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East Newark Industrial Area to Become Five-Acre Park Along Banks of Passaic River

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BASF is turning an industrial property into the park, which will be used for recreation, cultural activities and wildlife habitats

A new riverfront park is coming to East Newark, a place without much green space.

BASF Corporation is converting an industrial area into a five-acre natural resources park along the banks of the Passaic River. There will be recreational activities, wildlife habitats and cultural events. East Newark Borough Administrator Ron Edwards said they are really looking forward to this.

“We plan on having a theater and music specials and music groups and to constantly expose our children to cultural affairs and the community to cultural affairs. So there’ll be a little theater section in there,” he said.

BASF expects to complete the project in two years, including that outdoor amphitheater.

Edwards said the park will also help manage stormwater runoff and improve water quality in the river.

“Cleaning up that Passaic River is huge to us and we’re gonna make it that everybody else will follow what we’re doing and that Passaic River at one time was a vital artery to the success of the Garden State,” he said.

Edwards waxed poetic about what a park can mean to a community. “The memories that are gonna be from this. How many people are gonna have their first kiss underneath this tree? How many people are gonna be engaged in this place? How many learning events? How many students are gonna say you know what? I want to be an environmentalist from here,” he said.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.