Hackensack’s Borg’s Woods “A Living Museum”


Borg's Woods 10.12 (2)

Borg’s Woods is an old growth remnant deciduous forest whose location is in both Hackensack and Maywood New Jersey.  The forest purchase was funded by Green Acres and is a part of the Bergen County park system.  The preserve features old growth trees whose average age was documented in 1979 in the City of Hackensack’s Environmental Resource Inventory as 200 plus years.  Borg’s Woods is completely surrounded by residential development but is buffered by Fairmount Ave to the north, Coles Brook to the west, and the Summit Hill ridge to the east.

Borg's Woods

Borg’s Woods


14.2 acres of Borg’s Woods were originally owned by Macromedia, Inc. which had plans to develop the forest. Malcolm Borg, owner of Macromedia, Inc. proposed a condominium development in the mid-1980’s.  The Borg’s Woods Preservation Coalition (active from 1986 to 1995) defeated a 68 unit townhouse project in 1988.  Appeals went on for years, and the Green Acres application wasn’t made until 1991. State Senator Pat Schuber made a personal commitment to preserve the forest during his successful election campaign for Bergen County Executive. The efforts of Borg’s Woods Preservation Coalition and Schuber paid off.  Bergen County purchased the 14.2 acres in 1994 to set aside as parkland after a 9 year battle.  An acre of the Summit Hill Ridge was purchased from two homeowners by the County in 1995.

1.9 acres of the Summit Hill Ridge adjacent to the County’s holdings are privately owned by mansions on Summit Avenue.  A privately owned 3.7 acre wooded panhandle extends along the Summit Hill Ridge south of the core area of Borg’s Woods.  An additional acre of forested wetlands near Coles Brook is within the Borough of Maywood.  This strip is owned the borough of Maywood and private landowners, but is not considered developable.  The total landmass of the forest is estimated to be 21.7 acres. The rolling landscape of Borg’s Woods gives the impression that the preserve is much larger.


Borg’s Woods features several trails. The Main Trail, a length of roughly .19 of a mile, leads from Fairmount Avenue to Byrne Street.  The Main trail is a remnant of a larger trail system which existed before the construction of Route 4 and is rumored to be of Native American origin.  Following the main trail south from Fairmount Avenue will lead to a few glacially deposited boulders and a huge leaning Sycamore. Visitors from Lafayette, Washington and Woodland Avenue in Maywood can access the woods via stepping stones in Coles Brook (a tributary of the Hackensack River). 2/3 of a mile Woodland Loop Nature Trail is accessible from the Main Trail and showcases many specimen trees such as Mockernut Hickory and American Beech.  The Woodland Loop Nature trail is not officially recognized by the Bergen County Parks Department.


Borgs Woods 7.19 (12)

Borg’s Woods features a large diversity of trees. Many of the trees measure over 10 feet in circumference and are between 100 and 120 feet tall. A few of the trees have a circumference of over 12 feet. There are 34 native tree species, which is a large number for only 21.7 acres. American Elm, common in Borg’s Woods, are beginning to show the effects of Dutch Elm Disease. The last two American chestnut, both sprouts reaching maturity, died in the 1990’s.  As of 2010, only one Flowering Dogwood remains, and in poor health.

The dominant native trees are American Beech, Red Oak, and Red Maple.

Other common native trees include:

The dominant forest understory species are Witch Hazel and Spicebush, each dominating several acres. Also present are Northern Arrowwood, Maple-Leaf Viburnum, Black Raspberry and others.

Wildflowers and Ferns

The most common herbaceous plant is Skunk Cabbage, which forms dense beds in a ring around the central vernal pool, and can also be found in the forested wetlands along Coles Brook. There are at least 5 acres of Skunk Cabbage present.  Trout lily and Spring Beauty bloom by the hundreds of thousands, carpeting at least 10 acres of the woods every April. Other woodland plants include the below among others:


Animals that have been spotted in Borg’s Woods include:

Ten acres of trees and shrubs were clear cut to the north of Borg’s Woods near the Bergen Towne Mall in 2010 which has forced White-Tailed Deer south via Coles Brook to Borg’s Woods. White-Tailed Deer are a relatively new phenomenon threatening the current healthy understory and are seriously impacting Yellow Loosestrife, Jewelweed and the invasive Multiflora Rose.

