We need your help to complete Van Vorst Park and pass the torch of revitalization

Dear Editor:

Please help us build Camelot. On Saturday, May 18th, from 10 a.m. on, dozens of Friends of Van Vorst Park will join with Goldman-Sachs volunteers to plant, paint and cement in historic Van Vorst Park. There will be free food, drinks and music. Join in this labor of love with your neighbors and make friends.

Professional music will be played by Mario, while great music will also be played by the best 7th and 8th grade musicians from four local schools led by PS 3’s Carl Botti. The Literacy Program will have storytelling for children, and there will be special children’s activities led by J.C.’s Division of Cultural Affairs.

At 12 noon, Mayor Glenn Cunningham will arrive and participate. Mrs. Webb, the wife of the late Ercel Webb, will be on hand to receive a torch from the Van Vorst community to signify the nearing completion of this Park and community renovation and the beginning revitalization of Jersey City’s inner neighborhoods starting with Ercel Webb Park and its surrounding community.

Unique community leadership by the Friends of Van Vorst Park, Inc., (FVVP) has made this one of the best community-based urban Park renovations in Hudson County history; and quite probably the best in Jersey City history. Since 1991 the FVVP have led over 550 residents to meticulously design the renovation of their historic Park and to create and maintain 16 community gardens which now hold over 30,000 plants. They fundraised over $60,000 and inspired the City to spend 1.6 million dollars for the renovation which was completed in late 1999. The FVVP have moved on to help other public space and Park renovations. Recently, we helped the Lafayette community arrive at an excellent renovation design for Webb Park. The Mayor has already set aside the money for the Webb Park renovation; and the revitalization of Jersey City’s inner neighborhoods is now ready to happen.

There will also be a planting and dedication of a memorial tree by friends and family for Jon Schlissel, an effective civic activist from our community who was lost at the World Trade Center on September 11th.

While the heart, soul and creativity of our neighborhood has made all this possible, most expenses for this event have been paid for by a generous grant from Goldman, Sachs & Co. Wear clothes that can get dirty. If you have work gloves or spaded shovels, bring them. This will be an event to remember. For questions or donations, call 201-433-5127.

Dr. Clifford Waldman
FVVP founder


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