LOSEN SLOTE CREEK PARK
Little Ferry, Bergen County, New Jersey
28 acres


Directions:

From the north:
Take Rt. 17 South to Moonachie Avenue Exit. At top of ramp, turn left onto Moonachie Avenue. Proceed straight on Moonachie Avenue to Moonachie Road (George's Restaurant on corner). Turn left onto Moonachie Road and continue for approximately 2 miles. Turn right onto Washington Avenue. Make a third right onto Mehrhof Road. Proceed to DPW facility on right. Park is adjacent to DPW facility.

From the south:
Take Rt. 17 North to Moonachie Avenue Exit. At top of ramp, turn right onto Moonachie Avenue. Proceed straight on Moonachie Avenue to Moonachie Road (George's Restaurant on corner). Turn left onto Moonachie Road and continue for approximately 2 miles. Turn right onto Washington Avenue. Make a third right onto Mehrhof Road. Proceed to DPW facility on right. Park is adjacent to DPW facility.

Or from New York:

Head west over the George Washington Bridge. Follow the signs for Route 46 west; cross over the bridge over the Hackensack River; follow the traffic circle on the other side of the bridge about 3/4 the way around (equivalent of a left turn) and head down Bergen Turnpike to a right turn onto Washington Avenue; turn left onto Mehrhof Road (by Silvana's Fine Italian Cuisine Restaurant). Head down the road and turn right onto Crescent Road (just before the Department of Public Works) and park in the big parking area.

Head along the Bergen County Utilities Authority fence (just left of the jungle gym) to the park entrance.


History:

1768  --  Losen Slote was part of the extensive plantation of Captain John Berry, an early Meadowlands landowner whose name lives on in Berry’s Creek. At that time the area was a semi-wilderness of cedar swamps, cattails and wet woodlands.

18th century  --  salt hay was harvested from the tidal portions of the site by local farmers for animal bedding and ice storage.

There is more upland area today because of the efforts to dike and drain the site. (Source: John R. Quinn; http://www.hmdc.state.nj.us/news/1998/letter31.html)

1990  --  The park was protected in 1990 via an agreement between the town and the HMDC. It has a 2-acre children's playground along with a regulation-size roller hockey rink.

1991  --  the tract was developed as an educational and recreational resource by the HMDC and maintained by the borough of Little Ferry.

There are clearings used for outdoor classrooms.

This park is adjacent to the Bergen County Utilities Authority Nature Preserve.

The sole remaining remnant of lowland forest in Bergen County along with meadows. Also here is Mehrhof Lake and the impounded Losen Slote Creek.


Trails:

The Meadows Path will comprise a 22 mile trail following the western bank of the Hackensack River from Losen Slote Creek Park to Kearny Marsh and then east to Saw Mill Creek W.M.A. At its northern terminus in Little Ferry, the path will connect with the Sierra Club's Hackensack River Pathway -- it will parallel the west bank of the river north to Oradell.


PLANT LIST:
Naomi Dicker and Karl Anderson

Plants noted during a botanical inventory for the HMDC by Naomi Dicker and Karl Anderson, in September-October 1991. Scientific nomenclature is generally per Gleason & Cronquist, Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada - Second Edition. (New York Botanical Garden, 1991). English names from a variety of sources.

Note: species frequency is somewhat subjective, but for this list, an uncommon species is one with 10 or fewer plants on the site; a fairly common species between 10 and 50; a common species between 50 and 100 plants; and a very common species has over 100 plants on the site.


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple) (common; a dominant species)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple) (uncommon)
Albizia julibrissin (mimosa) (uncommon)
Betula populifolia (gray birch) (fairly common)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut) (one struggling specimen)
Ilex opaca (American holly) (uncommon)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet gum) (fairly common; wet woods)
Liriodendron tulipifera) (tulip tree) (uncommon)
Pyrus malus (apple) (uncommon)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple) (uncommon)
Nyssa sylvatica (sour gum) (fairly common; wet woods)
Populus canescens (gray poplar) (one large tree)
Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood) (uncommon)
Populus grandidentata (big-toothed aspen) (uncommon)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) (uncommon)
Prunus serotina (black cherry) (very common)
Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak) (common; a dominant in wet woods)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak) (very common; a dominant species)
Quercus palustris (pin oak) (fairly common; wet woods)
Quercus rubra (red oak) (uncommon)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) (uncommon)
Salix spp. (willows) (uncommon; probably several species)
Sorbus aucuparia (European mountain ash) (one small specimen)
Ulmus americana (American elm) (uncommon)

