The Summer season brings change in so many of our lives, and as the summer has quickly moved upon us, our kids finish yet another year of schooling, while our high school graduates prepare themselves for the next chapter of their lives. With Summer comes the warm weather making it just a bit easier to balance work and play.
Our events committee team works to provide many opportunities for you to make the most of the “longest days” of the year. Whether it is an organized walk for our residents at Century Field, a refreshing cool down for our youngest residents at the splash park, or a picnic in a park while listening to a free concert, Garfield provides a variety of events for all types of people. It's not easy for all of us to be able to get away this summer, so please make Garfield your first choice for family fun this summer. This events committee continues to work diligently by not only organizing, but also by shining a spotlight on the many community gatherings and events planned this summer. We look forward to seeing you, and your families, at some of the events this summer. May the days be long and list of problems short as we all enjoy the next few months.
You may have noticed many students and families walking around the city in green shirts on June 8th, and that is because the Clean Communities Committee had their annual “Slam Dunk the Junk” city-wide clean-up. There was a tremendous turnout of residents, who were also able to enjoy a city-wide BBQ which was held for all participants immediately following.
Looking forward, June 15th through the 17th is a busy weekend for Garfield, as the Vistula Soccer Club, in conjunction with the Garfield Recreation Center, is hosting a 100-team soccer tournament. Teams from all over the east coast will be displaying their competitiveness and talents on our fields.
Also; on June 15th is a “Juneteenth Celebration” in honor of the Garfield Colored Giants 70th Year Jubilee of North Jersey Semi-Pro League Baseball Championship; this long, overdue celebration will take place in Century Field and will have an honorary monument dedication acknowledging the courageous Garfield Colored Giants from yesteryear.
Phase 2 for the River Roadway Park Improvement is waiting for one more approval before construction can get underway. You may have noticed PSEG paving our city roads and finishing up a much overdue cosmetic face lift in front and behind City Hall. Once complete, we will then re-pave the City Hall Parking lot.
Just because something isn't happening in Garfield right now, doesn’t mean it won't happen. Unfortunately, due to a process in bidding, the work in our Neighborhood Revitalization Street Scape Project on Passaic Street has been delayed, but the work should take place sometime in October. Some good news regarding the Passaic Street area is that the train trestle was re-painted and a grant from the community policing provided new landscape by train station.
They say, “Good things come to those who wait, but better things come to those who do,” and the City Council has been looking into how to properly redevelop Columbus Field, with Columbus Field being the most viable land in Garfield. Our city Engineer has prepared three drawing for Columbus Field, one with a splash park, outdoor theater, walking and running track, swing sets, handicap area, and picnic grounds. The second has all the above without a splash park but will have a large pagoda station in the center of the field, a fenced in baseball field, a track around the baseball field, and the outdoor theater is the third design. The addition of basketball courts was proposed for all three concepts near the parking lots. We are still looking into other concepts and designs, and Columbus field will be redeveloped for all residents to use.
With unexpected delays, our long-awaited police station is finally finishing up. We are crossing our finger for a Mid-July move in date.
Summer Concert Series starts on July 3rd with Johnny Cash and the Patriotic Tribute Band at 7PM in Century Field. Grab a blanket or chair and join us on the lawn followed by our firework show. All are welcome to join us for our annual Independence Day firework Celebration. Independence Day starting at 6pm. complete with food trucks, live music, DJ games, and of course fireworks.
Finally, the Garfield Free Public Library’s summer reading program is in full swing and is offering a wide range of books, programs, and activities geared to all ages.
So, on behalf of myself, Deputy Mayor Joe Delaney, Councilwomen Erin Delaney, Councilmen Frank Calandriello and Lou Aloia, and our City Manager Tom Duch, we would like to wish all Garfield Residents and their families a happy and healthy summer.
Richard “Riggs” Rigoglioso