Mayor Lora Set to Rejuvenate Dundee Island Park

City of Passaic is cleaning up parks system


Bryan Perez

Dundee Island Park is closed for construction while it is being cleaned up and combined with Pulaski Park.

By Bryan Perez, Staff Reporter

  • (UPDATED with new information, April 18.)

A new jewel soon will be added to the Passaic City collection. 

Dundee Island Park, one of Passaic’s many parks, is set to be renovated and become the city’s first riverfront park, along the banks of the Passaic River. The renovations will include athletic fields, picnic areas, playgrounds, and walking trails.

For years, a set of abandoned train tracks have divided the land. The abandoned tracks have been a hotspot for prostitution, drug dealing and the homeless. The plan to rejuvenate the area includes uniting Pulaski Park and Dundee Island, and the new development has removed trash such as bottles cans, needles, and old clothing.

City officials hope the renovation will foster wildlife growth for species of turtles and fish. 

Passaic Mayor Hector C. Lora said the development at Dundee Island would “activate recreational space in an area that historically has not received the same attention as other parks.” 

The goal is to finish the development by October of 2020 [Ed. note: updated], said Mayor Lora, in hopes of “recapturing the riverfront and providing new opportunities, including fishing, boating, kayaking, as well as expanding opportunities with a new soccer field, a riverfront walk, and entertainment areas such as an amphitheater, as well as special pathways for running, skating, and cycling.”

Mayor Lora said that since the beginning of his political life, first, as a councilman in Passaic, then as the Director of the Passaic County Freeholder Board in 2015, and now as Mayor, he has dreamed of getting this park redeveloped. 

“The park will consist of additional green areas and trees that provide shade and oxygen that assist the environment,” Mayor Lora said. 

The students of Passaic Preparatory Academy agree.

“I think this will be a positive thing for Passaic’s youth to experience,” said Amy Zarebczan, Passaic’s Deputy Mayor of Youth and Student Council President at Passaic Prep. 

The price tag for this renovation and rejuvenation is $12 million. The project is expected to transform the blighted area downtown referred to as the Eastside into the first-ever riverfront park in the history of Passaic County, a county named after a river, the Mayor noted.

“Open space is one of a municipality’s greatest assets, and this project would expand these areas,” he said. “The City of Passaic has been blessed with over 100 acres of parkland in a municipality that is only 3.2 square miles. These spaces should be cultivated into amenities for our community.”