After being stalled for almost 15 years, this six acre former brownfield is being remediated into a world class waterfront park through the coupled efforts of a collaborative, community led process and a resourceful approach to financing.
In 1997, the City of Perth Amboy acquired an active scrap metal yard for the creation of new parkland along the Raritan River. After the City’s long legal battle over the site, Topology team member Annie Hindenlang, in her role as Perth Amboy’s City Planner, working with the Middlesex County Improvement Authority (MCIA), utilized funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program to contract a team from Rutgers University’s Center for Urban & Environmental Sustainability and The Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy to develop a concept design to convert the contaminated site into a park. Rutgers conducted an extensive community outreach process receiving feedback from over 500 city residents, students and members of the surrounding neighborhood. By the fall of 2016, with assistance from the Department of Environmental Protection, the City acquired over $7 million in funding for final design, remediation, and construction of the park.
The final design for the park was completed by SCAPE Landscape Architects and Colliers Engineering and Design. The design of the park reflects a diversity of proposed activities and ecological restoration that connects the park to the shoreline, the local neighborhood, and Perth Amboy’s urban center. Remediation work is ongoing under VHB, Inc. Since the beginning of site remediation, the project has been plagued by several unanticipated challenges such as the discovery of unexploded ordinances and white phosphorus on-site. These discoveries have greatly increased the scope and costs for remediation in order to ensure public safety and the proper disposal of these hazardous materials. The City has since been engaging with the USEPA for assistance in managing these challenging conditions. As remediation progresses, the City is expecting to begin park development in 2023.
Key Insight: Even with the most difficult sites, strong community support, resourcefulness and a clear vision can achieve the impossible.
Capital Planning & Development
City Planner / Grant Writer
Helmin Caba, Mayor
Kenneth Ortiz, Recreation Director
William Kurzenberger, Office of Economic & Community Development
Over 500 Perth Amboy Residents
Rutgers University – Center for Urban & Environmental Sustainability:
Design Nickel, Middlesex County Department of Business Development & Education
Nick Tufaro, Middlesex County Office of Planning
Lou Valente, Department of Environmental Protection
William Lindner, Department of Environmental Protection
Alan Miller, Department of Environmental Protection
SCAPE Landscape Architecture
6 Acre Linear Park
Skate and Bike Park