Washington Park Association was started in the winter of 2008 when a group of friends and neighbors got together to discuss the neighborhood and our park. We decided that if our neighborhood was going to change then we were going to have to create opportunities for it to change. As we organized our efforts focused on our 22-acre Washington Park, which is a Hudson County park. While working on our non-profit paperwork we zeroed in on our mission statement to create several committees: Safety, Playground, Planning, Membership, Homeless & Website.
The WPA was given status as a 501(c)3 non-profit in February of 2009. We also joined the Jersey City Parks Coalition that year, which connected us with a strong network of park and cemetery associations throughout Jersey City. We developed our first "Planting In The Park Program" in June of 2009 where we created a new shade garden with 75 volunteers and planted over 1000 plants with the help of Hudson County Parks Department. All while listening to Maeandros Ensemble and some live Jazz, by the Stein Brothers. It was a special day.
In October of 2009 we applied for our first Local Arts Program grant, which was awarded to us for The Historical Washington Park Centennial Celebration, this September 18th, 2010.
During 2010 the WPA trustees were introduced to Permaculture and Grant Writing. We applied for a Hudson County Open Space Grant, which included a perimeter landscaping strategy in Washington Park to prevent storm water run off, using permaculture principles or nature's way of maintaining and regenerating herself, in addition to more park renovations and upgrades. Including community gardens, butterfly gardens, picnic tables, 10 unit exercise station, ADA access, safety, fencing, signage, and recycling bins.
We hosted our 2nd Annual "Planting In The Park Program" in late June, but this time we worked with Hudson County Parks Department and Big Ole Trees founder Jan Graff, to design and install the County's first permaculture garden all while rocking out to local Heights residents Walter Parks and Larry Heinemann. 100 community volunteers and guest were moving soil and planting while taking breaks to build their own rain barrel at the Rutgers Water Resources tent or learn how to compost by traditional methods, vermiculture, or using Bokashi methods of creating "Good Microbes" for your garden.
In July, we partnered with Hudson County as a Conservancy to write a Green Acres grant for not only Washington Park but the county's largest park at over 270 acres, Lincoln Park.
Which brings us to now and this MeetUp site. As we have grown we have been fortunate to met so many organizations with rich sustainability programs and offerings which have inspired us to facilitate collaboration amongst the individuals, the Jersey City Board of Education, Hudson County, Jersey City and Union City. If you are here then you are someone we value and hope will assist us in sharing an alliance of educational programs and opportunities for everyone.
Thank you for signing up and remember, "It takes community to create community."
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|About Washington Park Association (WPA)||August 29, 2010 12:25 AM||Mory T.|