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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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I noticed quite a lot of trees and bushes awaiting planting this morning in the park. They had already planted some young trees along the pathway into the park from 8th & Jersey. It left me feeling optimistic.

Posted on: 2009/11/20 13:43
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Okay, so they exist. I'm aware. Would you care to include fair criticisms of this model? There's more than a few.

More importantly perhaps... Do you really think that the attempts at governing this park by committee and census have worked so far? How are a few $100 donations and a bunch of developer donations going to change this trend? Will he embankment park suffer?

Posted on: 2009/11/20 7:47
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Pooper, try reading up on the subject before you doom it to failure, it's far from a new and untested idea. Lots of neighborhoods have faced the fact that their city can't maintain their park as they would like them to.

Central Park Conservancy

Battery Park Conservancy

Madison Square Park Conservancy

Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

Fort Greene Park Conservancy

The Palisades Parks Conservancy

I stopped before heading out of town.

Posted on: 2009/11/20 7:06
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Thanks Geoff, I appreciate your point.

HPNA serves as I see it serves as a great public advocate for representing the park. It's has organizational issues in the past, but I think it's mission is solid. The people involved are dedicated and do what they can with limited resources. It would probably be well served by recruiting some new voices.

The conservancy model concerns me though. The organization would sign a contract with the city for a limited management role over the park. Paying members and those who might want to make a donation would have undue influence to a public resource. While I'm sure some people like that idea, myself and others might feel it smells a little of privatization. That's not good for the local community and city as a whole. I'm sure developers will love the idea, but the casual parker who just wants to sit on the grass during the weekends might think otherwise.

Posted on: 2009/11/20 3:48
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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I would volunteer to give what time I have free, if asked, with new plantings in HP. However it?s my understanding that the consensus was opposed to gardens like we have in VVP and I can tell you, if you are unable to find enough neighbors to dedicate time every week towards the upkeep of new gardens, it will not succeed.

That said, it seems as though you have a number of interested residents that are up to committing the time and money in trying to make plantings a success. As a suggestion, the HPNA could set up a specific meeting, open the public, to discuss issues such as density, height, location, and types of gardens the residents of HP would like and are willing to support.

From the feedback I?ve gotten, well-tended gardens add a positive feel to our parks, generally reduce vandalism, and promote a concern for the well being of the surrounding area?may seem simplistic, but it works.

Posted on: 2009/11/20 3:23
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Jon / Pooper:

Please do recall I did say that governance would be the challenge. I'm not offering you any solutions to this most thorny of problems, but thanks for helping me illustrate the point.

If people can see merit in the concept, and are more willing than not to place community interests before personal ego and self-interest, it may have a miniscule chance of coming into existence. As for chances of success, I'm not giving any odds.

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2009/11/20 2:44
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Good point, let's start complaining again. Many settlers of lesser around here, many people who don't care as much as ME ME ME !

Seriously, I remember I had horrible doubt on my house project until the very end. The final details really brought things together. So can the final landscaping in my opinion. On another positive positive thinking note, the fountain is small indeed, but so that no one can bathe in it, some people obviously considered jersey city life under all angles !

I like this conservatory idea !

Posted on: 2009/11/20 1:47
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Excellent. Then back to kvetching over your trees and swingsets.

Posted on: 2009/11/20 0:29
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Quote:

brewster wrote:

All true Geoff. So what happens first? Do we get a group of stakeholders like HPNA, Lefrak, the Silvermans and large condo assn reps to meet with Steve Fulop about the subject and possible legislation needed?


Yes, make sure you have as few people at the table as possible. And make sure you get lots of money involved. That always clarifies the mission.

What park of PUBLIC park don't you get?




You've successfully convinced me this will never happen.

Never mind.

Posted on: 2009/11/20 0:09
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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All true Geoff. So what happens first? Do we get a group of stakeholders like HPNA, Lefrak, the Silvermans and large condo assn reps to meet with Steve Fulop about the subject and possible legislation needed?


Yes, make sure you have as few people at the table as possible. And make sure you get lots of money involved. That always clarifies the mission.

What park of PUBLIC park don't you get?

Posted on: 2009/11/19 23:06
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FWIW, at least some of the plants delivered yesterday now seem to be in position around the gazebo.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 22:58
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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As one of the progenitors of the Park Conservancy Fund concept, I would have to agree with Brewster that now is the time to re-examine this idea.

Although simple in principle, the challenge will be in properly structuring a 'balanced' governance structure for such a Fund to avoid being captured by any single set of interests -- be it developer, community organizations, or individual residents.

