WASHINGTON – In accordance with federal legislation that designated the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today announced and presented members of the newly-appointed Great Falls National Historical Park Advisory Commission. The commission was ratified by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar to guide the development of the national park.
“The members of this Commission are experienced individuals who represent our diverse community of, some with extensive background in historical preservation, and their input will be critical to developing this document,” said Pascrell, a lifelong resident and former mayor of Paterson. The congressman sponsored the legislation signed by President Barack Obama last year that designated the Great Falls historic district as a national park.
“While passing the legislation that established the park was a tough lift, we knew that it was only the first step down a long road for the Great Falls,” Pascrell said. “Now we need to come together as a community to transform the falls into what we all know it can become.”
The Paterson City Council, Passaic County Freeholders, and former Governor Jon Corzine all had input as to the composition of the advisory commission. Yesterday, Secretary Salazar officially appointed its members, who include
Dr. Leslie Agard Jones, former William Paterson University Dean of Education.
The Honorable Karen Brown, former Passaic County Clerk and Paterson municipal judge.
Dr. Susan Cole, President, Montclair State University. Cole has be an invaluable member of the community and through the Passaic River Institute has been involved with the Great Falls for some time now.
Mr. Pasquale Di Ianni, lifelong Passaic County resident and veteran. Di Ianni has long been involved in the community through the Paterson Boys Club band Kiwanis Club.
Mr. Robert F. Guarasci, Executive Director, NJ Community Development Corporation. Guarasci and NJDCD have been working with us on the Park for a long time, including running the Park Service’s Great Falls Youth Corps program, which just got up and running last week.
Mr. James Pepper a former National Park Service official with 30 years of experience at all levels of the NPS.
The Honorable Thomas Rooney, former Paterson mayor and councilman. Rooney knows this City better than anyone and he will be able to bring that great wealth of knowledge of its history and people to the commission.
Mr. Leonard Zax, President, Hamilton Partnership for Paterson. Zax has been involved in the creation of the park from day one and will surely be an incredible resource and advocate on the commission.
Created by the same legislation that added the Great Falls to the National Park System, the Advisory Commission will work closely with our Project Director, Bill Bolger, and advise him and the Secretary of the Interior on all aspects of the park, particularly the development of the General Management Plan (GMP).
The GMP is the key document that will guide the design of the park and its historical interpretation. It will be critical in developing the vision for the future of the park, not only the design and historical interpretation guidelines, but also its integration into the larger Historic District and interaction with the surrounding community.
The National Park Service is in the process of using the $500,000 that Rep. Pascrell secured in last year’s appropriations process to being hiring contractors to begin the work.