Paterson Vista Park

BACKGROUND: In 2016, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (NJDEP) Green Acres Program acquired 8.4 acres of vacant land on the cliff overlooking the City of Paterson and Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park (GFNP). This acquisition assures the use of the property as public open space in perpetuity.  It creates a continuous network of publicly-owned land along the plateau on the north side of the river, extending from the Great Falls to Ryle Avenue. The purpose of the Green Acres purchase is to permanently protect the GFNP and the Great Falls National Historic Landmark District (NHL) from negative visual impacts that private development would have. This is the largest parcel of dedicated public open space established in Paterson since the city's purchase of Eastside and Westside Parks in the 1880s!

Vista Pano 2Although the property will remain under the ownership and overall management of the NJ Division of Parks & Forestry, the City of Paterson has entered into a special use agreement to make plans and redevelop the park. Over the next few years, the City of Paterson, the State of NJ, County of Passaic, the National Park Service and others will work in partnership on plans and redevelopment of the new park as a hilltop destination for quiet recreation in a natural setting, such as walking, jogging, scenic enjoyment, while also offering opportunities for small social gatherings and children's play, special events, exhibitions, and school educational use.

The park is now open to the public on a limited basis, offering city residents and visitors an opportunity to experience dramatic views of the city, the national park, and even the Manhattan skyline.

MASTER PLANNING FOR PATERSON'S NEWEST PARK: During 2017-18, a Vista Park Planning Team composed of public agency partners was established. Team members included staff members from the City of Paterson, the County of Passaic, NJ State Parks, the National Park Service, Paterson Public Schools, the Ramapough Lunaape Nation and other non-profit community organizations. A professional design team composed of landscape architects and planners, hired through the National Park Service, assisted the Vista Park Planning Team to develop four alternative concepts for the future use and management of Vista Park. To develop several alternative designs for of the park,  the architects gathered necessary background information, met with partners individually, facilitated planning workshops will the full planning team, and synthesized their  input. The results were put together into a document called a Master Plan. The master plan for the park is much like a road map that describes the changes that need to be made and where the funding might come from. It describes topically how to get from here to there.

Vista Park LogoTo DOWNLOAD a summary of the Master Plan, please click here!

Master Plan Cover Page

To DOWNLOAD a copy of the master plan, click here!


The preliminary master plan offers four alternative concepts for the park, illustrated below. We encourage you to study the concepts and think about what you would like to see happen at the park.

We ask you to let us know which alternative you like the best out of all four.

Please share your thoughts with us! 

Vista Park Common

Vista Park Concept 1

Vista Park Concept 2

Vista Park Concept 3