Growing Into A World-class Park

A Brief History and Future Direction

  • For a long time, The Reservoir sat unused and with an uncertain future.
  • Working together with Jersey City – Several years ago Jersey City joined the Reservoir Alliance in the vision of The Reservoir being used as a passive recreational park serving as a respite from the dense, urban environment that surrounds it.
  • Opportunity – The Reservoir offers a unique opportunity for city children, families, and individual citizens to reconnect with the natural world in a space that is entirely unique. This is a unique opportunity.
  • Hudson County Open Space Grant – A few years ago, Hudson County was generous in granting the City the funds to develop a Preservation Plan for the site.
  • RFP Process – Working hand-in-hand, the City and the Reservoir Alliance initiated an RFP process that attracted 19 proposals from many of the top preservation, engineering, and landscape architects around. These RFPs were thoroughly vetted, including several site visits to previous projects. The goal was to ensure the money was being spent wisely and with the most capable team possible. In the end, the project team selected included preservation architects John Milner Associates, landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, engineering firm Weidlinger Associates, and others.
  • This project has been completed and has produced extremely valuable guidance:
    • A Preservation Plan in the form of a Historic Structures Report which identifies all of the areas and issues affecting the site and recommends remedies.
    • A Nomination to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places which has been accepted and is awaiting a final signature. This will then be submitted to the National Register.
    • An inspiring Schematic Design (seen above) for the future that is focused on two important principles:
      1. Preserve the unique character of the site as an natural, wilderness oasis and resource and
      2. Increase the accessibility and usability of the site so that more citizens can enjoy the Reservoir in all it’s splendor.
    • The work history, preservation plan, and schematic design was presented and discussed at a public meeting in October with a good turnout of over 60 people.
    • In this vision, once the Reservoir redevelopment is complete, visitors will be able to:
      • hike around the site and circumnavigate between levels easily
      • kayak The Reservoir regularly from the new boathouse facility
      • conduct activities in the restored structures
      • picnic and relax on a new peninsula at the South end as well as additional land along the water’s edge.
      • fish from all around the site via newly created trails
      • conduct  educational activities and classes in a variety of locations including an outdoor classroom, the restored structures, or “in the field”.
  • The next stage is stabilization.The preservation plan identified a series of most critical issues needing attention. These are the issues that we hope to address with our grant application.
    • In particular, the Screenhouse needs immediate attention to prevent severe and potentially insurmountable deterioration. Also, the two gatehouses need immediate work to get them sealed and secured.
  • The future of the Reservoir has been envisioned. It is now up to us to meet that challenge. The Alliance will be an ongoing partner to the City, providing assistance in management, oversight, fundraising and planning.
  • Support the Reservoir

    The Reservoir Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are working to insure the future of the Reservoir while keeping it open to the public for free events and activities now. Your financial support helps make this possible.

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