Sierra Club: Essex-Hudson Greenway Project Important for Urban Areas

Essex-Hudson Greenway Project Important for Urban Areas

 

A group of groups are moving forward with acquiring property from Norfolk Southern Railway Company for a greenway. The Essex-Hudson Greenway Project would convert 8.6 miles of unused rail line into a stretch of bike and walking lanes through eight towns in Essex and Hudson Counties. The greenway would start in Montclair and pass through Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, Kearny, Secaucus before ending in Jersey City.

 

“It is important that the Essex-Hudson Greenway Project is moving forward. This park would connect eight towns from Montclair to Jersey City. This trail will not only help protect open space but provide health and economic benefits to the community. Trails can promote physical activity and community engagement and provide both environmental and mental health benefits. The greenway will also provide a functional way of transportation between towns like Glen Ridge, Newark, Kearny, and Secaucus,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Many people living in these communities don’t have access to parks or even backyards. This greenway project will help connect these urban areas and will provide a place for children and adults to enjoy nature.”

 

Earlier this year, OSI signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Norfolk Southern with a $65 million purchase price. The agreement will run until January 2021, but could possibly be extended. If the initial purchase doesn’t happen, there is a high likelihood that Norfolk Southern will sell the property in pieces. Hudson and Essex Counties have both passed resolutions to support the acquisition.

 

“Moving forward with a greenway project like this is even more important during the coronavirus pandemic. People are working from home and are quarantining and practicing social distancing. They need green places to go outside and enjoy nature, especially in these densely urban areas. This greenway would also allow people to walk or bike between parks like Branch Brook Park, Belleville Park, and Laurel Hill Park. Creating urban parks also helps revitalize urban areas and provide recreational opportunities. Parks attract homeowners and businesses and improve the quality of life,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “The Essex-Hudson Greenway is an important step forward when it comes to bringing open space and nature into our densely urban areas.”

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