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What's up down by the river...
December 29, 2014
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Just five years ago when Newark Riverfront Revival began its work, there weren't too many reasons to visit the water's edge of New Jersey's greatest city. But things have changed! In 2014, over 3000 Newark residents & visitors came to relax, socialize, dance, perform, eat, explore, cheer & watch the river roll!

This year, Newark Riverfront Revival organized first-time events like the Praise by the Passaic Gospel Festival, the Riverfront House DJ Residency & Paddle on the Passaic Kayak Days. We continued traditions like our annual Walk to the Water & Orange Party, City & Port Boat Tours, movie nights & free Zumba & yoga. With Ironbound Community Corporation, we convened a proud third year of Friends of Riverfront Park monthly meetings. Throughout, we showcased Newark's culture & spirit in our city's newest public space & claimed the riverfront for Newarkers! As Larry Hamm of People's Organization for Progress proclaimed as our featured River Day speaker, "The river belongs to the people!"

2014 also marked serious steps towards cleaning the river & expanding public access to it. In April, the EPA Regional Administration came to the Orange Sticks to announce the federal government's proposal for cleaning eight miles of the Passaic River. Newark's first public riverfront access outside of the Ironbound opened with a first stretch of Downtown Riverfront Trail between Penn Station & Cherry Street. PSEG's remediation of the former Market Street Gasworks continued, setting the stage to open another segment of riverfront meadow near Raymond Boulevard & Prospect Street. Finally, the City of Newark, Essex County & Trust for Public Land advanced work on Segment 3 to begin construction in 2015, which will better connect the sports fields near Brill Street to the Orange Boardwalk & expand under the Jackson Street Bridge & beyond.

All of these good things from house parties to park construction to river remediation have only been possible because Newarkers & others have taken a stand & gotten involved in creating the riverfront that Newark wants. Going forward, we look forward to attracting every Newarker to the river's edge & beyond! Please help us accomplish our goal by visiting our new website at newarkriverfront.orgsigning up for our email list, following on Twitter, liking on Facebook & talking with your friends & neighbors about our river. See you all down by the water in oh-fifteen!
Newark Riverfront Revival organized the third annual River Day with dozens of partners from across the city & the region. Groups of residents walked with the Malcolm X Shabazz Marching Band from Newark City Hall to the river for a day-long Orange Party at the water’s edge. See more!
As usual, the Orange Party brought the best of Newark together on the banks & waters of the Passaic. Families from across city came for boat rides, capoeira, Zumba, yoga, arts & crafts, facepainting, kite flying, environmental education, a drum circle & more. To conclude the day, fabulous InaWordFab hosted a display of Newark talent & culture with singing, dancing, poetry & Double Dutch. See more!
For the first time, New Jersey Gospel Month concluded on Newark's riverfront with the Praise by the Passaic Gospel Festival hosted by Dr. Albert Lewis of the Gospel Time television program. The Orange Boardwalk was full of song & praise dancing as the sun set over the Newark skyline. See more!
Newark’s own DJ Omar Abdallah held down the riverfront with four nights of Jersey House at the Orange Sticks for a loving crowd. See photos & videos!
Frank and 3 to Clave brought Afro-Cuban, Puerto Rican & Brazilian rhythms to the Passaic. See more!
In addition to screening family favorite Finding Nemo on the Riverfront Meadow on July 11, Newark Riverfront Revival teamed up with the Rutgers University, Newark History Department to create & screen the first-ever Newark Movie Mixtape, a composition of over 20 feature films, promotional clips, music videos & more featuring Newark & Newarkers over the last century. See more!
Over 600 Newark residents & visitors explored Newark's riverfront by boat with Newark Riverfront Revival & Hackensack Riverkeeper on 2014 Newark Boat Tours. In addition to our class City Tours, which cover the area north of Port Newark to near the Belleville line, this year we offered more Port Tours focused on the largest seaport on the US east coast. Guests including Port Authority Intermodal Marine Terminals Supervisor Robert Harley & Isella Ramirez from the Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports offered insights on both daily port operations & the relationship between the port & the rest of the city.
Newark Riverfront Revival & Hackensack Riverkeeeper hosted the first-ever Paddle on the Passaic Public Kayak Days at Newark Riverfront Park, an opportunity for Newarkers to experience our river up close & personal!
Newark Riverfront Revival Walkshops (North of 280, Downtown & Ironbound) offered residents & visitors the chance to walk & talk with city planners, local historians, environmental justice advocates & others involved in creating the future of Newark's riverfront.
Newark riverfront yoga & Zumba classes continued to fill the Riverfront Meadow with life & energy! Special thanks to Newark Yoga Movement and Zumba instructor Sue Campbell!
New Jersey Future selected Newark’s River: Redevelopment & Public Access Plan and Newark Riverfront Park for a 2014 Smart Growth Award. Read more!
A first modest stretch of Downtown Riverfront trail opened to the public, running north from Newark Penn Station to Cherry Street! Stay tuned for more.

