LINCOLN STATE PARK
Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey
273 acres


Directions:

Off Route 501 (Kennedy Boulevard), west of Jersey City.


History:

This park is the oldest and largest of Hudson County's parks.

1903 the Hudson County Park Commission was started to establish a system of county parks.

They began thinking of a park where Lincoln Park now stands. Most of the park's acreage consisted of the marshy and undeveloped woodlands along the city's western edge.

1907 Lincoln Park was begun. It was designed by landscape architects Daniel W. Langton and Charles N. Lowrie, active in the "City Beautiful" movement and was known as West Side Park.

Lowrie was the landscape architect for the Hudson County Park Commission for thirty years and designed several parks for the county's park system, such as the Stephen R. Gregg Hudson County Park in Bayonne.

c. 1909 --  the tennis courts at the southwest end of the park (Lincoln Park East) constructed.

1911 Beyond the entrance and Lincoln Memorial are two gazebos that flank a promenade that leads to a fountain. Sculptor Pierre J. Cheron designed the fountain; it is 53 feet high and was completed this year.

1930 the Jersey City Lincoln Associations on its sixty-fifth anniversary commissioned a statue of Abraham Lincoln. The seated Lincoln mounted on a pedestal, known as "Lincoln the Mystic" or "The Statesman," was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser. It is an example of heroic sculpture of Lincoln that appeared in the 1920s and 1930s.  (It is placed up the hill from the center entrance of the park at the corner of John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Belmont Avenue.)  At this time the name of the park was changed from West Side Park to Lincoln Park.

1930s  --  A tennis clubhouse, overlooking the lake, called The Lodge was built. Due to its distance from the tennis courts, the clubhouse failed to be used as intended. At one time the structure was used as the Summer Museum of the Jersey City Free Public Library. It was later leased to Ray Dillman who began the Casino-in-the-Park as a restaurant.

1990 (July 10) the Cheron fountain, decorated with water spouting frogs and allegorical figures, was restored by the county and rededicated.

(Source:  Carmela Karnoutsos, Jersey City Past and Present: Lincoln Park; http://www.njcu.edu/programs/jchistory/Pages/L_Pages/Lincoln_Park.htm)


Facilities: Two Parks in One

Lincoln Park is divided into Lincoln Park East and Lincoln Park West.

 

Lincoln Park East

(Kennedy Boulevard and extends to Truck Route 1&9 and lies between Communipaw and Duncan avenues)

A path on either side of the fountain takes one around the interior of the park's perimeter; picnic areas; tennis, Mayor Thomas F. X. Smith Basketball complex, soccer and running, Casino in the Park (weddings, banquets, parties) by the lake .

Lincoln Park West

runs along Truck Route 1&9 and adjoins the old Plank Road and the former swampland back to the Hackensack River, then called Glendale Woods. It lies between Communipaw Avenue/Truck Routes 1-9 and Duncan Avenue.

St. Peter's College athletic field, a baseball complex, commercial driving range, batting cages, a tidal pond and wetlands.


Habitats:

15-acre lake and two ponds; over 123 acres of undeveloped land.


Trails:

12/18/04.  Rosemary and her brother Cefe, and dog Sonar and I drove around the main fountain and saw two additional statues (one of a Union soldier in the Civil War and the other of a fireman.)  We passed by a lot of recreational areas and then crossed over the overpass over the road that cuts the park into two main parts, east from west, Truck Route 1-9.  We drove through the western part of the park the west end of the park by the St. Peter's College's Joseph J. Jaroschak Field. We parked by a path that headed into the Phragmites marsh.  The path takes the walker to several different points along the Hackensack River where they have a concrete wall holding the River waters at bay.  From one of the viewpoints I saw four different bridges crossing the River.  We did see a path heading off to the right, but did not follow it.  In certain sections the path was wet.  In the wettest area they had an ad-hoc boardwalk consisting of two huge beams connected with dilapidated plywood; it looks like it may have been a big sign that had fallen down.  Turned around and came back the way we went in.  Otherwise, the park seems to be a typical Hudson County Park, attractive but with little or no natural area.  We wondered why we did not see President Lincoln and so we tried heading uphill for two blocks or so from the fountain.  There we saw the seated Lincoln Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

8/12/2006.  My wife Rosemary and I returned to the park to take some pictures.  Saw a snapping turtle.  Patrick L. Cooney.

Saw a sign at one of the ponds saying "Hudson County Nature Trails at Lincoln Park."


PLANT LIST
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = in bloom on date of field trip, 8/12/2006


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple) planted
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven) lots
Betula nigra (river birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree)
Pinus strobus (white pine)  planted
Pinus thunbergii (Japanese black pine) planted
Platanus x hybrida (London plane) -- lots of it planted
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus spp. (oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Salix alba var. (weeping willow)
Silene latifolia (white campion)  *
Thuja occidentalis (arbor vitae)  planted
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Ulmus pumila (Siberian elm)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel bush)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) -- lots
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)

Vines:
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)
Sicyos angulatus (one-seeded cucumber)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Amaranthus sp. (amaranth)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)  *
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) 
Aster spp. (aster)
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chenopodium ambrosioides (Mexican tea)
Cichorium intybus (chicory)  *
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)  *
Commelina communis (Asiatic day flower)  *
Datura stramonium (jimson weed)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)  *
Eupatorium sp. (Joe Pye weed)
Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge) 
Galinsoga sp. (gallant soldiers)  *
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow)
Lepidium sp. (pepperweed)
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil)  *
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Oenothera biennis (common evening-primrose)  *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)  *
Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip)
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)   *
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 
Pluchea odorata (salt marsh fleabane)
Plantago major (common plantain) 
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)  *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed)  *
Polygonum pensylvanicum (Pennsylvania smartweed)  *
Polygonum sp. (knotweed)  *
Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed)  *
Portulaca oleracea (common purslane)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Sagittaria latifolia (broad-leaved arrowhead)
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel)  *
Silene sp. (campion)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)  *
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)  *
Solanum nigrum (white nightshade)  *
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Sonchus sp. (sow thistle)
Trifolium repens (white clover)  *
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) 
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)

Rushes:
Juncus tenuis var. tenuis (path rush)

Sedges:
Cyperus sp. (umbrella or nut sedge)
 

Grasses:
Andropogon gerardii (turkey claw grass)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Eleusine indica (zipper grass)
Elymus sp. (wild rye grass)
Lolium perenne (English rye grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass) the dominant plant in many of the areas
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)