Vernal Pools

1.17.10 Borg's Woods (6)

A unique feature of Borg’s Woods is a 700 foot long vernal pond known as “Borg’s Swamp” which dominates the center of the preserve.  It is one of the largest vernal pools in northern New Jersey. Borg’s Swamp measures between 60-120 feet in width and contains water between the months of November thru June and sporadically during other months. It is natural for water to well up in this area, and then drain out via an outflow stream which flows from the swamp to a smaller vernal pond near Coles Brook to the west, and then discharges directly into Coles Brook itself.  Borg’s Swamp serves as habitat for muskrats and wetland vegetation.  The swamp is listed on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) registry of vernal pools. The NJ DEP requires that significant vernal ponds such as Borg’s Swamp be protected as amphibian habitats.

Arrow Arum, Beggar ticks, Smartweed, Jewelweed, and various grasses and sedges dominate the central vernal pool.  Rose Mallow, Dodder, and Virginia Bugleweed are also present.  Silky Dogwood is the most common shrub species in the vernal pool.  Common Elderberry, Pussy Willow, Northern Arrowwood, and Spicebush surround the vernal pool, along with American Elm, White Ash, and Pin Oak.

The ground level vegetation of the vernal pool provides both food and habitat for deer and many birds, and it is the epicenter of wildlife activity in the entire woods.

Issues Facing Borg’s Woods

  • Seasonal draining of Borg’s Swamp by Bergen County Mosquito Authority

Man has been consistently altering Borg’s Swamp for many years. Mosquito control programs and the preservation of vernal pools are at cross-purposes. The Bergen County Mosquito Commission has been visiting this site for generations, possibly since its inception.  They steadfastly maintain that there should be no standing water except within 3 days of a major rain event.

Sometime around 1900, both Coles Brook and the outflow stream from Borg’s Swamp were channelized and deepened to reduce wetlands and lower the water level.  In 1945 a concrete dam was erected at the vernal pool by the Borg family to control the water level.  In 1950 construction of the Brook Street development began on land directly south of Borg’s Woods. This construction covered a naturally-occurring brook which previously had flowed north into the vernal pond with dirt fill several feet deep, causing the water table to rise in the new development.  By the 1960’s the concrete dam fell into disrepair or was broken, and the water level of Borg’s Swamp fell, speeding up the process of ecological succession. In 1987, due to development plans, the pond’s outlet was significantly dredged to the point where Borg’s Swamp no longer held much water.  Activists responded by throwing rocks at the point of drainage to mitigate the damage and restore the water level.  In the mid to late nineties the Bergen County Mosquito Control Commission increased its work due to complaints about mosquitos.  In 2000, the last Spring Peeper was heard and the population became locally extinct.

The debate over what constitutes the natural water level in Borg’s Swamp continues to this day. Ecologists consider the inner edge of the Skunk Cabbage beds to be the outer edge of the vernal pool, although the skunk cabbage areas are expected to flood after a heavy storm event.  Since Skunk Cabbage reproduces slowly and lives for decades, this is considered definitive. Ecologists believe that the best way to control mosquitoes is by reintroducing the endangered blue-spotted salamander, which is a voracious predator of mosquito larvae.  The species was seen onsite as recently as 1987.

  • Invasive Plants

As with most natural areas in the US, Borg’s Woods is under attack from non native invasive plants. Three species of evergreen ivy covers portions of the forest floor and prevents native plants from growing.

Winter creeper (euonymus fortunei) is a major problem around the edges of the forest. The ivy originates from China and is used by homeowners as an ornamental groundcover.  Wintercreeper has entered Borg’s woods through cuttings thrown into the woods from the former Borg estate The vine has the ability to choke and kill trees.

English Ivy is an evergreen climbing vine that attaches to the forest floor and tress by root like structures. The vine spreads by seeds distributed by birds, and has spread from adjacent backyards of many houses. English ivy threatens native vegetation in both forested and open areas and grows into the tree canopy. The leaves form a thick canopy that prevents sunlight from reaching other plants. Pachysandra has also spread from adjacent yards and thrown cuttings. The vine does not climb trees and outcompetes English Ivy on the ground.