On April 11, 2014, at Newark Riverfront Park’s Orange Boardwalk, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced its long-awaited cleanup plan for the lower eight miles of the Passaic River. The proposal includes bank-to-bank dredging of the river and the removal of 4.3 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment. As per Superfund law, the clean-up will be funded by the companies responsible for the pollution. Newarkers and others have advocated for the river clean-up for decades; this announcement brings the dream of a clean, safe, and healthy river another step closer to reality. On June 10, NRR partner Ironbound Community Corporation organized Restoring Our River, a panel on the Passaic River Superfund CleanupRead more!

This year, Newark Riverfront Revival said farewell & hello to amazing staff.

After two-and-a-half years of dedicated service, Riverfront Coordinator Chris Caceres has brought his work to a close in order to pursue further project management career goals. Chris began as a Riverfront Intern in early 2012, just before the opening of Essex County Riverfront Park. His considerate communication, organizing skills & unstoppable hustle were critical to the success of everything that Newark Riverfront Revival has accomplished since then, from the first Newark Walks to the Water in 2012 to our first full season of over 60 events in 2014. From tour guiding to parade organizing to grant writing to house party prep, Chris carried many responsibilities with calm & fortitude. He leaves Newark Riverfront Revival a much stronger organization & we wish him the best in his future endeavors. 

This fall, after a citywide search, Newark Riverfront Revival named Marcy S. DePina as its first Program Director to lead citywide organizing & riverfront programming. Marcy, longtime Newark resident & speaker of four languages, brings over 15 years experience in production & marketing working with organizations including New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Kingdom of Morocco, United Nations, 92YTribeca, SOBs, Afropop Worldwide, Kriol Jazz Festival in Cabo Verde, Ebru TV & her own firm FORSA Media Group. Ms. DePina received her bachelors degree from Rutgers University in Music & Latin American Studies and has focused her career on markets including African & African diaspora, Portuguese & Spanish-speaking communities. Welcome Marcy!
Friends of Riverfront Park, a volunteer group of residents, meets monthly in the Riverbank Park Field House. This year, the group worked to organize riverfront events, raise funds & deal with park issues like maintenance & security. 
We couldn’t have had such a successful year without the generous contributions of our funders and supporters! Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Program, Victoria Foundation, EPA Urban Waters, Atlantic Federal Credit Union, Franklin Parker, Freddie Mac, Seidler Chemical Company & the Habitat Estuary Program for support.
 
Newark riverfront programs are funded by contributions from individuals, private & public organizations. Please consider making a donation today! Click here to donate by credit card or send a check or money order to "Ironbound Community Corporation" & mail to Newark Riverfront Revival c/o Marcy DePina, 920 Broad Street Room 112, Newark, NJ 07102.
Newark Riverfront Revival (NRR) aims to connect every Newarker to their river. Since 2008, NRR has organized for Newark’s riverfront by taking hundreds of people on boat and walking tours, hosting dozens of outreach events, organizing design education programs for youth, and staging a City Hall exhibition. Since 2012, NRR has worked with Essex County, the City of Newark, The Trust for Public Land, Ironbound Community Corporation, and other partners to build and program over 15 acres of riverfront parks, including a walking and biking trail, sports fields and courts, floating boat dock, riverfront boardwalk, playground and other settings for relaxation, picnics, exercise, and environmental education.
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