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Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy

Walk the Walkway

May 6, 2018

Liberty State Park (LSP)

On a breezy day with cloudy skies and temperature in the 60’s, 12 Walkers including some first time walkers and also 5 Board members of the Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy gathered at the Liberty State Park Picnic grounds to Walk the Walkway.  This walk is exclusively in LSP and is the longest of the walks as it is about 4 miles round trip.

After a brief discussion of the work of the Conservancy and welcoming new walkers,  the group headed north on the Walkway toward the Statue of Liberty. The Walkway in the entire LSP is complete and was in good condition.  There was much discussion of the repairs that were required to the Walkway after Super Strom Sandy with one of the Board members actually volunteering to clear rocks from the Walkway.

The group passed the LSP Nature Center which, as one walker noted, was designed by noted architect Michael Graves.  The building was severely damaged during Sandy and is only now beginning to be rebuilt and updated.

As usual, the Walkway was full of walkers, strollers, dog walkers and bikers. We also met several fishermen who, unfortunately, were not having much luck today.

As the group proceeded toward the Historic Train Station, a group of several hundred walkers were headed in the opposite direction.  This was the Susan Korman Walk for the Cure for breast cancer.  It was inspiring to see all ages of men, women, kids, dogs, wheelchairs and strollers having fun on the Walkway for a great cause.

In the middle of the walk, the group stopped for a break and one of the Board members described the effort of a small group of people in the 70’s and early 80’s to prevent what is now Liberty State Park from becoming an Oil Storage facility and refinery. In spite of huge political support in favor of the oil facilities, a few people were able to convince the public that the dangers of the toxic chemicals that were to be stored there were too great. The resultant public outcry defeated the oil facility and shortly thereafter the land was dedicated as Liberty State Park.

Moving on the walkers discussed the “temporary” bridge from LSP to Ellis Island.  The bridge was built to give temporary access to Ellis Island over 20 years ago when Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty were being rebuilt. Now the bridge is used as access for employees of Ellis Island and will undoubtedly be a permanent fixture. It is not open to the public.

As we approached the end of the Walk near the Historic Train Station, we noticed a huge Norwegian Cruise Lines ship leaving New York.  One of the Board members informed the group that this was the maiden voyage of this ship and that it accommodates over 3000 guests and another 3000 Employees.

The Walk ended near the train station and the group dispersed with some walkers continuing on to the train station while others returned to the starting point at the picnic grounds.

The next Walk the Walkway will be Sunday June 3, when we will walk along Morris canal to Exchange Place in Jersey City.

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