Tag Archive | New Jersey

Browns Point Park West Milford New Jersey


Brown’s Point Park

Browns Point Park in West Milford features a playground, picnic tables, woods and beautiful Greenwood Lake shoreline in addition to almost three and a half acres of wetlands. The park, located on the southwestern side of Greenwood Lake, has the Lake to the north and east, Belcher’s Creek to the west and Greenwood Lake Turnpike to the south.

Flora found in Brown’s Point Park includes the below among others:

Greenwood Lake

Browns Point Park features Frisbee golf (aka disc golf) which is set up throughout the park.

Frisbee Golf

Mute Swan was present in Greenwood Lake the day I visited. Mute Swans originated from Europe and are not native to the US. The Mute Swan, according to legend, is silent all its life until right before it dies where the bird sings an achingly beautiful melody known as a “Swan Song“. The real story is Mute Swans are not mute but actually make a deep grunting territorial sound.  Click here to hear a Mute Swan for yourself!

Mute Swan Greenwood Lake

Brown’s Point Park provides wonderful opportunities for recreation, nature study and birding.

Brown’s Point Park

Brown’s Point park is located off of Greenwood Lake Turnpike near A&P in the Hewitt section of West Milford. Click here for directions!

Great Books!

1. Disc Golf: All You Need to Know About the Game You Want to Play This handy reference provides techniques for mastering disc golf. Equipment and throwing techniques are detailed. Cleverly done illustrations, tips, and photographs depict various grips and stances of the game!

Click Here for more Information!

2. Check out Plant Communities of New Jersey.

NJ’s geology, topography and soil, climate, plant-plant and plant-animal relationships, and the human impact on the environment are all discussed in great detail. Twelve plant habitats are described and the authors were good enough to put in examples of where to visit!

Click here for more information!

3. Don’t miss The Highlands: Critical Resources, Treasured Landscapes! The Highlands exemplifies why protection of New Jersey’s Highlands is so important for the future of the state. It is an essential read on the multiple resources of the region.

Click here for more information!

Feel free to e-mail NJUrbanForest at NJUrbanForest@gmail.com with any comments, memories or suggestion! Thank you and have fun exploring!

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Diamond Brook Park in Glen Rock!


Sometimes just finding a forest where you would not expect one is it’s own reward. Such is the case with Diamond Brook Park in Glen Rock, NJ.

Diamond Brook Park consists of an estimated 15 acres of remnant deciduous wooded wetlands.  The park has Diamond Brook to its west, NJ Transit tracks to its east, Route 208 to its south and dense residential development to its north.

Trails

The park features three trails which are maintained by Eagle Scouts. The red trail is .4 of a mile,  the yellow is .13 of a mile and the blue trail is .21 of a mile. The yellow trail experiences seasonal flooding depending on the time of year you visit. The blue trail leads to an old railroad freight train turntable (used to rotate freight cars) which was once the largest turntable east of the Mississippi River. The freight turntable was used by the Erie Railroad Company until a fire occurred in 1912. The land was not used again for 40 years except for displaced residents who inhabited the forest during the Great Depression.  The land was sold to the town of Glen Rock in 1954 and was formally dedicated in 1959.

One of the neat things I found in this suburban forest was Ground Pine-something I had not previously seen outside the deep forest.

Ground Pine

Dense beds of Skunk Cabbage appear near Diamond Brook every spring. Black Bears, which love skunk cabbage, would have a feast. Speaking of bears, fauna that has been spotted in Diamond Brook Park include:

Diamond Brook, a tribuaryof the Passaic River, flows on the western border of the park. The brook is spring fed with its headwaters located north of Glen Rock in Ridgewood. The brook follows a winding two mile course before its confluence with the Passaic River.  Diamond Brook was once called Bass Brook due to the good fishing that was once found there.  In the 1870’s, the Marinus Lumber Mill built a water wheel on the brook. When the mill was later torned down, the water wheel was buried beneath a street and is still there today.

Diamond Brook

Location

Diamond Brook Park is located at the end of Doremus Avenue and West Main Street in Glen Rock.  The park is part of Glen Rock’s Greenway.

Feel free to e-mail NJUrbanForest at NJUrbanForest@gmail.com with any comments, memories or suggestion! Thank you and have fun exploring!

Oscar E Olsen Park in Bogota!!


Welcome to Oscar E. Olsen Park!  The park consists of the largest remaining open space in Bogota, NJ and should be considered it’s crown jewel.

Oscar E Olsen Park

Oscar E Olsen Park was built on former marshland adjacent to the Hackensack River.  Though an urban park, wildlife abounds for the patient observer. I was rewarded with a Bald Eagle flying over the Hackensack River.

Bald Eagle over Hackensack River

A focal point of the park is a bridge known as  “The Olsen Park Hackensack River Environmental Walkway”.  The walkway is a raised boardwalk strategically built next to the Hackensack River. Educational signs have been  placed with assistance from  the  Hackensack Riverkeeper and Ducks Unlimited with information on the fauna of the adjacent Hackensack River. The signs describe typical flora and fauna of the Hackensack River and the nearby Meadowlands.

