• LIBERTY STATE PARK HAS BEEN SAVED THANKS TO PEOPLE'S POWER!

    Because of YOU, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) announced they are abandoning their privatization plans for Liberty State Park!

    Thank you to all those who fought to keep our open space free and green! Your voices were heard!

    Special thanks to our co-leader in this battle, Friends of Liberty State Park, and our dedicated elected leaders including Mayor Fulop, Senators Cunningham, Stack, Weinberg, and Lesniak, Assemblymen Mukherji and Chiaravalloti, Assemblywomen Chaparro and McKnight, the Jersey City Council, and the Hudson County Board of Freeholders! This victory would not have been possible without you!

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  • LSP has been saved from Christie's privatization plans, but here were the facts:

    The Governor's 18-page report calling for development at Liberty State Park is full of myths and misinformation. We've done our best to break down the most egregious errors the report makes, but if you want to read more, you can find the Friends of Liberty State Park's full opposition statement here.

     

    For more, you can visit the Friends of Liberty State Park and NY/NJ Baykeeper.

    Myth: The Governor’s proposal only accounts for a small fraction of the Park’s total land area. Liberty State Park has 1600 acres – surely we can develop on 38 of those acres.

     

    Fact: Liberty State Park is 1,212 acres, not 1600 as Governor Christie’s administration claims. Furthermore, only half of that is actual parkland, as opposed to tidal marsh. The planned Interior natural area is an additional 240 acres, and then there’s the acreage of existing buildings, roads, walkways, parking lots, already leased land, existing natural areas, and the rest of the park’s attractions. As a result, the proposed development actually accounts for a very significant portion of available open space. And of course there’s the inevitable destructive impact of weekend traffic jams, addition of new parking lots, and more which will restrict public access to Liberty State Park and permanently alter the park’s peaceful landscape.

    Myth: Liberty State Park runs a "deficit" of $2 million, which the State can't afford to make up.

     

     

    Fact: Parks are a public good, and - just like schools and other public goods - have always relied on public funding. In fact, taxpayers themselves have consistently voted in favor of funding for open space time and again. Moreover, LSP raises $1.5 million all on its own, each year, cutting the cost to the state almost in half.

    Myth: Liberty State Park is underutilized and development is needed to help make the park attractive to millions more visitors.

     

     

    Fact: Liberty State Park is jam-packed on spring, summer and warm fall weekends and in fact, the south entrance road is often closed on Sundays in the summer when LSP runs out of free parking. LSP is regularly used by local residents for varied free, unstructured recreation and is enjoyed by New Jerseyans and by tourists from around the nation and the world.

     

    • Over 4.5 million people come to Liberty State Park each year with 600,000 going to Liberty Science Center, 600,000 going to the Statue Cruises ferries, and still others coming for park special events such as charity runs and other events. Millions more come simply to enjoy the open space.

     

    • Moreover, Liberty State Park is usually booked with a variety of special events every weekend from May to October. These special events are effectively managed by Park staff.

      Myth: Commercial development would improve the value of the park.

       

       

       

      Fact: Green open space is an invaluable asset to local communities. Mounting evidence and numerous studies – including from the DEP itself – show that benefits from public parks include:

       

      • Increased property values. Proximity to parks has been found to have a positive impact on property value. In addition to helping homeowners, this generates increased revenue to local governments through property taxes. Some studies have shown this effect to be quite large – for example, one study estimated that the “Central Park effect” increased the aggregate market value of all properties within three blocks of New York’s most famous park by a whopping $17.7 billion. More residential development is already planned near LSP.

       

      • An improved quality of life for urban residents. Parks provide residents open space for recreational activities as well as sanctuary from the intensity of urban life. No wonder studies show that the closer people live to parks, the happier they are.

       

      • Sustainability and resiliency benefits. Parks play an important role in preserving and supporting healthy environments. Trees help fight global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide and other pollutants; moreover, tree canopies, garden vegetation, grassy areas, and other green spaces in parks capture and filter rainwater, reducing the amount of oil, salt, and pollutants flowing from roads and lawns into nearby waterways.

      Myth: Advocates like the Friends of Liberty State Park are against any development or commercialization efforts whatsoever.

       

       

      Fact: Park advocates have always been open to smart commercialization efforts that are consistent with preserving the Park's beautiful, open, public space. Ideas such as a temporary ice-skating rink in the winter, a private event-manager to book after-hour events at the Terminal, and expanded food and recreation options have always been acceptable to Park advocates. Governor Christie's plans go far beyond what would be compatible with Liberty State Park as we know it and would dramatically - and permanently - alter the Park's landscape.