Multiflora Rose is a thorny perennial shrub which bears white to pink flowers during May. The plant can produce an estimated one million seeds a year. Multiflora Rose grows in dense thickets which prohibits the growth of native shrubs. Japanese Knotweed has taken hold along portions of Coles Brook north of Lafayette Ave, and directly along Fairmount Avenue, and has proven impossible to remove.

Norway Maple saplings frequently appear in Borg’s Woods. Norway maple causes forest to lose diversity of native plants due to the dense shade cast by its leaves. The tree reproduces via seed which grows even in dense shade.  Norway maple saplings and seedlings have been killed by the hundreds. Volunteers ringed 2 non-native Ailanthus in 1987 and pulled up the sprouts over a 2 year period, completely eradicating this species from the preserve.  Japanese Barberry and Burning Bush are under control, but continually seed into the woods from nearby landscaped properties.

  • Threat of redevelopment of Summit Avenue

A proposal has been made by Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC to obtain site-plan approval for an adult day care and dialysis center which would include a 5-story underground parking garage.  This facility, proposed to be 20 stories will be ½ mile south of Borg’s Woods on Summit Avenue. If approved, this project could compromise the zoning of Summit Avenue bordering the eastern side of Borg’s Woods. Adjacent homes on acre lots or greater could be redeveloped for more urban uses directly adjacent to the nature preserve.







Special Thanks to Eric M. who helped edit this document

The latest bird sightings in Borg’s Woods Can be Found Here

Click below to check out a list of plants that are found in Borg’s Woods:

Borg’s Woods Flora

46 thoughts on “Hackensack’s Borg’s Woods “A Living Museum”

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  4. Vinmega

    I believe I spotted a coyote today in borgs woods. At about 6pm by the north entrance, by summit st (by the nice houses) I saw the coyote at about 30yds, and it went and hid behind a fallen tree. So I walked back out. I have hunted coyotes and this was no ‘dog’. So keep your eyes peeled.


  5. Joe

    Very Cool Website! I’m glad to see there are people out there that care about preserving what natural beauty we have left in this state, if Govenor Christie doesn’t destroy it first! What were the people of NJ thinking?


    1. Bob

      “..If Governor Christie
      doesn’t destroy it first! What were the people of NJ thinking?..”

      Huh ? What are you talking about ? How is Governor Christie destroying it; By trying to get the budget under control ? Would you like more years of fools like corzine to further put our once great state in a fiscal hole. Thank G_D we finally have a leader to do the ‘right thing’ and lead in the right direction !!!

      Signed,BOB: A Conservationist-Conservative


  6. Vinmega

    They deleted my post, as I had seen a coyote in borgs on 2 occasions. Keep your eyes peeled as coyotes are shy, but there are alot of downed trees, so you can happen upon one without it seeing you…
    Borgs Wood is a beautiful area for us to preserve and appreciate.
    PS. Joe, Christie just got here, your anger should be directed at the legislature for acting like Rip Van Winkle, just waking up…


  7. Jeanne

    Can you tell me where I might find the registry of vernal pools? I don’t see Borg’s Swamp on the site I looked at.


    1. njurbanforest Post author

      According to Eric M. the NJDEP Borg’s Swamp registration number is 6001-PIED. It was added through the process of public input to the register long after the original register was completed, so if you are looking at the original register it’s from an earlier date and it is not on there.