Shrubs and subshrubs:
Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry) (uncommon)
Aronia x prunifolia (purple chokeberry) (fairly common; with possible back crosses
to A. melanocarpa)
Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel bush) (uncommon; meadow)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen) (uncommon)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush) (common; wet woods)
Eubotrys racemosa (fetterbush) (very common)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry) (fairly common)
Gaylussacia frondosa (dangleberry) (fairly common)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) (uncommon)
Ilex crenata (Japanese holly) (uncommon)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) *
Lonicera tatarica (Tatarian honeysuckle) (uncommon)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry) (uncommon)
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn) (uncommon)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower) (uncommon)
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea) (uncommon; wet woods)
Rhus copallina (winged sumac) (very common)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac) (fairly common)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) (uncommon)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) (uncommon)
Rubus alleghaniensis (Alleghany blackberry) (uncommon)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry) (common)
Sambucus canadensis (common elder) (fairly common; wet woods and meadow)
Spiraea alba v. latifolia (meadowsweet) (uncommon; in meadow)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush) (common; meadow)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry) (fairly common)
Vaccinium corymbosum v. caesariense (coastal highbush blueberry) (uncommon)
Vaccinium pallidum (early low blueberry) (fairly common)
Viburnum dentatum v. lucidum (northern arrowwood) (common; wet woods)
Viburnum trilobum (cranberry viburnum) (uncommon)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet) (uncommon)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder) (uncommon)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot) (fairly common)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) (uncommon)
Mikania scandens (climbing hempweed) (uncommon)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) (fairly common)
Polygonum scandens (climbing false buckwheat) (uncommon)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier) (fairly common)
Smilax rotundifolia (common greenbrier) (uncommon)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) (uncommon)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy) (common)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape) (uncommon)

Broad-leaved Herbs:
Acalypha rhomboidea (three-seeded mercury) (uncommon)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) (uncommon)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp) (uncommon)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) (common)
Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) (uncommon)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) (uncommon)
Aster lanceolatus (panicled aster) (fairly common)
Aster subulatus (annual salt-marsh aster) (uncommon; Losen Slote)
Aster umbellatus (flat-topped aster) (uncommon)
Atriplex patula (orache) (uncommon)
Bidens discoidea (small beggar ticks) (uncommon; damp ditch)
Bidens frondosa (beggar ticks) (uncommon; damp ditch)
Chenopodium ambrosioides (Mexican tea) (uncommon)
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) (uncommon)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle) (uncommon)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) (uncommon)
Daucus carota (wild carrot) (uncommon)
Desmodium paniculatum (panicled tick-trefoil) (uncommon)
Eclipta prostrata (yerba-de-tajo) (uncommon)
Epilobium coloratum (purple-leaved willow-herb) (uncommon)
Erechtites hieracifolia (pilewort) (uncommon)

Erythronium americanum (trout lily) *
Eupatorium dubium (eastern Joe-Pye weed) (fairly common; damp ditch)
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset) (uncommon; damp ditch)
Eupatorium rotundifolium v. ovatum (hairy boneset) uncommon)
Eupatorium pilosum (rough boneset) (uncommon)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) (common)
Euphorbia maculata (milk purslane) (uncommon)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) (fairly common)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting) (uncommon)
Helianthus giganteus (giant sunflower) (fairly common)
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose-mallow) (uncommon; meadow)
Hypericum mutilum (dwarf St. Johnswort) (uncommon)
Impatiens capensis (spotted touch-me-not) (uncommon; damp ditch)
Iris versicolor (blue flag) (uncommon; wet woods)
Lilium superbum (Turk's-cap lily) (uncommon)
Lindernia dubia (false pimpernel) (uncommon)
Lycopus americanus (cut-leaved water horehound) (fairly common; damp ditch)
Lycopus uniflorus (northern bugleweed) (uncommon; damp ditch)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife) (uncommon)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) (uncommon; meadow)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower) (fairly common)
Medeola virginiana (Indian cucumber-root) (fairly common)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe) (uncommon)
Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) (fairly common)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) (uncommon)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) (uncommon)
Plantago major (common plantain) (uncommon)
Pluchea odorata (purple salt marsh fleabane) (fairly common; meadow and Losen Slote)
Polygonum aviculare (common knotweed) (uncommon)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) (uncommon)
Polygonum hydropiper (water pepper) (uncommon)
Polygonum hydropiperoides (mild water pepper) (fairly common; damp ditch)
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed) (uncommon; damp ditch)
Polygonum pensylvanicum (pink knotweed) (uncommon)
Polygonum punctatum (dotted smartweed) (fairly common; damp ditch)
Prenanthes alba (white lettuce) (uncommon)
Rorippa palustris (marsh yellow cress) (uncommon)
Rumex crispus (curly dock) (uncommon)
Sanguisorba canadensis (Canada burnet) (common; meadow)
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) (uncommon)
Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod) (common)
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) (common)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) (uncommon)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadow-rue) (uncommon; Losen Slote)
Trientalis borealis (starflower) (uncommon)
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile bellwort) (fairly common)
Viola macloskeyi (white violet) (uncommon)
Viola primulifolia (primrose-leaved violet) (uncommon; wet woods)

