COVID-19 memorial added to plans for park on NJ Superfund site
JERSEY CITY — Jersey City is transforming a Superfund site into a riverfront park that will include a memorial to the city's residents who have died from COVID-19.
Mayor Steven Fulop on Thursday announced a $10 million investment to help create the 12-acre public space along the Hackensack River that will feature a butterfly garden, scenic walkways and a pedestrian bridge connecting to a grove of trees in memory of residents that died of coronavirus at the height of the pandemic and were not permitted to have a proper funeral due to public health restrictions.
Each name will be part of a memorial wall.
“Within the new park, a tree will be planted for each of the over 500 residents who were robbed of their life and robbed of a proper farewell due to this pandemic to give their friends and family a place where they can reflect and remember their lost loved ones,” Fulop said.
A portion of the Pulaski Skyway was built on the site in the 1930s.
In the 1970s, it hosted the PJP Landfill where chemical and industrial waste was dumped, legally and illegally, creating frequent subsurface fires. The site was put on the Superfund list in the mid-1980s, and state and federal environmental agencies conducted remediation in the 1980s and '90s.
The 87-acre site currently is home to a warehouse distribution center and trucking business.
More than 200,000 people live within 2 1/2 miles of the site, according to the EPA's website.
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