Passaic, N.J. – Mayor Hector C. Lora joins the Department of Recreation and the Department of Finance, in accepting the grant for “Local Recreational Improvement” from the New Jersey Development of Community Affairs. This $76k award, earmarked for Colonel Johnson Park, will further develop and enrich recreational opportunities within the City of Passaic’s urban community. The City of Passaic recognizes the need of more open spaces within its densely populated community. The overall goal of this project seeks to enhance physical activity, mental health, social interactions, and connections to the environment. Collectively, this project will enrich the lives of the City of Passaic’s residents in numerous ways, as these improvements will not only encourage healthy lifestyles, but also bring about inclusivity among residents varying in age, background, and ability. The ability to enhance recreational opportunities within our community will inspire other residents to utilize this park more frequently, and promote physical activity, while reducing health related disparities. “The $76k grant will pay for the professional design company and any unspent grant monies will go towards the cost of construction,” explained Omar Garcia, Director of Finance. “We expect to at least get a new splash pad, playground equipment and some rubberized surfacing out of this project.” To achieve this goal, the proposed project will include two separate phases, the first of which includes the construction of the new splash pad to be located east of the half-court basketball area. The second phase of this project will include the installation of a rubberized playground surface, along with the addition of new inclusive playground structures. “We're thrilled that Colonel Johnson Park Improvements received $76K in funding through the Local Recreation Improvement Grants. Located at 190 Harrison Street, this opportunity will enable repairs, expansion of recreational opportunities, and reconstruction in an area crucial for our community's youth,” added Cindy Gomez, Head of Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs. While the physical benefits of this project are evident, there are also several other benefits that should not be overlooked. For instance, the ability to connect residents with the natural resources of our environment will significantly improve the psychological well-being of our residents by connecting them to green spaces where youth can play, families can connect, and a love and appreciation for the great outdoors can be fostered. The park’s operational hours depend on the season. From May to September, the park will be open from 6:00 AM up until 10:00 PM. During the remaining months, the park will be available from 6:00 AM until sunset. The City of Passaic has received valuable funding from grants and partnerships to refurbish and expand recreational options for the community, including the recent opening of Columbia Park at 136-138 Columbia Ave, which now features newly installed playground structures, benches, and a rubberized surfacing for added safety and comfort.
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