Grasses:
Agrostis perennans (autumn bent-grass) (fairly common)
Brachyelytrum erectum (bearded short-husk) (uncommon)
Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint grass) (common)
Cinna arundinacea (common wood-reed) (uncommon)
Digitaria ischaemum (small crab-grass) (fairly common)
Digitaria sanguinalis (large crab-grass) (fairly common)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass) (uncommon)
Glyceria obtusa (blunt manna-grass) (uncommon)
Leersia virginica (white grass) (fairly common)
Muhlenbergia frondosa (leafy dropseed) (uncommon)
Panicum boscii (Bosc's panic-grass) (uncommon)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass) (fairly common)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (spreading panic-grass) (uncommon)
Panicum dichotomum (forked panic-grass) (fairly common)
Panicum lanuginosum (woolly panic-grass) (uncommon)
Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) (very common)
Phragmites australis (common reed) (very common)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass) (common)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail) (uncommon)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail) (uncommon)

Sedges and Rushes:
Carex crinita (fringed sedge) (uncommon)
Carex folliculata (long sedge) (uncommon)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge) (uncommon; damp ditch)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge) (fairly common)
Carex spp. (sedges) (spring-flowering woodland species)
Cyperus filicinus (Nuttall's cyperus) (uncommon)
Cyperus strigosus (Straw-colored cyperus) (uncommon)
Eleocharis ovata (blunt spike-rush) (uncommon)
Eleocharis sp. (spike-rush) (uncommon)
Juncus effusus (common rush) (uncommon; damp ditch)
Juncus tenuis (path rush) (fairly common)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush) (uncommon)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolgrass) (uncommon)
Scirpus pungens (common three-square) (uncommon)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern) (uncommon)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern) (uncommon)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern) (uncommon)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern) (common; wet woods)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern) (uncommon; wet woods)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern) (uncommon; wet woods)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken) (fairly common)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern) (fairly common)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern) (fairly common; Losen Slote)
Woodwardia areolata (netted chain fern) (very common; wet woods)
Woodwardia virginica (Virginia chain fern) (uncommon)

* = Hackensack Meadowlands, New Jersey, Biodiversity: A Review and Synthesis; Erik Kiviat and Kristi MacDonald. http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache:PW5t02cIVgJ:www.nynjbaykeeper.org/photo/hm%2520alert%2520-%2520kiviat%2520report.pdf+%22Harrier+Meadow%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8


5/11/2003 -- Field Trip by Patrick L. Cooney, Rosemary Cooney, and Lauren Christie (along with the dog Snuffy).

Warning: Between the four of us, we found around 150 ticks on us in a short walk (made all the shorter because of the ticks).

The trail is not very clear. Many of the signs have been torn down. But the park look basically linear with one going through woods, then fields, and finally to Losen Slote Creek. On the way back you can turn left along the way and head back parallel to the trail you came down on.
The Meadows Path will comprise a 22 mile trail following the western bank of the Hackensack River from Losen Slote Creek Park to Kearny Marsh and then east to Saw Mill Creek W.M.A. At its northern terminus in Little Ferry, the path will connect with the Sierra Club's Hackensack River Pathway -- it will parallel the west bank of the river north to Oradell.

Species added to the Anderson/Dicker List:

* = plants blooming.

Trees:
Betula nigra (river birch) planted
Cercis canadensis (red bud) planted

Quercus alba (white oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
 

Shrubs:

Rosa rugosa (wrinkled rose) planted

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) *
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) *
Cardamine hirsuta (hairy bittercress)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) *
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple) *
Polygonum cespitosum (Japanese knotweed)]
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) *
Viola sororia (common blue violet) *

Grasses:
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)

Species on the Anderson/Dicker List Found in Bloom:
Prunus serotina (black cherry) *
Aronia x prunifolia (purple chokeberry) *
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) *
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower) *