      1. the truth please

        Jeanne, I do not know if you saw this comment below, but it was posted by a “Steven J.” several months ago. The post by Steven J. was confirmed by the NJDEP and is factual and true. Eric Martindale has posted on numerous sites that the pond located in Borg’s Woods is a “registered vernal pool” and this is false. A few individuals are illegally damming and impounding runoff in the middle of Borg’s Woods in an effort to create a pond and then are trying to have it registered as a vernal pool. Wetlands, as I’m sure you know, are extremely important places in our environment, and should not be tampered with. Wetlands should not be flooded and the water should not be impounded causing the water to pool and flood the surrounding area. Excess water should be allowed to run off naturally. The wetlands act as natural environmental filters for surface and ground waster. They clean and filter the water, which is vital for the environment. By damming the water which has passed through this natural filtering system and causing it to collect and stagnate disrupts the natural progression. This is why the residents of Brook St/Byrne St have been fighting for the damming to stop. NONE of the residents want the wetlands to be drained, dredged or destroyed. They only want NATURE to take its course, and want MAN to stop interferring. below is the quote by Steven J. – “Jeanne you will not find it on any registry of vernal pools because it is NOT a registered vernal pool. The pond areas located in Borg’s Woods are NOT registered vernal pools with the NJDEP. 6001-PIED is a piedmont number, which is falsely being represented by the author as a registration number. When the NJDEP receives an application, that application is assigned a piedmont number in order for the application to be filed away. This application, which was submitted by Eric M., was assigned 6001-PIED. This number is nothing more the a clerical number assigned to an application in order to file away the application. It does not mean the application was approved and the pond was deemed a vernal pool. In fact as per John Heilferty of the Division of Land Use Regulation there are NO registered vernal pools in Borg’s Woods. There are only applications on file which were submitted by Eric M.” After I read the above entry, I contacted the NJDEP and they informed me that vernal pools need to meet several standards to be deemed a vernal pool. Mr. Martindale’s application was filed away, because this pond DOES NOT meet the proper criteria for a vernal pool and it is not because “NJDEP is a big and very ineffective bureaucracy, and each part of it doesn’t even know what other parts are doing, no less be capable of properly responding to public inquiries.” as Eric Martindale wrote. Mr. Martindale obviously is not aware the registry works and is not an employee of any Federal, State, County or Municipal Agency. His posts and entries are merely person opinion. Sorry for prior misinformation you received. Please contact the NJDEP for accurate information regarding Borg’s Woods. Thank you.


  8. Eric Martindale

    The above post is correct. The vernal pool is not on the original register because it was added by a concerned citizen that filled out the appropriate paperwork and documented amphibian life there.

    Sometime at the end of March, Erik Kiviat of Hudsonia visited and he personally saw a Wood Frog in the vernal pool. It was breeding season for Wood Frogs. And he documented this. He was also very surprised to find one in Borg Swamp. There is more than enough water back there for them, but he estimated that the size of the surrounding upland forest buffer was insufficient to maintain either Wood Frog or Blue Spotted Salamander. Of the two species, Wood Frog need a larger wooded radius from a vernal pool. Yet they were present. Attempts that day to find salamanders were unsuccessful, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t living there. Nobody has heard the chorus of Spring Peepers since the Summer of 2000, therefore this species is considered to be extirpated. It’s really a shame, and I wonder how they can be restocked.


    1. Eddie

      Eric your my kind of person. I’m into Herps myself. Got to pay a visit to the preserve. Hope I find some interesting Herps.


  9. Steven J.

    Jeanne you will not find it on any registry of vernal pools because it is NOT a registered vernal pool. The pond areas located in Borg’s Woods are NOT registered vernal pools with the NJDEP. 6001-PIED is a piedmont number, which is falsely being represented by the author as a registration number. When the NJDEP receives an application, that application is assigned a piedmont number in order for the application to be filed away. This application, which was submitted by Eric M., was assigned 6001-PIED. This number is nothing more the a clerical number assigned to an application in order to file away the application. It does not mean the application was approved and the pond was deemed a vernal pool. In fact as per John Heilferty of the Division of Land Use Regulation there are NO registered vernal pools in Borg’s Woods. There are only applications on file which were submitted by Eric M.


    1. Eric Martindale

      The residents of the Brook Street development, which is south of Borg’s Woods, have been actively lobbying various levels of government to have all wetlands and standing water eliminated. They do not understand that THEIR OWN DEVELOPMENT has caused the water table to rise in their development, impacting their basements. The northwards flow of groundwater and surface water into Borg’s Woods was completely dammed up by tens of thousands of cubic yards of fill brought in to build Brook Street. The intermittent stream flowing into Borg’s Woods came from at least as far south as Passaic Street, and maybe from the Maple Hill Drive area. They literally landfilled right over the brook without even constructing an underground drainage culvert. There was no acknowledgement of the hydrology other than naming the street after what was destroyed.

