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Liberty State Park 2013

Liberty State Park (LSP)
June 9, 2013


On a perfect day for a Walk, 15 walkers including 3 members of the Board of the Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy (HRWC) met at 9:00 AM at the Picnic Grounds of LSP. As in previous walks, walkers came from as far away as Morris County to participate in the Walk.  It was good to see both repeat walkers dressed in their WTW tee shirts and first time walkers.

Board Members Don Stitzenberg, Ed Rogaski and Howard Singer welcomed and addressed the group, discussed the effects of Hurricane Sandy on LSP and distributed copies of the new Walkway Map and bottled water. Howard was able to determine that the LSP Walkway is open except for the bridge that goes over a section of the inlet midway between the Train Terminal and the Picnic Grounds.

The walkers began at 9:45 and proceeded south along the Walkway in LSP.  Damage from Sandy was immediately evident as several small sections of the Walkway in LSP were fenced off as pavers had been washed away and some undermining was evident.  It looked as though these areas were in the process of being repaired by LSP. At the far southern end of LSP, near the boat ramp, the old wooden viewing deck has been completely destroyed with only the concrete piles remaining visible.  It is not clear if LSP will rebuild this viewing deck.

From the Walkway in LSP, it was possible to see the collapsed bulkhead across the bay at Port Liberte. The Walkway was busy with bikers, hikers, families, picnickers and the always present fishermen who, unfortunately, were not seeing any action today. We also met a group of people organizing a class in “Stand-Up paddling on surf boards. It is clear that the Roof Top Boat Access point to the bay is very actively used by boaters and fisherman.

Leaving the southern end of LSP, the walkers entered the Walkway at Liberty National Golf Club.  It was again satisfying to see a section of the Walkway built so professionally and attractive. This area of the Walkway suffered no damage from Sandy demonstrating the benefits to everyone of high quality original construction. The group stopped to take pictures of the panorama view from the Walkway that includes the Goldman Sachs building, the new World Trade building, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn, the New York harbor and the Verrazano Bridge.  There was no evidence of development of a marina by the Golf Club as has been previously reported.

After the Golf Club, the Walkway goes through a section of LSP that is a bird sanctuary.  Many of the walkers could not believe such a serene area of wilderness exists so close to the heart of metropolitan New York. Some Walkers plan to return in the fall when the hiking trails in the sanctuary are open to the public.

The group continued into Port Liberte and quickly ran into the fence closing the Walkway where the bulkhead has collapsed from Sandy. We could not see the actual damage from here but there was no indication that reconstruction would occur anytime soon.

The Walk ended here and walkers returned to the starting point in LSP around 11:30.  Several Walkers encouraged us to reschedule the Walk that was rained out in Bayonne.

The next Walk the Walkway will be on June 30th in North Bergen, Guttenberg and West New York.

Photo Gallery of LSP walk - courtesy of Carolina Garcia-Paris.


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