LSP Summary by the Division of Parks and Forestry
Liberty State Park is an extraordinary and unique public resource. With the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as a spectacular backdrop, it is also one of New Jersey's most dramatic parks.
The historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal (CRRNJ), a grand setting for much of New Jersey's transportation history in the northeast, sits prominently at the north end of Liberty State Park.
A two-mile promenade, Liberty Walk links the picnic area, Interpretive Center and the CRRNJ Terminal while presenting visitors with a sweeping view of the Hudson River. Liberty Science Center, a popular attraction for students and families, is located in the park's western section.
Liberty State Park was once an urban industrial area. As a result of its historical land use, the Division of Parks and Forestry has spent the past 25 years since its acquisition planning and building a park infrastructure that is suitable for public recreation. With more than four million visitors annually, the park's development continues to be an extraordinary success.
As part of the Division's Waterfront Improvement Plan for Liberty State Park, development of an 88-acre Green Park was completed in 1999. Bordered on the west by Freedom Way and on the east by Liberty Walk, the Green Park is comprised of magnificent crescent lawns, trails and landscaping improvements, including newly planted trees, shrubs and wildflower meadows.
Approximately 4 miles of paved walkway have been added, as well as seven plaza areas located along Liberty Walk, which provides views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
The Green Park is just one example of the development potential of Liberty State Park as a premiere recreational site and urban green space. The next stage of the park development will focus on providing public access to the 251-acre interior section and enhancing the park's historic resources.
In addition, Liberty Science Center is an innovative learning resource for lifelong exploration of nature, humanity and technology, supporting the growth of our diverse region and promoting informed stewardship of the world.
Activities in the park include boating, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, and numerous special events. The park features the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal building, an Interpretive Center, Liberty Landing Marina, the Liberty Science Center and ferry service to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Currently 4.3 million annual visitors are accommodated within the 598 upland acres, 523 tidal acres, 25 structures and 5.3 miles of roads.
The true tourism and economic impact potential, both locally and regionally, at Liberty State Park will only be realized upon the complete restoration of the CRRNJ Terminal and the expansion of Liberty Science Center. The Division, through its partnership with the Save Ellis Island! Foundation and the National Park Service will also play a critical role in the continued restoration of Ellis Island and in providing increased access to this landmark. Improved interpretive facilities, including exhibits and programming, will help attract both a regional and national audience, presenting a broader picture of the area's pivotal role in America's immigrant and industrial history.
As the National Monuments reveals the story of the peopling of the United State of America and Liberty Science looks into the possibilities of the future it is mission of Liberty State Park is to provide the public with access to the harbor’s resources, a sense of its history and the charge of responsibility for its continued improvement. These various interests must produce cooperative efforts that enrich the lives of the people in the surrounding community and the experience of all that visit Liberty State Park.
Critical Future Issues - The Division of Parks and Forestry looks forward to working with the many partners of the park to accomplish the following tasks:
> Providing for a fully accessible park that will accommodate 6+ million visitors annually via mass transit, vehicular traffic and pedestrian walkways.
Ø Day use improvements to accommodate anticipated open space noncommercial recreational use.
Ø Completion of Interior portion of park’s Restoration to enhance wetlands and forest to provide for habitat, public access, and educational opportunities.
Ø Remediation of the remainder of soil contaminated areas.
Ø Restoration of CRRNJ Terminal to accommodate public use and special events, including the completion of train shed areas to provide program, exhibit, special event and interpretive uses.
Ø Redevelopment of southern portion of park to complete Liberty Walk.