      Now, 60 years later, those homeowners can clearly see that a few rocks will alter the water level SOUTHWARDS from the point of drainage…..but they don’t understand that tens of thousands of cubic yards of soil in their development have also altered the water level SOUTHWARDS. It’s altered at least as far as Passaic Street, by THEIR development. Just go to the southern end of the vernal pool, which is right at the fences of the Brook Street houses, and look at how the topography was landfilled to build the houses on Brook Street. That’s a giant dam that those houses are sitting on, and it has caused the water table to rise. These are honest and hardworking people, it’s not a question of deliberate deception. They just completely don’t understand the science behind their water table problem.


  10. Jessica Helm

    Hooray, I’m so happy to see Borg’s woods are still there! I played there as a kid and even made a petition to save it when I was about 11 yrs old! Keep up the good work, its a nice patch of land.


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  12. Eric Martindale

    It is very disturbing to read the CLAIM that the NJDEP filed away the vernal pool application originally submitted on 2/12/2006, and took no action other than assigning it a clerical number, 6001-PIED.

    Please note that this claim is in conflict with an email that I received from Brian Zarate of NJDEP on January 10, 2008, as follows:

    “I’ve located your original datasheet in our database. ENSP was able to recommend this pool for certification based upon your observations of spring peeper and snapping turtle in 2006. The pool that you call Borg Swamp is known in the ENSP database as 6001pied. Your next step may be to contact Land Use Enforcement at 609-984-4587 to let them know about the destruction/alteration of this pool. Feel free to have them contact me if they need additional information…From the aerials and photos this looks like a nice little area amongst all the development…” — Brian Zarate brzarate@yahoo.com

    I have this email printed out and in my files. Sometimes it is difficult for civilians to contact government agencies and get all the information that they desire. NJDEP is a big and very ineffective bureaucracy, and each part of it doesn’t even know what other parts are doing, no less be capable of properly responding to public inquiries. Perhaps Stephen J and Jeanne made inquiries, and were not able to find all the information. This is not surprising.

    Note also that I am not aware of what ENSP stands for, nor what role that they play in having an area designated as a vernal pool. Is their affirmative findings the final word, or does someone higher have to make the final decision on registering a vernal pool. And if so, did they do it, or was it left to gather dust on another bureaucrats desk ??? Honestly, I have no further information.


  13. vinmega

    Who cares?! Borg’s wood is a nice treasure. We should not be doing any more damage then we have done already.
    Stop messing with the woods..PERIOD…


    1. Brook st Resident

      you are absolutely correct. People need to stop trying to change and alter the woods. Borg’s Woods is a “NATURE PRESERVE” and should mean just that; a designated area of land which is preserved and allowed to continue its natural progression. Enjoy nature and stop tampering with it.


  14. njurbanforest Post author

    Please note that the purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and enjoyment of natural areas. This comment section is for memorable nature sightings or other information regarding Borg’s Woods and is not to be used for personal political battles. Comments that are deemed as personal attacks on other commenters will not be posted. Thank you and keep on exploring Borg’s Woods!


  15. Eric Martindale

    I have very fond memories of Borg’s Pond. At age 8, my friends and I would contemplate and discuss if the water was bottomless, if it was quicksand, or how deep it was. My friends and I skated there as kids, and played hockey as teenagers. We burned old Christmas trees on the “island” in the pond. I’ve seen muskrats, egrets, frogs, and even a snapping turtle in the vernal pool. There was standing water back there, without any functioning “dam” to impound it, when I moved to Hackensack in 1973, and every year afterwards. And that water extended all the way back nearly to the Brook Street houses. I have great memories of the lush open wetlands, and have spent time documenting all the vegetation, and photographing it over so many years. Let us hope that nature continues in its natural course.


  16. Eric Martindale

    My sources tell me that people on Brook Street in Hackensack near Borg’s Woods have basement flooding today. There is no dam in the vernal pool, nothing to obstruct the water flow.

