Today’s post highlights three parks with a different history and background than in previous posts. I want to be clear that this post will be shorter in length, not because of a lack of importance (it’s actually the contrary), but because I think the work speaks for itself. The three parks I am discussing today were formed by the people of Newark. These long forgotten parks were reclaimed by the same Newarkers who now use and steward these parks. Jesse Allen Park, Nat Turner Park, and Mildred Helms Park, were all initiatives led by the community and with the support of the city of Newark and The Trust for Public Land’s Parks for People program, were restored, based on what those communities wanted from their parks. To give every detail of every park, or some chronology of the work, does not evoke its importance to the families, schools, seniors, and other community members who helped create the park, but also help keep it clean and safe for posterity. So, I ask that when you find a free afternoon, or you have a lunch date cancelled, to head to Jesse Allen Park, Nat Turner Park, and Mildred Helms Park and get to know the parks, and with it, the people of Newark.

Mitsu Yasukawa/The Star Ledger

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