It may also require local legislation similar to that used to establish the various local special improvement districts around the city. Although the SIDs have their own operational and political challenges, a Park Conservancy Fund would need to be manged professionally, with full transparency and financial accountability to the local community that it would serve.

All the best.

Geoff


All true Geoff. So what happens first? Do we get a group of stakeholders like HPNA, Lefrak, the Silvermans and large condo assn reps to meet with Steve Fulop about the subject and possible legislation needed?

Posted on: 2009/11/19 22:57
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Why should your other neighbors trust that what you or other volunteers plant will improve the gardens the city plants or worse . . . ? Quote:

linky wrote:


I think the only option is to have private citizens volunteer to plant some extra stuff to help spruce up the obligatory plants that the city puts in there. And although I am angry about how the city is handling this, I am not just venting. I will personally volunteer to go out there and plant and maintain.

And why does anyone think that the city will maintain what they plant this time if the old gardent was not maintained? If anyone is interested in starting a group to volunteer to help spruce up and maintain what the city plants, please pm me.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 21:47
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Happy to get involved in a Park Conservancy. Count me in. Money and time.

On another note: where is all this "pop" psychology coming from? "Control issues?" "Afraid of change?" What a monumental load of fertilizer ....

Posted on: 2009/11/19 21:14
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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brewster wrote:

Quote:
There is another option we've discussed for years, a Park Conservancy Fund to hire maintenance for the park with money raised from residents, condo assn's, corporations and developers. I've said for years I would donate $100 per year to the park. think how easily we could raise the money for a 1/2 time groundskeeper. Call it a generous $30K, that would only be 300 $100 donations, but I'll bet the Silvermans alone would be good for several thousand. Maybe now's the time. We don't want our park crapped up again but we can't depend on a volunteer emerging as dedicated as Parkman. Let's put our money where our mouths are.


As one of the progenitors of the Park Conservancy Fund concept, I would have to agree with Brewster that now is the time to re-examine this idea.

Although simple in principle, the challenge will be in properly structuring a 'balanced' governance structure for such a Fund to avoid being captured by any single set of interests -- be it developer, community organizations, or individual residents.

It may also require local legislation similar to that used to establish the various local special improvement districts around the city. Although the SIDs have their own operational and political challenges, a Park Conservancy Fund would need to be manged professionally, with full transparency and financial accountability to the local community that it would serve.

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2009/11/19 21:09
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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brewster wrote:
Quote:

linky wrote:
I think the only option is to have private citizens volunteer to plant some extra stuff to help spruce up the obligatory plants that the city puts in there.


There is another option we've discussed for years, a Park Conservancy Fund to hire maintenance for the park with money raised from residents, condo assn's, corporations and developers. I've said for years I would donate $100 per year to the park. think how easily we could raise the money for a 1/2 time groundskeeper. Call it a generous $30K, that would only be 300 $100 donations, but I'll bet the Silvermans alone would be good for several thousand.

Maybe now's the time. We don't want our park crapped up again but we can't depend on a volunteer emerging as dedicated as Parkman. Let's put our money where our mouths are.


That is a fantastic idea.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 19:44
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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For the few people who are devastated by the loss of the brush around the gazebo please keep these things in mind:

1. If those gardens were so important to your well-being you would have maintained them and cared for them right up until the renovation started.

2. We have not even seen what will be planted and how aesthetically pleasing the new plantings will or will not be.

3. We also do not know the quality of maintenance the city will offer, though it can't be much worse than the previous maintenance of those gardens.

4. Why is anyone being critical about a renovation project that is far from being complete? Several people who complain on this board have tremendous fear of change, and control issues. The park will be beautiful when completed, it will be enjoyed by many, and honestly shouldn't add any upset to your lives in any way.

Relax, be happy.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 18:51
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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linky wrote:
I think the only option is to have private citizens volunteer to plant some extra stuff to help spruce up the obligatory plants that the city puts in there.


There is another option we've discussed for years, a Park Conservancy Fund to hire maintenance for the park with money raised from residents, condo assn's, corporations and developers. I've said for years I would donate $100 per year to the park. think how easily we could raise the money for a 1/2 time groundskeeper. Call it a generous $30K, that would only be 300 $100 donations, but I'll bet the Silvermans alone would be good for several thousand.