    Today’s flood event is a perfect example showing the flooding of basements has nothing to do with the vernal pool in Borg’s Woods. Water and groundwater is flowing off the Summit Ave ridge to the bottom, that’s Brook Street. It is attempting to flow north to enter into Borg’s Swamp, but because thousands of cubic yards of soil were bulldozed over the brook to build Brook Street, the natural flow is impeded and the water table there rises significantly with every major rain event. Right now the water table in the Byrne/Brook development is MUCH HIGHER than the water table in the vernal pool.


  17. Eric Martindale

    BORG’S WOODS TOUR AND WATER TABLE DISCUSSION: Eric Martindale will show up at the end of Byrne Street on Sunday March 13th at 2:00 PM to conduct a tour for local residents; to explain how the topography and landfilling of Brook Street has caused water table problems (explained in my 7:50 AM post today), and why the water table is higher than in Borg Swamp after a major storm. We will first walk to the southern end of the wetlands, right behind Brook St, and then we’ll look at the point of drainage. We’ll also discuss the definition of wetlands and vernal pools.

    Readers of this blog, the blogsite editor, and any Hackensack, Maywood, or County officials are welcomed to attend.

    I believe that the science behind the problem holds the answer, and I will simply offer an explanation of the problem. Other people who attend are welcomed to offer their views. And then people can decide on their own, after hearing everyone, what they believe. If people want to gripe and yell, that’s fine, but my goal is that discussions will proceed in a reasonable and calm manner.

    And if nobody comes, I’ll enjoy my own walk in the woods.


  18. Eric Martindale

    Only one newspaper reporter showed up. An article will be out in about a week. One other local resident walking a shaggy, black-and-white dog came at exactly 2:00 PM, stayed about 50 feet away, watched to see who was there, and left.

    I witnessed the most impressive chorus of wood frogs that I’ve heard in the vernal pool in many years. And the presence of breeding amphibians is what makes it “official”, whether it was on the original state register or not. Also seen were 3 white-tailed deer in their favorite corner of the woods, a small clearning between the vernal pool and Fairmount Ave. I got to within 25 yards of them.

    I’ve never seen the 4-foot tall leprechaun reported on an nj.com string on Borg’s Woods. It’s said to be wary, and faster than any human. Maybe someone should call in monsterquest and they can do an episode. Probably it’s just the coyote.


  19. Eric Martindale

    I will get a copy of the NJDEP’s investigation of water-level alterations in Borg’s Woods, and post it here. I don’t have a copy, and perhaps there are other documents.


  20. Eric Martindale

    20 schoolchildren, mostly 7th graders from Hackensack, attended the Borg’s Woods cleanup day. They picked up litter, did minor trail maintenance, and pulled up invasives such as Purple-leafed wintercreeper, Japanese Knotweed, and Multiflora. One of the kids told the group that he stumbled upon the gathering of wood frogs to mate in mid-March. He saw dozens of frogs both on land and in the water laying eggs. He was wondering if they might still be there, but the mature frogs live in the wooded uplands far from water. They only come to the pond a few days of the year to mate.


  21. Eric Martindale

    Readers should note that on May 20, 2011 Brian Zarate of NJDEP certified the vernal pool in Borg’s Woods. The pool ID# remain 6001pied. There is a new number, a Link ID#, which is 31959.

    This certification was based on photo-documentation of wood frog egg masses in the vernal pool, taken on or about April 3, 2011.

    The certification has broad public policy ramifications with regard to management practices by the Bergen County Parks Department as well as mosquito control techniques by the County Mosquito commission. Draining out the vernal pool is no longer an option.


  22. Eric Martindale

    There was an article in The Record recently regarding residents upset about the coyotes in Borg’s Woods.


  23. Ed Fenty

    I lived on West Anderson St. in the 1960’s and have great memories of riding my bike and hiking all throughtout Borg’s Woods. I learned a lot about nature spending many days exploring this land. My parents moved us to west NJ in the early 70’s and later in my life I moved to PA, I am a huge nature lover and I think it all started in thoise woods all those years ago. It was our little escape from all the madness that was happening in the 60’s


      1. Eric Martindale

        I’ve been asked to update here, because I last posted over 3 years ago.

