Capital Park takes leap forward toward realization with $3 million appropriation

A part of New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2024 State Budget, $3 million has been allocated to realize an urban park in the shadow of the State House Building. Capital Park, which will one day serve to augment the public amenities of NJ’s historic State House, provides a crucially needed green space in the heart of our state’s civic core. This $3 million for the design and initiation of the park was left out of the $300 million the state budgeted and has already spent making needed improvements to the State House Building since 2018.

A focused campaign led by three notable state nonprofits —New Jersey Future, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters — articulated the need at budgetary hearings and through meetings with legislators for park funding to be allocated in this budgetary cycle to ensure renovations made to the physical State House building are matched by an investment into the adjacent public space. These groups were joined by hundreds of citizens and dozens of other local and regional groups committed to seeing the Capital Park move forward. Bound by a deep commitment to making New Jersey a more sustainable and accessible place for everyone, advocates continually voiced the benefits of a green space adjacent to our capital building to serve school groups, state workers, the general public, and Trentonians. As part of the campaign, advocates published and circulated an online petition seeking allocation of state funds to this endeavor, garnering over 800 signatures from individuals and organizations who share this sentiment and amplify the demand. These supporters, along with local community members, will be essential participants in shaping the future of this site and delivering an urban park to Trenton.

Allocation of funding in the FY2024 Budget for Capital Park was made possible by the sponsorship of the budget resolution by park champion Senator Shirley Turner. Partners in the State Legislature who joined Sen. Turner’s call for investment include Senators Troy Singleton (D-7), Bob Smith (D-17), Vin Gopal (D-11), Gordon Johnson (D-37), Brian Stack (D-33), Teresa Ruiz (D-29), Andrew Zwicker (D-16) and their partners in the lower house, Assemblymembers Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-15), Anthony Verrelli (D-15), and Joe Danielsen (D-17).

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