BASF breaks ground on East Newark Riverfront Park
Restoration project will provide valuable environmental benefits and community gathering space
FLORHAM PARK, NJ, August 12, 2022 — The community of East Newark, New Jersey, will soon have its first community park. BASF and the Borough of East Newark today hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to announce the construction of the East Newark Riverfront Park, a five-acre property along the banks of the Passaic River.
BASF will convert the former industrial property into the park, which will include green space with a variety of options for recreational use and support the wellbeing of the community. The park will also have wildlife habitats, something rare in dense urban areas. BASF expects to complete the project in two years.
“We’re pleased this property will be restored and returned to the community as a multi-use ecological space,” said Tobias Dratt, President, BASF North America. “Converting the vacant property to a park will benefit the environment and allows the public to connect with the waterfront by opening many new possibilities for recreation, learning and community engagement.”
The ceremony was attended by community leaders and residents, federal, state and local elected officials, representatives from federal and state regulatory agencies, and BASF executives.
The project was made possible through coordination and support of the federal natural resource trustees -- the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- as well as the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Borough of East Newark.
“This new park will enhance the community and improve quality of life for residents and wildlife,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “The park will bring residents together and allow families to reconnect and enjoy recreation and nature. I thank Mayor Dina Grilo for her leadership and ensuring this project gets off the ground.”
Construction of the park is the first of its kind early restoration settlement agreement between BASF and the federal natural resources trustees to mitigate obligations associated with natural resource damages resulting from legacy contamination.
“As a result of cooperative efforts by BASF and the state and federal governments, the community of East Newark can look forward to restored natural resources that will increase the area’s biodiversity for migratory birds and pollinators, help manage stormwater runoff, improve water quality in the Passaic River and enhance quality of life for residents,” said Shawn M. LaTourette, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Once completed, the park -- designed to support biodiversity -- will be home to pollinator gardens, meadow and wooded areas and native grasslands. This will provide important habitat to migratory birds, bats, butterflies, and small mammals. In addition, recreational features will offer opportunities for the public to walk or bike along the riverfront and enjoy a natural setting for socializing.
“I am honored to join the residents of East Newark as we celebrate today’s BASF groundbreaking. The East Newark Riverfront Park is a welcome addition to the many beautiful parks and attractions that the Garden State has to offer,” said Tammy Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey. “This park will serve as a gathering place for the community of East Newark and all those who visit this historic city. This project has been years in the making and I look forward to enjoying it upon completion.”
Creating and conserving natural habitats in community parks helps to sustain nature, even in the most populated urban areas, and play a key role in furthering sustainable initiatives aimed at protecting and enhancing the environment.
In addition to its many environmental and social benefits, the park will support East Newark’s efforts to enhance open spaces and create economic benefits associated with urban parks.
“The new park will be a significant benefit to our community, and I am excited to celebrate its progress at today’s groundbreaking,” said Dina Grilo, Mayor of East Newark. “Very soon, this new open space will add countless benefits to our vibrant community by offering our residents and their families a safe place to gather, have fun, enjoy nature and so much more.”
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 16,700 employees in North America and had sales of $25.9 billion in 2021. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.com/us.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €78.6 billion in 2021. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.