Home Culture Meet the Jersey City Resident Behind The Friends of Ferris Triangle Park Organization

Meet the Jersey City Resident Behind The Friends of Ferris Triangle Park Organization

by Via Rutkowski
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There are dozens of parks in Jersey City that come in many different shapes and sizes. A notable, triangle-shaped park is located at 250 Old Bergen Road: this is the 100-year-old park known as Ferris Triangle Park. This half-acre spot is in the heart of Jersey City’s Greenville neighborhood. This weekend, the Friends of Ferris Triangle Park organization will be hosting a lively family-friendly Earth Day Celebration on Sunday, April 28th from 2PM-5PM. Read on for more about Ferris Triangle Park, the upcoming Earth Day event, and the Jersey City resident behind the Friends of Ferris Triangle Park Organization.

About The Park

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Ferris Triangle Park was built over 100 years ago in 1919 and sits in the shape of a triangle due to its unique positioning amidst Old Bergen Road, Rose Avenue, and Cator Avenue. The passive park had been neglected and developed a bad reputation as a hotspot for multiple violent crimes. In 2021 major renovations were completed on the park that helped kickstart a new chapter along with the community attention brought to the area by an organization called Friends of Ferris Triangle Park. Since then, the park has transformed into a safe haven for children and their families thanks to the organization’s dedicated president and Greenville resident, Brett Miller.

Read More: Stevens Park: The Little Hoboken Park with a Big History

Friends of Ferris Triangle Park’s Role in the Community

In the fall of 2021 Brett’s late wife Natasha Arbelo started the Friends of Ferris Triangle Park organization. Since her passing in 2023, Brett has stepped in as president to keep Natasha’s legacy alive and spread love throughout the neighborhood that he and his daughter, Helena, still call home. They even planted a tree in her honor. “I get emotional talking about Triangle Park,” Brett told The Hoboken Girl. “My wife started it and I want to keep it going the way she would have wanted it.”

 

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After holding the first event in the fall of 2021, Brett and Natasha could feel the warmth of something special brewing. Brett said, “She (Natasha) was the one who had the charm! She was the one talking to people and welcoming them. She got people to donate food and a couple of local artists to help out. There were so many people! It was an incredible thing to witness.”

Since then, Friends of Ferris Triangle Park has overseen several free, fun-focused events with one goal: to bring neighbors closer together and create a safe space for children and families. The organization works hard to keep the park clean and fresh by weeding, gardening, cleaning up trash, and hosting events all on a next-to-nothing budget. The efforts are funded solely by Brett and the kindness of local volunteers. Brett told us about the challenges of getting savvy with small budgets saying he always finds a way to “do a lot with a little” and ensure everyone has a memorable time. He always thinks: “What would a kid want to do?”. Brett wants to ensure that the events at the park remain free of cost for everyone to enjoy. Though Ferris Triangle Park is one of the smallest in Jersey City, it certainly has no shortage of character or devotion.

 


 

About Friends of Ferris Triangle Park’s President, Brett Miller

Even before taking over as the president of the Friends of Ferris Triangle Park organization, Brett Miller had a special affinity for the great outdoors. He has been a gardener most of his life and has done it both as a hobby and a career. Brett spent nearly 10 years working in Central Park and giving tours to locals. He says, “I could talk about plants for hours!” Currently, aside from caring for Ferris Triangle Park, he continues to work closely with plants at Van Vleck House + Gardens in Montclair.

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His park involvement doesn’t stop at Ferris Triangle Park, either. He is also the Ward A Representative for the Jersey City Parks Coalition Open Space Trust Fund and attends meetings each month to further help the parks of Jersey City. He says, “I just want to see these parks become something.” Brett is also working on improving Gallagher Park, another “forgotten” space in the Greenville area.

In true alignment with his love for plants, Brett’s future plans for the park include hosting gardening classes that will not only be a great way to add more life to the park but also give children a safe and enriching activity to participate. He also plans to start a Memorial Garden. He told us how the act of planting something in memory of someone gives people a “sense of ownership” and connection to the community, noting “they can come back, water it, and see it grow”.

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Brett will continue to organize more exciting events to give kids a safe space to hang out outside of school and will continue to take valuable input from his neighbors. So far, he says: “The proof is in what we’ve done. I always ask for as much community input as possible. I don’t look at myself as separate from anyone else.” All of the park’s events have been a great success, especially their recent eclipse viewing that attracted over 100 attendees. Regardless of Brett’s success in the park, he remains grounded in his mission, exclaiming: “I’m just a normal dude! I rent, have a regular job, and my daughter goes to public school. I just take pride knowing I can do something good for people.”

See More: Verona Park: A Historical Gem in Essex County

Attending The Earth Day Event

On Sunday, April 28th from 2PM-5PM, Ferris Triangle Park invites friends and neighbors from all corners of Jersey City to participate in an afternoon full of art, fun, and community. Kids will also be able to make seed bombs to spread wildflowers. There will be tree-planting, courtesy of the Native Plant Society of NJ, hands-on activities with local artists Athena Toledo and Jelly’s Corner, plus another surprise guest. There will be free snacks and the event is open to people of all ages. Rain or shine, the celebration will commence with excitement.

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To get involved, volunteer, and stay in touch about future events, follow along with Ferris Triangle Park and Brett Miller on Instagram.

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