CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Chappaqua resident and public space management pioneer Dan Biederman , president of the 34th Street Partnership, recently added another successful project to his resume: the revitalization of Military Park in downtown Newark, NJ.
One of Biederman’s best-known revival projects is Manhattan’s Bryant Park, which transformed in 1992 from a crime-ridden, drug-filled location behind the New York Public Library to a seven acre jewel and quiet haven for New Yorkers in midtown Manhattan. His most notable involvement in Westchester County is his leadership in Sustainable Playland , an organization seeking to bring the historic county-owned Rye Playland park back to prominence.
Biederman is confident the same type of transformation will happen in Military Park by giving downtown Newark a signature public space and vibrant town square.
“We’re very excited to finally begin the renovation of Military Park,” said Biederman.
“The current space is in dire need of improvements – from seating, to lighting, to flowers and trees, and a number of its elements need restoration. When the job is completed, Military Park will be safe, secure, and will host hundreds of events, concerts and family friendly attractions annually that will attract people to the downtown area.”
The Military Park Partnership was formed by the City of Newark, Prudential Financial, Inc, and The MCJ Amelior Foundation for the explicit purpose of improving and operating a reinvigorated Military Park. The Partnership hired urban parks expert Biederman to launch the effort and manage the park. ”Military Park is one of our City’s most important and historic open spaces. It gained its name during the Civil War as the mustering site for New Jersey’s contributions to the Union Army. It speaks to Newark’s strength and resilience,” said Mayor Cory A. Booker.
“As the centerpiece of our downtown, it is vital that we make this oasis of greenery a major part of our City’s transformation. I am proud that we have entered a partnership with members of our community to restore Military Park to its deserved glory,” he added. Military Park is currently underutilized and in need of significant renovations. The Partnership plans to fix the park’s physical problems and program the park with dozens of activities and amenities to turn the venue into a new attraction and downtown destination for those who live and work in Newark. “This is the next step in the combined efforts of the City of Newark and the Military Park Partnership to re-energize one of downtown’s historic parks,” said Christine Gilfillan, President of The MCJ Amelior Foundation.
“When the renovation is complete, the park will provide live music, performances, games, fitness classes, and dozens of other activities for Newarkers to enjoy.”
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