The wealthy and powerful have been making an assault on the Public Commons all over the U.S. Learn how one coalition of environmentalists is fighting to preserve a special, beautiful and historic park.
LSP's Caven Point is a "significant natural resource" (NJDEP, 1984), a priceless and irreplaceable urban Natural Area, a "Migratory Bird Habitat and Nesting Area" on the Atlantic Flyway, and an urban science education STEM resource for over 600 students annually, and a peaceful oasis for urban and all visitors.
Our guest, Sam Pesin of Friends of Liberty State Park, has been working to protect Liberty State Park, picking up from his parents' initiative in the founding of this beautiful oasis and important part of the ecosystem of our metro area.
Billionaire Paul Fireman stated that he is no longer interested in expanding his ($500,000-entry-fee) private golf course into Caven Point (a land grab that ignored the destruction of the sanctuary for the migrating and nesting birds and people who love nature), but, he funded a group to attack The Protection Act and supported a bill, just signed by the governor, to create a task force to make recommendations for the park’s future. Noticeably missing from the fast-tracked bill is any protection for Caven Point or any limits on for-profit, fee-based development anywhere in the Park. Mr. Fireman focuses on squeezing in fee-based entertainment venues in the planned natural area—unlike the public’s vision of keeping the park “free and green” with active recreation areas and a focus on the green space so rare in bustling urban centers.
Billionaires and their political friends have been systematically reducing and privatizing public parks, natural areas and other aspects of the Public Commons. An environmental assault must not be ignored
The Star-Ledger in Dec. 2021 ended its editorial with this: “John Muir also had it right, more than a century ago, when he wrote that any fool can cut down a tree. It takes a leader to save it.” Is Gov. Murphy that leader?