Creating the Modern Recreation Department Hoboken Deserves
Living in an urban city like Hoboken, opportunities to get outside and exercise are precious to all of us. Whether that means going for a jog in a park, competing in an organized sport or watching our kids play on a team, it all happens thanks to the Recreation facilities that give us the space we need to get active. Hoboken’s recreation department already runs some quality programs, but we deserve more than the traditional offerings of kids sports. A first-class city like Hoboken deserves a modern recreation department that uses major facility improvements, better technology and common sense to deliver an exceptional experience to all residents -- Team DeFusco will deliver on this promise.
A Place to Play All Year Round -- 1600 Park Soccer Dome
While recreation field space is at a premium all year, our city’s lack of facilities truly becomes a problem when the weather gets colder and our outdoor spaces become unusable. Why should we settle for that when there are better options at our disposal? We shouldn’t, which is why Team DeFusco is proposing a removable Soccer Dome at 1600 Park.
A removable dome would give our kids and adult leagues a place to play soccer all year round, creating more utility at 1600 Park which already has a newly-installed turf field thanks to Hudson County Open Space grants. The inflatable dome could be installed at the beginning of each winter, protecting the field from snow and ice and giving residents an opportunity to stay active, no matter what the forecast says.
Rebuilding the Crumbling Multi-Service Center
Hoboken residents deserve excellent recreation facilities, which is why it has been so frustrating to see the Multi-Service Center decline year after year. From the crumbling interior to the outdoor ice skating rink, the Multi-Service Center needs to be rebuilt in order for it to be a place where Hoboken residents can enjoy modern recreation programs.
Utilizing Technology to Facilitate Better Communication with Residents
Hoboken is one of the most technologically-savvy cities in the country, but residents still often have no other option but to show up to a recreation field trying to play, often only to be greeted by a crowd of people waiting or a locked gate. Why should a 21st century city only use technology right out of the 1980s? The answer is we shouldn’t, which is why the Team DeFusco is proposing technology and communications upgrades for our recreation department:
Creating a mobile app for all recreation programs that announces the opening and closing dates of registration and allows for electronic payment. In season, the app would display practice times, game schedules, game scores and standings, and communicate with parents about schedule changes or cancellations in real time.
Building a social media presence to promote our recreation programs to the masses. Working with the Housing Authority, Board of Education and private schools so all residents of Hoboken can be notified of schedule changes, new programs and more.
Assembling a recreation staff that is trained in communication, technology, and social media.
Creating a fair and transparent system for submitting and renting a city-owned facility, with an online submission that has order of priority as follows:
1. City Sponsored Event
2. Event with highest amount of Hoboken residents as participants
3. Non-Profit Event
4. For-Profit Event
Bringing More Common Sense to How Hoboken Recreation Operates
We all pay a lot to live in Hoboken, so why should we be locked out of sports facilities that are supported by our tax dollars? It’s time to make the Recreation Department put residents first.
Opening the gyms and fields up for open play for all residents including adults and youth, with set times each week where anyone can use the recreational spaces.
Hiring sport ambassadors for each sport here in Hoboken so we have expert leaders for each program. This will bring value to registrants and open direct lines of communication for parents in each particular sport and activity.
Working with the BOE to share facilities, including taking advantage of Hoboken High School’s gym for basketball, cheerleading, winter soccer, volleyball, etc., to allow teams to be smaller and kids to receive more instruction.
Separating the Director of Human Services and Director of Recreation positions.
Making needed safety upgrades to recreation facilities -- poor planning has led to hazardous situations such as unpadded steel posts and concrete curbs right at the boundary lines of playing areas, unshaded blacktop that reaches dangerous temperatures, and regularly forming pools of dirty standing water at our parks.
Inspiring Our Community and Our Kids
Sports have the power to ignite a lifelong passion in our kids for living an active lifestyle and taking some time away from screens and video games. At the same time, giving back and volunteering can be a great way for residents to feel like a part of the community, and we should be encouraging both of these outcomes.
Conducting yearly seminars for our youth and bringing in professional lecturers in fields like sports nutrition, sportsmanship and competitiveness, motivation, drug prevention, high school eligibility, college scholarships, daily organization, leadership, and more.
Developing a volunteer coaching program for all sports that the ambassadors can run coaches clinics with and enforce online training courses. Eliminate any parents that are verbally abusive to players and refs immediately