Bloustein School partners with City of New Brunswick, others to review parks system, suggest improvements

February 19, 2018
As part of the Healthier New Brunswick strategic action plan, a team of professionals in research, planning and government joined together to comprehensively review the City park system for the purpose of maximizing its benefits for all users.A partnership among researchers with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; The Trust for Public Land; and City officials yielded a comprehensive review of all 272 acres of New Brunswick’s public parks system: The New Brunswick Parks Action Plan.

Using the information gleaned from a research study funded by Johnson & Johnson, the team was able to identify the strengths of New Brunswick’s parks system, areas for improvement and trends to consider to keep our parks modern, enticing and welcoming to all.

As a result, a Blueprint for Action has been formulated, containing both long-and-short-term customized recommendations for each City park. These recommendations address topics big to small and are intended to further improve the universal accessibility and enjoyment of our parks system.

Using this blueprint as a guide, the City intends to create more opportunities for community stewardship of our parks; enhance existing park programming; and identify ways to maximize existing park spaces to better serve the community.

“The City of New Brunswick remains dedicated to the improvement and expansion of our parks system,” said Mayor Jim Cahill. “We’re optimistic that this review by experts in the field and City personnel will serve as a blueprint in comprehensively renovating and expanding our parks offerings for all residents to enjoy.

The input from The Trust for Public Land; Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy; the Department of Landscape Architecture with the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University; and the City’s newly formed Parks and Gardens Commission has been invaluable and we look forward to their continued involvement in the implementation stages of the Parks Action Plan.”

Careful consideration was also given to identifying new ways to maximize the enjoyment of popular park amenities as well as ways to renew and refresh already-existing community partnerships with groups that serve as stewards and active users of our parks system.

The City’s engagement with our parks system has been further demonstrated by New Brunswick’s commitment to the “10-Minute Walk Campaign,” an initiative among The Trust for Public Land, the National Recreation and Park Association, the Urban Land Institute and government and community leaders that promotes the goal of making parks available to all community residents within a 10-minute walk of their homes.

“Mayor Cahill’s commitment to a best-in-class park system in New Brunswick is highlighted by his joining our campaign with more than 150 urban mayors across the country, who have committed to a goal of providing all city residents with access to a high quality park within a ten-minute walk from home,” said Anthony Cucchi, New Jersey State Director for The Trust for Public Land.  “With the New Brunswick Parks Action Plan as a guide, we look forward to supporting the City’s efforts to enhance New Brunswick’s park system and meet the Mayor’s compelling vision.”

To review the New Brunswick Parks Action Plan, please click here.

Community members wishing to discuss the City’s public parks system are invited to attend a meeting of the New Brunswick Parks and Gardens Commission. The Commission holds public meetings at 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month in Council Chambers of City Hall, 78 Bayard Street.

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