October 2, 2013

Open Letter to Governor Chris Christie On Behalf of Washington Crossing Park

Dear Governor Christie:

I applaud your efforts on behalf of the shore, but I am writing about New Jersey’s significantly historic Washington Crossing Park. I wish to “rock the boat” and ask that you give attention to this treasure in the State’s Park system, which needs your help and that of your administration.

The state park is our side of Washington’s famous “Crossing” of the Delaware. Using boats from up and down the Delaware, Washington and his army left Pennsylvania in 1776 and landed here and then moved on to Trenton. The Johnson ferry house, used by Washington and his staff, is still here. The Swan Collection of American Revolutionary War artifacts is here. It is the annual site of New Jersey’s History Fair. But the museum and its various structures are in desperate need of repair and the park itself needs major attention.

The park also has a great nature center, meadows, and trails for hiking, but many of the trails were affected by Hurricane Sandy and are still blocked. The historic family pavilions are also in rough shape along with park amenities like foot bridges, picnic tables, and bathrooms.

The park needs a “Friends” group to help, but it also needs a big push from the DEP. A “Friends” group is what I am in the process of forming to assist this beautiful park in its return to its former glory.

Your DEP Head Bob Martin has made numerous references to historic tourism and a relationship between the State and “Friends” groups. I hope to find out that he meant what he said and that includes what he said on your behalf.

Respectfully and wishing for your help to “Rock the Boat.”

Joe Carney

Organizer, Washington State Park Friends