Open Says-a-he or Says-a-she.

Either Mayor Reed Gucciora or Recreation Director Maria Richardson opened the gates at Cadwallader Park to allow traffic.

Guests can now access the indoor oval picnic and barbecue areas without having to park in the remote parking lot and then trek several hundred yards with charcoal, coolers and other party supplies.

“Yes, it’s open to traffic,” said the guard. “You can stop by. Park near the picnic tables. Barbecue. Sit down.”

A brief update notes that several fixed gates have been installed to control the flow of traffic and people at the popular West Trenton park.

While the gates near the outer loop of the park remain closed, an open blockade allows traffic to reach the pavilion. Motorists should then turn back towards Ellarsley Mansion. Vehicles may exit near Maple Ave.

The new installation, not announced by the administration, brings visitors closer to the site.

Still, the damage was done. Recently, on a beautiful summer day, not a single child appeared on the playground, although an adult and a child headed in that direction.

While Frederick Law Olmsted designed parks to attract people to the outdoors and to integrate blacks and whites, although he recognized the latter as superior beings who could help the former raise their game of human social evolution, Trenton remains a city divided by class , and color.

Olmsted saw parks as ideal for people who wanted to escape negative situations. The gates, installed under the cover of Covid and without public participation, kept visitors away.

As is typical of many politicians, city officials lacked the audacity to admit this dangerous wrong turn.

The U.S.’s ugly history began with the land grab and extermination of Native Americans and continued with the acquisition of black-owned farmland. Black farmers once owned roughly 20 million acres of farmland in the early 1900s, an amount that has fallen by 90 percent today.

Land matters, whether it’s for farming or just for reasonable access.

Anne Neal Petrie, president and CEO of the Olmsted National Parks Association, notes in an email interview ( with Wendy Bowman,

“While its physical landscapes are a remarkable legacy, the values ​​behind them are equally important. Olmsted understood that the thoughtful design and planning of parks and public spaces has a powerful social, environmental, economic, and health impact on the lives of individuals and communities.”

Bowman added that once mostly owned only by the wealthy, public parks and public spaces, Olmsted believed, were “democratic spaces” that belonged to all Americans.

“He believed that well-designed and maintained parks and landscapes had the power to unify and strengthen communities, providing a place of recreation and rejuvenation for all, regardless of class, wealth or ethnicity,” says Petrie. “Long before science validated his views, he understood the power of parks to promote public health by reconnecting people with nature.

“In many ways he was a social reformer, realizing that landscape could improve mental and physical health at a time when cities were dirty, crowded and unhealthy,” she adds. “He called the parks the ‘lungs of the city’ because they were created as recreational spaces for the city’s residents.

These parks, especially in dirty, crowded and unhealthy areas of Trenton, lose their power when unnecessary restrictions limit access and mobility.

Worse, Trentonians know firsthand the potential for political dangers when decision-making processes lack transparency.

While the Cadwalader Park playground lacks visitors, the playground at George Page Park saw dozens of children on the many pieces of equipment.

The GPP looked inviting and inviting with the grass cut even though the quad racers were buzzing around the nearby sports field.

Back at Cadwalader Park, one worker on the mowers was trying to maintain the 100 acres. No employee has a chance to win the Battle of Trenton.

Maintained and patrolled, this Olmsted gem is the perfect destination for guests who want to enjoy the outdoors.

Visitors must comply with regulations regarding noise, parking, alcohol, littering, etc.

Enjoy the park. Mr. Olmsted would like to know that his beautiful creation remains accessible to all.

L.A. Parker is the Trentonian columnist. Find him on Twitter @LAParker6 or email him at

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