CARLSTADT (planned mall)
The Meadowlands Golf Center and Marina, Bergen County, NJ


Directions:

Located off Washington Avenue at the end of Paterson Plank Road on the Hackensack River.


The home port of the Hackensack Estuary and River Tenders group.

There is a large marina allowing the launch of boats.

The Mills Corporation (130 Wilson Blvd. Ste 400., Arlington, VA 22209), in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), announced its proposal to build New Jersey's largest mall. Environmentalists have opposed building the upscale shopping and entertainment complex because it would require filling more than 90 acres of marshland. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opposed it for the same reasons, then reversed itself as part of a federal endorsement of the complex engineered by the White House.

At the time of the European colonization, the Hackensack Meadowlands consisted of approximately 21,000 acres of wetlands, lowland forest and open waters. But now there only remains approximately 8,500 acres of wetlands and waters.

On July 27, 2000 Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) for the proposed "Meadowlands Mills" mega-mall was released by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE). There was a regulatory public hearing on Tuesday, August 29, 2000 at the Henry P. Becton Regional High School Auditorium, Paterson Avenue and Cornelia Street, East Rutherford, New Jersey 07073.

A second regulatory public hearing took place on Monday, September 25, 2000. Concerned parties read comments into the public record refuting the claims made by Mills in the DEIS.

2005 the Meadowlands Conservation Trust took full public ownership of the 587-acre Empire Tract.

The Virginia-based Mills Corporation proposed what would have been the biggest mall east of the Mississippi River. Meadowlands Mills, for the site.

Sources:

Hackensack Riverkeeper & NY/NJ Baykeeper, Mar. 25, 2005 A CRUCIAL 587-ACRE TRACT IS PRESERVED IN THE MEADOWLANDS. http://www.gsenet.org/tue.php#A%20Crucial%20587-Acre%20Tract%20Is%20Preserved%20in%20the%20Meadowlands


Marsh Resources Inc. (MRI) Meadowlands Mitigation Bank is operated is located on 206 acres of land in Carlstadt, Bergen County. They received credits to sell for tidal coastal wetland and open water enhancement activities as well as the establishment of upland islands. It is an Approved Mitigation Bank by the Wetlands Mitigation Council of NJ.
(http://www.nj.gov/dep/landuse/fww/mitigate/banks.html#bank7)


MOONACHIE

The field trip of the Club, on Saturday afternoon, June 19, in the surviving area of the swampy woods of the Hackensack Meadows, south of the Paterson Plank Road, near Moonachie, N.J., between Secaucus and Carlstadt, was exciting as well as interesting, for the small but doughty party reached the spot in machine-gun showers of hailstones as big as, well, cherries, and before entering the swamp, was driven to the shelter of an automobile by another fusillade from a thunderstorm, also with hail. After that it stopped raining, but it was so wet in the woods that it might as well have rained, as far as clothes were concerned.

This is one of the most interesting places for botanical study near New York, from which it is but six miles in a straight line, and is easily reached by bus or trolley via 23rd street ferry to North Hoboken, and along the Plank Road through Secaucus to Washington Avenue, in the southern part of Moonachie Township, three-quarters of a mile west of the Hackensack River Bridge.

It is surprising to find there Rhododendron maximum, as reported 52 years ago by Dr. N. L. Britton, although it is not in very healthy condition, much of it seems blighted and some has been damaged by boys picking the flowers to sell to motorists on the highway. Magnolia virginiana, the Laurel Magnolia, frequent here, suffers from the same vandalism, but seems to sustain it better. One sees specimens which have been pulled over to break flower clusters from their tops, and often the main trunks have been broken near the butt by this abuse, but they have mended themselves in a prone position and the lateral branches have grown upright an produced more blooms, again to be ravaged by the roadside flower sellers.

Chamaecyparis thyoides, the Southern White Cedar, which once covered hundred of acres in the Hackensack Meadows, is represented in this swamp by many large stumps three feet in diameter, probably cut 75 years ago or more, which must have been extraordinarily large specimens; by some smaller dead standing trees and by a very few small and unthrifty living trees; it does not seem destined to survive here much longer.

Some of the largest specimens of the poison sumac, Rhus vernix, I have ever seen with butts six inches in diameter, occur in this swamp. Most of the trees are Acer rubrum, but here and there are hummocks with more upland species, Fagus grandifolia, Sassafras variifolium, Quercus palustris and Prinus, even a few W alba, and Betula populifolia, the Gray Birch common in higher, dryer locations. The United States Geological Survey map shows the area in white but with no contour line, which indicated it is above hightide, but it cannot be more than a few feet.

The water in the ditches after the thunderstorms was flowing outward toward the salt marsh. The occurrence of Beech, Birch and Chestnut Oak suggests that it may have been drier than now, that it is sinking to tide level, either by a general sinking of the Atlantic Coast or by disturbances in the meadows due to diking and collapse of dikes years ago. Maianthemum canadense, and Aralia nudicaulis, which seem more like Hudson Highland species than inhabitants of a swamp so near tide, also occur among the beeches and birches. Mr. James L. Edwards, of Montclair, who knows the swamp well and assisted our leader, Mr. W. Lincoln Highton, has found Coptis trifolia, the Goldthread, a northern plant, found but rarely in the Highlands, in the Moonachie locality.

The commonest shrub is Vaccinium corymbosum, the swamp blueberry, which makes these woods a resort for pickers in late summer. It is so dense that some have been lost and a few years ago tow berry pickers could not get out for two days. Amelanchier canadensis was in fruit, pleasant to the taste. Some Ilex verticillata survives.

Two species of the Chain Fern, Woodwardia virginica and areolata, are both common in this swam, which is not often the case north of the moraine. The Massachusetts fern, Thelypteris simulata; Marsh, Thelypteris palustris; New York Fern, Thelypteris noveboracensis; Osmunda regalis, cinnamomea and O claytoniana; and the Sensitive fern, Onoclea sensibilis are plentiful. A little spinulose spleenwort, Aspidium spinulosum, was found on a dry spot. Mosses were not numerous in species, the only ones noticed being Sphagnum, Leucobryum, Aulacomnium (probably, capsules immature), and an infertile, uncertain Hypnum. Lichens were not common, at least at this time; they may be better defined at other seasons. Cladonia incrassata, sterile, was found on overturned stumps, and C. cristatalla, f vestita, was found fruiting in one place. It looks as if it might be a good place for Slime Moulds later in the summer.

Artificial disturbance of the flora is apparent where a new fill for a road to a bridge now being built across the rive, south of Secaucus, cut along the eastern border of the swamp woods. Here the Roman Wormwood, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, was dense along the slope of the fill and the nearby mosquito ditches. Another plant appearing adventive on the raw fill built only two or three years ago, but native, was Geranium carolinianum.

Raymond H. Torrey