        The biggest news is that following Hurricane Sandy, the County Parks Department hired a “tree expert” who went into Borg’s Woods to examine and tag every tree that MIGHT fall onto a trail and kill someone, and then to recommend that they be cut. The County started marking and cutting at Byrne Street, and made their way northwards along the main trail. I raised objections and spoke at a County Freeholders meeting, noting that the safety criteria for the interior of a woods should be lower than a County Road. The “official story” is that the County and its tree experts were correct to cut the trees. The good news is that the project was stopped, and only 100 feet of the Main Trail was massacred and destroyed. Basically the Byrne Street entrance was completely annihilated and destroyed.

        The conflict over the water level peaked in September, 2011, following over 20 inches of rain in August, 2011, which was by far the most rain to ever fall in NJ in one calendar month. The Brook Street resident who was most strongly battling to lower the water level back there moved to Upper Saddle River earlier in 2014.

        The vernal pool was dry until Saturday’s heavy rain, which filled it to the maximum seasonal level. Plus there was 2 inches of rain on Monday, replenishing ground water.

        The City of Hackensack continues to host a “Clean Communities Day” twice a year, usually with 100 – 250 volunteers. About 20 volunteers showed up late October for the Borg’s Woods project. We focussed on invasives removal and trail management.

        The long term goals to build footbridges at the ends of Woodland and Washington Avenue still exist. There needs to be a movement in Maywood to make it happen, and that has not happened.

        There was also a big issue in 2011 and 2012 about coyotes in Borg’s Woods. And once they came, the deer, turkeys, and foxes disappeared. There were lots of homeowners in objection, especially those on Brook Street. The coyote den was on the hillside, on the former Brower lot which is now owned by The County. The State held a community forum and declared that they will not kill or trap the coyotes, believed to number about 6 at the time. However, the coyotes disappeared by 2013. As a result, deer are now back in the woods and eating everything. They are affecting the vegetation patterns. Their favorite foods, by far, are the native Yellow Loosestrife and Jewelweed.

        Regarding wildlife, Billy Jerlinski has stated that the Spring Peepers (frogs) are still back there and singing on warm nights in the early spring. I have not heard them since 2000 or 2001, but will make an effort next Spring to go back at night. Wood frog are also still present.

        Muskrat activity was observed in the main vernal pool in Spring of 2014, after a complete absence for several years. They had been killed off by the coyotes by 2011. They are living under the “island” in the main pond, and eating some of the Arrow Arum in that vicinity, and creating their little trails. The muskrats likely returned via Coles Brook, where they occasionally den in the stream bank between Lafayette and Stelling Avenues, where the brook is deeper and slightly impounded in a few spots.


  24. Mike Ames

    I grew up in Maywood on Washington ave & spent most of my time in Borgs woods circa 1970/1980 & did it all in those woods fun & destructive from building forts to riding dirt bikes,my brother & I are the ones that broke up the concrete dam @ the pond seemed like a good idea @ the time 1977/78,I take my children there when visiting my sister on holidays @ point out all that I know about the woods & tell them the many stories & adventures I had with my friends.


  25. Frederick Borg

    What a surprise! My grandfather, Nils Fredrik Borg, lived on Fairmount Avenue. When I learned there was a “Borg’s Woods” right there on the street, I was thrilled to think that my grandfather donated the land or some such thing. Nope. It was a completely different family! Nevertheless, next time I get up to Hackensack from my home in Floida, I’ll take a stroll through Borg’s Woods.


    1. Carolyn Kessinger

      Thanks, Fred Borg! I just found Borg’s Woods today, simply because I was looking around that area on Google Maps and there it was. Like you, I got exited to read that it was located on the street where our grandparents lived. But, it’s only a coincidence. I read about the preserve and I’m anxious to visit there; it’s close enough for a day trip from southern NY state.


  26. John

    I’ve also spotted and heard several great horned owls in Borg’s Woods. If you go around dusk, you’re almost certain to hear them. In the winter when the leaves are gone, it’s pretty easy to follow their “hoots” to find them sitting high up in the trees, looking down at you. It’s one of my favorite things about these great woods.



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