North Arlington, Bergen County, NJ
Located east of Holy Cross Cemetery
I could not find a way to access Harrier Meadow. So I had to park at Kearny Marsh and walk north.
From Turnpike North or South:
Take Exit 15W and after the toll booth bare to the right and follow signs for Kearny. Drive about 0.8 of a mile to come to the first traffic light. Make a right turn on Schuyler Avenue and proceed north for 1.3 miles. Gunnell Oval Recreation Area signs will be on you right just after Oakwood Avenue. Proceed down the ramp and the fields will be in the middle of the complex. Park at the northeast corner of playing fields. Walk over the railway tracks and turn left to head north to Harrier Meadow.
Erie Landfill, just north of the meadow, was a repository of municipal solid waste.
early to mid-1960s -- Harrier Meadow was the disposal site for shot rock from the construction of U.S. Route 280.
1996 -- the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission acquired the land for $550,000.
They are trying to limit the spread of invasive species in the area. It is a cooperative marsh habitat restoration project between the NJMC and DUCKS UNLIMITED.
1998 (September) -- construction activities completed. The creation of channels, impoundments, low marsh habitat and upland habitat islands has now resulted in low marsh habitats that will experience flushing on the strongest monthly tides. This created much more biodiversity by creating mudflats, upland and open water areas.
1999 -- park development began.
2000 (spring/summer) -- expected completion date.
According to a 1999 and 2001 fish studies of fish the species found at Harrier Meadow were small mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus), silverside (Menidia sp.), inland silverside (Menidia beryllina), three-spine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus), and white perch (Morone americana).
Harrier Meadow had a large population of blue crab (Calinectes sappidus).
(Hartman Lab Group: http://hartmanlab.rutgers.edu/current/njmc/fish.htm)
some dirt bike activity
Open for tours given by NJMC Environment Center staff. Call 201-460-8300 for details.
12/21/2004. Brother-in-law Ceferino Santana and I walked north parallel with the abandoned railway line. The railway line itself is too overgrown to walk on, but there is a path alongside it that is useable. We passed by the huge dump and then picked up an old asphalt road, now falling into disrepair. We passed the HMDC Solid Waste Baling Facility. Then we walked on the railway tracks running directly along the side of a long business structure. We almost reached the second dump. There is a large body of water between the two dumps. Our way was blocked by a fence on the left and a large ditch filled with water on the right. I do not know if we reached the heart of Harrier Meadow, but I'll have to figure out another way to get farther north along the railway tracks. We turned around and walked back to the car. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.
Source: Harrier Meadow Wetlands Enhancement Site; NJ Meadowlands Commission;
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = in bloom on date of field trip, 12/21/2004
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven) lots
Betula lenta (black birch)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree)
Pinus strobus (white pine) -- planted along the H&M distribution center
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel tree)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus laciniatus (cut-leaved blackberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow) ?
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Echinocystis lobata (wild balsam apple)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort) -- lots
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed)
Chelidonium majus (celandine)
Cirsium vulgaris (bull thistle)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Oenothera biennis (common evening-primrose)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Juncus gerardii (black grass rush)
Juncus tenuis var. tenuis (path rush)
Distichlis spicata (spike grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Spartina patens (salt hay)