New children’s park at Kearny Library will be named for mayor

A look at part of the new children’s park at the main branch of the Kearny Public Library. It will be dedicated Sept. 14 to honor Mayor Alberto G. Santos. Photo by Joshua E. Humphrey

Often times, when a building, street, park, etc., is named for someone, it’s done posthumously. But in this case, the new children’s park at the Kearny Public Library will be named for someone who is alive, well and thriving.

The new space on the Garfield Avenue side of the main branch of the library — 318 Kearny Ave. — will be dedicated to Mayor Alberto G. Santos with a special ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 5:30 p.m. The outdoor space was mostly funded by a donation from River Terminal Development.

It’s actually one of three projects Library Director Joshua E. Humphrey says River Terminal funded to fruition.

“We were able to make a floor plan of our original 1907 main building and, afterward, complete three large-scale projects: a new Teen Room, a lower-level Media Room and an outdoor Children’s Park on our grounds located near the corner of Garfield Avenue and Chestnut Street,” Humphrey said.

And, Humphrey says, none of this would be possible if not for the collaboration of so many, especially Santos.

“The Kearny Public Library has been, in many ways, one of the luckiest libraries in the state over the past decade,” Humphrey said. “We have not only enjoyed the dedication of a wonderful board of trustees and staff, but we have also had a collaborative and positive relationship with our Town Council and devoted, longstanding Mayor Alberto Santos.”

And because of that collaboration, Humphrey was able to set a vision a decade-plus ago for making the library a true community center.

And it’s been Mission Accomplished ever since. And because of the support he got along the way from the mayor et al, a decision was made to honor him for that special support.

“The board and staff of the KPL could not think of a more fitting turn of events, a way to permanently honor one of our very best, and largely unspoken, community champions,” Humphrey said of Santos. “We are so thrilled that this building, which has seen over 100 years of Kearny history, will now bear the marks of both River Terminal Development, a partner that has helped put us on a course to achieve some amazing goals, and our illustrious mayor, whose leadership and intelligence have been, to our building.”

The dedication Sept. 14 will include light refreshments, musical entertainment and more.

Humphrey says he hopes many will come out to honor Santos and to see all of the improvements made to the library over the last decade or so.

“We hope that all will join us in celebrating this new outdoor children’s program space and naming it in honor of Mayor Santos,” he said.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.