Restoration of the Reservoir

Why is there construction at the Reservoir?

After 15 years of fighting for Jersey City Reservoir #3 to become a protected public green space, at long last the City of Jersey City received funding to support this project and began in 2020. Unfortunately, the initial Site Safety Improvements Plan put into motion by the City were detrimental to the historic and natural character of the Reservoir. Understandably we and a huge portion of the Jersey City community and beyond advocated strongly against this plan. 

We presented alternatives, not all of which were accepted, but enough that we were able to come to a compromise with the City, who have since folded us into discussions as primary stakeholders and advisors. Following a groundbreaking, the Reservoir closed to the public in April 2021, which was addressed in our open letter here.

In an effort to encourage accountability, we will keep this page updated with major news regarding the restoration.

What are we doing about it?

The Site Safety Improvements Plan was originally slated to be completed in December 2021, but it has been delayed due to complications regarding much-needed structural repairs to the perimeter wall. 

The excavation we were most concerned about did result in damage to the wall and removal of more trees than we had agreed upon. We addressed this immediately with the City and demanded repairs as well as a more extensive planting plan by SumCo Eco-Contracting. This puts the restoration of the habitat and preservation of the shaded hiking spaces on the upper perimeter back by at least a decade, and we are tirelessly advocating for this to be rectified as quickly as possible.

The fence and lampposts we successfully changed in design from the City’s original contemporary style choice, and though they stand out severely now, we expect to virtually disappear into the scenery once the plants have retaken their habitat. 

As of now we are unsure when the site will be publicly accessible. The next phase of the project, restoration of the Screen House (southeast tower), is slated to start in September. 

If you would like to be a part of advising this work as a volunteer or donor, please reach out to the Design & Infrastructure Committee through our contact form here.