests come to the site with uncertain expectations and safety concerns. We are creating an environment which is dynamic and can enhance programmatic capabilities for Hudson County Parks naturalists and for educators at the elementary, secondary and higher education levels.
Schedule: Initiation of project design in January 2013 - a timetable for completion of construction six months forward concludes on June 30, 2013.
Permit Status: All necessary NJDEP permits applied. Awaiting approval.
List of Partners: NOAA, NJDEP_ONRR, Hudson County Parks, Hudson Coutny Improvement Authority, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
What is requested from the CWRP/Contribution: $25,000