HACKENSACK, N.J. — Johnson Park in Hackensack is about to get a major facelift, thanks to a $695,000 grant from the New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection.
The park will complement the city's indoor Sports Dome project, being built at an adjacent site.
Improvements to Johnson Park include the installation of a kayak dock and launch system, a boat ramp and a new passive park along the Hackensack River.
A 110-space parking lot and new access road will provide entry into the sports dome.
The grant was awarded through a competitive process and the funds will match an equal amount that the city has previously bonded for the project, making it now fully funded and ready to move forward.
"This grant will support our vision of dramatically improving Hackensack's recreation facilities and expanding access to these wonderful programs to more of our city's children," Mayor John Labrosse said.
"The Hackensack River is a tremendous resource for our community and these improvements to Johnson Park will allow more residents to enjoy it for recreation and leisure."
Hackensack was one of several communities to receive funding from the DEP's Newark Bay Complex Grant, which is designed to support projects that create or enhance public access or enjoyment of waterfront resources in the Newark Bay Complex.
The total grant amount of $53 million was funded by legal settlements from companies responsible for polluting the Passaic River and other New Jersey waterways.
Once completed, the Johnson Park Sports Dome project will allow Hackensack children to participate in soccer, flag football, cheerleading, volleyball and many other sports and recreation programs all year round.
The 80,000 square foot facility will include customizable fields as well as meeting rooms and other facilities that will be accessible to the community.
Along with the city's major renovation of the Recreation Center on Holt Street, its new Carver Park Splash Pad and new Atlantic Street Park, the project represents a major investment in recreation by Mayor Labrosse and the City Council.
"Hackensack children deserve the best recreational facilities that we can provide and we have a duty to help keep them active, engaged and on the right path,"said Councilman Leo Battaglia, who has been a major proponent of the Johnson Park project.
"These new facilities are being built with the city's best interests in mind and grants like this will help us reduce costs for taxpayers."