In 2011 myself and several other residents
wanted to be more civically engaged and spoke to South Ward Councilman George
Muschal and South Ward CPAC President Christine Donohue about Civic
Associations in our area.We attended
TCCA-Trenton Council of Civic Associations meetings and began the process to
create our own association.This was
done under the organizational model that neighbors who live closer together
would have similar concerns and therefore be more united regarding a particular
Later that year FPNEBA-Franklin Parks Northeast
Block Association was formed and recognized by TCCA at it’s Annual Dinner.
FPNEBA members decided one of our areas of
focus would be to address the cleanliness and maintenance of Franklin Park,
making it more appealing and accessible to adults and children.We contacted several people in the applicable
City of Trenton departments and positions about our concerns and desires.We were told the City had staffing issues and
budget restrictions that would limit the ability to have our concerns
addressed.It was suggested that we
could handle the maintenance ourselves.
Shortly after as we began organizing, Supervisor
James Mack and I met at Franklin Park and walked throughout.I was specifically told what was and was not
acceptable to do regarding our efforts.One item specifically was to not remove any shrubbery, trees, plants or
flowers from the root.Trimming was
allowed and encouraged however removal would violate City Law and responsible
parties would be subject to disciplinary action.It was also necessary to obtain a permit to
clean the park.
Since that time FPNEBA and several
organizations like the Mercer County SLAP Program, CARETRENTON, Franklin Park
Civic Association, Trenton Bicycle Modification Association and others have
worked on a regular basis as volunteers to maintain the park.
After Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 several
trees in Franklin Park were damaged and in need of trimming or removal if the
tree was deemed unhealthy.At least 4
trees were listed as damaged, unhealthy or dead and were trimmed to the point
that they resemble “totem poles.”I was
told that the City does NOT have the ability to “grind stumps” therefore the
“totem pole” look of the dead trees would have to stay.As of December 2014 the “totem pole” trees
were in the same state.
The ~35 foot evergreen tree was taken from Franklin
Park not Villa Park.Franklin
Park is 1 of 2 parks in Trenton NJ designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, arguably
known as the founder of Landscape Architecture.He also designed Prospect and Central Park’s in NYC, The Lawrenceville
School and several others.