JERSEY CITY NJ - Large white egrets launch from the water side, while geese, ducks and many other birds cruise the shoreline. This is, indeed, Jersey City.

Perhaps the most iconic public spaces in Jersey City – Reservoir #3 –is now reopened for self-guided recreation on Sundays, from noon until 4:00 p.m.

The Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance said visitors can access the environmental preserve at the Jefferson Avenue Gate on the South side of the reservoir but must comply with guidelines for COVID-19 safety.

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Visitors must wear a mask or face shield. HealthierJC will provide masks and hand sanitizer on site if requested. The number of visitors will be limited. The city, however, has not yet opened the park for fishing or kayaks.

The reservoir, now a nature preserve, was constructed just after the Civil War in 1870 to accommodate the city’s growing need for freshwater, pumping water from the Passaic River. This practice ceased around 1910 when the city purchased a cleaner source of water in Boonton, which remains the primary source of drinking water for the city. 

The reservoir largely went unused until early 2000s when the Reservoir Alliance began to see it as a viable urban environmental resource, it’s now iconic large stonewalls making way for a space the size of several city blocks between Summit and Central Avenues that seems like a lost world filled with wildlife and fauna. 

It has undergone a transformation from an eyesore where rubble and graffiti once scarred the acreage to what a recent press release issued by the Jersey City Reservoir Alliance described as the “hidden jewel of Jersey City.” 

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