Maybe now's the time. We don't want our park crapped up again but we can't depend on a volunteer emerging as dedicated as Parkman. Let's put our money where our mouths are.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 18:47
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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I'm talking about the healthy rosebushes, and other healthy flowering bushes which surrounded the gazebo. I agree that the area was filthy, and the plants needed a good pruning, and some needed to be ripped out. However, there was an array of healthy, mature stuff there that should not have been pulled. Mark my words, they will be replaced by a bunch of run-of-the-mill bushes that can be seen around every other gazebo in this city. Any garden that the JC Parks Dept plants there will look as if someone with absolutely no aesthetic sense planted, because that's who planted them.

I think the only option is to have private citizens volunteer to plant some extra stuff to help spruce up the obligatory plants that the city puts in there. And although I am angry about how the city is handling this, I am not just venting. I will personally volunteer to go out there and plant and maintain.

And why does anyone think that the city will maintain what they plant this time if the old gardent was not maintained? If anyone is interested in starting a group to volunteer to help spruce up and maintain what the city plants, please pm me.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 15:27
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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2DogDoll wrote:
The City is sooooo full of s*it and I have the pictures to prove it. Since it was impossible to maintain the garden due to the renovation, there was an overgrowth. Said overgrowth could have easily been cut back. There were many perennials, bulbs and flowering shrubs that were not affected, including the trees.
Thanks anyway.


2 DogDoll, I have to agree with you. I've got two young kids, and I've spent a lot of time around that gazebo in the past couple of years. I know that garden better than the one in my own backyard, and the city's response seems pretty ridiculous to me. But I guess what's done is done.

What scares me is that the city wants to discourage a community effort to plant a garden, and do it themselves. I believe they will send someone guy who works for the parks dept. ( a.k.a. someone's brother-in-law) down to Home Dept to buy a few cheesy spiral plants and a couple of pathetic plants. He'll come along and plant them, and that will be the end of it. If you don't believe me, take a look at the pathetic attempt at landscaping that was done in that little sitting area on Newark and Jersey - a few cheesy spiral trees and a bunch of mums that will be dead after Thanksgiving.

2DogDoll, you seem to be the only one who is upset about this garden thing as I am.


What plants around the gazebo are you talking about? I participated in last springs park cleanup and spent most of my time cleaning and trimming plants around the gazebo and I can tell you that that area hadn't been cared for in months. All of the plants were completely overgrown, the ground around them was filthy with bottles, garbage, etc., it stunk of urine and alcohol, and so on. This was no one's garden. I'm sure whatever's coming around the gazebo will be better than what was there.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 15:03
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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those who can, do. those who can't (or won't), come to JCList to bitch about it.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 14:59
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BTW? The method by which you can push the odds in your favor in these kinds of votes is simple. It is not guaranteed but it can be effective. First of all submit one choice that is in your "lobbys" favor. The choice should be obvious and clear to your constituents. "Vote for this Plan"! (Lets call it Plan D for our purposes).To help tilt the odds in your favor you then submit several alternative plans, let's say 3 other plans (for our purposes). The 3 other plans should be similar but not exact. Each of them should have some little thing that will appeal to people in various ways. (For instance, a bacci court in this plan, a putting green in this plan etc etc. The ultimate effect is to "dilute" the votes of your opposition. People, the non "organized" ones, will innocently vote for a plan that they truly find appealling. Thus you have these other votes split amongst several similar choices and the lone "fixed" plan winning out by a nose. In this recent case the majority won by a hair but they weren't taking any chances. The wool has been removed.



Design A: 96 votes (14.8% of the total)

Design B: 141 votes (21.7% of the total)

Design C: 83 votes (12.8% of the total)

Design D: 329 votes (50.7% of the total)

This is what I?ve been saying since 2007?

If , like Althea Berheim, you?ve basically gotten almost everything you?ve wanted out of the renovation, it?s been ??an incredible process and one which the HPNA pulled off flawlessly?? and you can gush that the HPNA is ??one of the most engaged and finest neighborhood associations in the whole City.?

On the other hand, if you express an opinion contrary to the party line, you?re labeled a ?hater? or a ?narcissist? or you?re trashed in hissy fits on other JC websites - ironically, by many of the same individuals who like to pontificate on Emotional IQ here.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 13:53
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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The other obvious solution would be to train individuals within the Parks Department to deal with our growing desire for planted areas within the city.[/quote]\\


lol...............lol. I'm not poking fun at your or your suggestion. I know you have experience with this, and that you are right about what you say. But the idea of JC training people to properly care for the plants and shrubs in parks is side-splitting funny.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 12:59
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This morning a whole bunch of new plants and shrubs have arrived in HP and it seems they're being planted today.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 12:45
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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The City is sooooo full of s*it and I have the pictures to prove it. Since it was impossible to maintain the garden due to the renovation, there was an overgrowth. Said overgrowth could have easily been cut back. There were many perennials, bulbs and flowering shrubs that were not affected, including the trees.
Thanks anyway.


