The Westside Park Group and Shaping NJ

A few years ago the City of Paterson was awarded funding by Shaping NJ.  The original grant timeline was impacted by almost every act of nature one could think of pushing projects further and further into the future.  Adminstrations changed but the Westside Park Community Garden was created along with a good portion of a walking path in the area next to John F Kennedy High School.  For a while, when funding was exhausted, it looked as though vandalism was going to take its toll.  That is until the Fourth and Inches Foundation, Paterson Public Schools and the City of Paterson re-ignited the mission to restore Westside Park to its original “resident, tourist, student destination”  as envisioned by Frederick Law Olmstead.  Frederick Law Olmstead is considered by some to be the father of American Landscape Architecture.  His designs are evident in New York’s Central Park as well as the historic Eastside Park on the other side of Paterson. 

The Westside Park Group was formed to continue exploring funding sources, organize community events to highlight the park and its needs and recruit residents, community leaders and volunteers to assist in the dream. 

The Westside Park Group under the umbrella of the City of Paterson has been awarded twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) under Tier 2 funding Shaping NJ to continue expanding, building and resurrecting Westside Park and the surrounding community.  There will be a Farmer’s Market located in the parking lot of a local business for area residents and visitors.  Structurally sound, permanent sign holders will be erected on the walking path wherein the historic photos of Westside Park will be proudly displayed. These “bits of history” seek to  encourage park guests to join in the memories of what was and to engage in the vision of what will be as well as walk in the footsteps of the Leni Lenape and famous Americans such as Alexander Hamilton.  The newly redesigned and renamed “JFK Spirit Garden” (formerly Westside Park Community Garden) will be expanded and utilized by the “Green Club” of Kennedy and the local residents.  A coaltion of neighborhood gardens will continue to be formed so that all can be shared including tools, ideas and produce- a goal that was within reach but difficult to achieve in the past.

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