2 DogDoll, I have to agree with you. I've got two young kids, and I've spent a lot of time around that gazebo in the past couple of years. I know that garden better than the one in my own backyard, and the city's response seems pretty ridiculous to me. But I guess what's done is done.

What scares me is that the city wants to discourage a community effort to plant a garden, and do it themselves. I believe they will send someone guy who works for the parks dept. ( a.k.a. someone's brother-in-law) down to Home Dept to buy a few cheesy spiral plants and a couple of pathetic plants. He'll come along and plant them, and that will be the end of it. If you don't believe me, take a look at the pathetic attempt at landscaping that was done in that little sitting area on Newark and Jersey - a few cheesy spiral trees and a bunch of mums that will be dead after Thanksgiving.

2DogDoll, you seem to be the only one who is upset about this garden thing as I am.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 12:43
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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Other than when the HPNA headed up a park clean up a year and half ago, (a pre mother's day event where we gave free plants to volunteers who helped) I don't ever remember seeing or hearing about some neighbors voluntarily, cleaning up or trimming back the gardens around the gazebo. So to suggest the renovation process somehow arrested some committed volunteers in their regular caring for those gardens is a little disingenuous.

You're not entirely wrong as I'm not terribly broken up about this. Plants are vulnerable, especially when not properly cared for. So this is not a surprise. I don't find the city's explanation to be bullshit. Those barberry shrubs have been overgrown since I made an offer on my house back in 2002. Interestingly, just this spring one of my neighbors strongly advised me to cut back the barberry shrubs in my front gardens out of concern for the damage they could cause to the tree behind them.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 4:59
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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So, even though the plans called for maintaining the gazebo garden, and the majority of the community voted their approval, according to your inquiry, the City, on its own volition, decided to to rip out the plantings, on the clearly idiotic pretense that the garden was dead. And you are clearly OK with this. Got it. Like I said, thanks for the fish.


Um, what part of SamS's post "clearly" indicated that he or the HPNA (or whomever you are lashing out at, it's tough to keep track) is "OK" with either what was done, or the City's explanation for it?

Aside from getting in their time machine, exactly what should the HPNA be doing about this situation that they haven't/aren't?

Again, no insensitivity toward the memorial garden intended, but sometimes plants die, whether accidentally or not, and they will get replaced with other plants. It's sad, but if this is your smoking gun for why the park renovation is a disaster and why the HPNA is a fascistic bunch of brown-nosing developer appeasers, well, your case needs a lot of work.

(Oh, and I love watching "i'm not going to comment any more" fails in action. Thanks for that.)

Posted on: 2009/11/19 4:42
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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The problem with maintaining gardens within a public park in Jersey City, is that the Parks Department, aside from its director, have not been trained to deal with passive parks such as Van Vorst. The city has 67 areas designated as parkland but most are ball fields, and these, the city is qualified to handle.

Sam?s point about the initial commitment of some members of the community to maintain public gardens is valid. Ten years ago, VVP had 14 neighbors helping with the design and maintenance of 19 gardens and 9 lawns. Within 4 years, all except two of us had either moved or were unable to volunteer enough time because of other commitments.

The only way you will be able to have successful community gardens in HP is if you find the rare individuals, who have the free time, a background in horticulture, and are willing to commit to the long term. The other obvious solution would be to train individuals within the Parks Department to deal with our growing desire for planted areas within the city.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 4:07
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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The City is sooooo full of s*it


Agreed. They pull bulls**t explanations out of their butts whenever they get caught doing stupid crap, like cutting down all the trees in the park at Jersey & Newark. The question is what do you expect HPNA to do at this point? HPNA officers were apparently not notified in advance, the contractor likely made an "executive decision" based on it being easier for him not to worry about the welfare of the plants. It's done, let's see what we get as replacement.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 3:52
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
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So, even though the plans called for maintaining the gazebo garden, and the majority of the community voted their approval, according to your inquiry, the City, on its own volition, decided to to rip out the plantings, on the clearly idiotic pretense that the garden was dead. And you are clearly OK with this. Got it. Like I said, thanks for the fish.

Posted on: 2009/11/19 3:10
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