The Olsen Park Hackensack River Environmental Walkway was originally built in 1993 and was known as a “bridge to nowhere”.  A lot of people thought it was a waste of tax payer money when it was built.

From the walkway you can view the nearby World War II era submarine USS Ling.

USS Ling with Bergen County Courthouse in background

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority added educational signage regarding flora and fauna found in this section of the Hackensack River which is just north of the New Jersey Meadowlands.

And don’t worry-the educational signs on the walkway are not blurry, just this picture.

There is a pathway which extends from the bridge that encircles the park. Olsen Park is a great place to explore and view wildlife on the Hackensack River.

Directions: 

From NYC: Go West over the George Washington Bridge; Route 4 west; get off at the exit for River Road just before the bridge over the Hackensack River.  Head south on River Road.  At the junction with West Main Street on the left, turn right.  On the left is an entrance for the park.

Feel free to comment with any questions, memories or suggestions! Thank you and have fun exploring!

Pequannock River Coalition 2010 Winter Hike!


Just found out the picture below taken on the 2010 winter hike with the Pequannock River Coalition appeared in its bi-monthly newsletter!

Beaver Dam

It was a great hike-very informative. I encourage all to learn more about the Pequannock River Coalition and its efforts.I will finish this post with some more pictures from the hike:

Bobcat Track

White Oak

Winter Scene

Ridgewood’s Dunham Trail!


Dunham Trail Village of Ridgewood

Dunham Trail Village of Ridgewood

Welcome to Ridgewood’s Dunham Trail!

The Dunham Trail is about 1/4 of a mile (one way) and takes the hiker through an estimated 9.61 acres of deciduous forest and wooded wetlands.  The trail is named  after Dr. Dunham who was a nature consultant for the Ridgewood school district. The Dunham trail is owned by the village and maintained by the Ridgewood Wildscape Association as one of ten wildscape areas found in the village. The Ridgewood Wildscape Association helps to raise awareness for the remaining natural areas in the township.

Ho-Ho-Kus Brook

The trail is bordered by the Ho-Ho-Kus brook to the east, dense residential development to the west, Grove Street to the south and Spring Ave to the north.

The Dunham trail is flat and follows the artificial path of the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook (a tributary of the Saddle River) for its entire length and features uplands and an estimated 3.6 acres of remnant wetlands. The wetlands are found near the Grove Street entrance. Check out Eastern Deciduous Forest Ecology and Wildlife Conservation for more information on your local woods.

Some notes of interest on the trail include sandstone which was mined from Totowa, NJ which was placed alongside of the Dunham Trail for unknown reasons.

Sandstones mined from Totowa

The trail also features several massive American Sycamores that are at least two hundred years old found near the Spring Avenue entrance.

Massive American Sycamore

Other flora includes:

Trout Lily

Common Blue Violet

Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe

Check out Plant Communities of New Jersey.

NJ’s geology, topography and soil, climate, plant-plant and plant-animal relationships, and the human impact on the environment are all discussed in great detail. Twelve plant habitats are described and the authors were good enough to put in examples of where to visit!

Click here for more information!

Animals that have been observed on the Dunham Trail include:

Mallard on Ho-Ho-Kus Brook

Downy Woodpecker

The Dunham trail ends at Spring Avenue.

Ridgewood Dunham Trail

The Dunham trail is located between Grove Street and Spring Avenue along the Ho Ho Kus brook and the public service right-of-way. Parking is available on South Irving Street. My hope is this post inspires you to check out the Dunham Trail for yourself!

Check out the official Ridgewood Wildscape Youtube video of the Dunham Trail!

Feel free to e-mail NJUrbanForest at NJUrbanForest@gmail.com with any comments, memories or suggestions! Thank you and have fun exploring!

Borg’s Woods Update 3.18.2010


Sad news to report. I received an e-mail stating that 5% of Borg’s woods or nearly an acre was destroyed during the storm Saturday March 13th.

The e-mail, received from Eric M. who helped edit the Borg’s Woods blog here on NJURBANFOREST stated:

“As far as the Blowout of trees is concerned, the fallen trees should simply be left in place. Except of course those that fell from the County’s land onto homeowner’s property. The event was a natural event, an act of God / act of nature. This is a nature preserve.  This is something that would have happened if no humans existed on the planet.  Just leave it be. Don’t cut them up into small logs, that would be unnatural.  We don’t want anything unnatural in the woods. The purpose of a nature preserve is to experience and to learn about nature.  As upsetting as it is, a blowout of trees is part of nature. And it is part of what an old-growth forest is about.  Therefore it is part of what visitors should see.”
Most of the trees that fell were mature 200 year American Beech Trees.  It appears most of the damage occurred in the southeast corner of the preserve.
More on Borg’s Woods:

Borg’s Woods After the Storm Pictures

Hackensack’s Borg’s Woods-A Living Museum

Teaneck’s Matthew Feldman Nature Preserve!


The Matthew Feldman Nature Preserve is located in Teaneck, New Jersey and consists of 14.9 acres of deciduous wooded wetlands and upland habitat.   The preserve is bordered by Roemer Avenue to the north and dense residential development to the east, west and south.

Matthew Feldman Nature Preserve

The Matthew Feldman Nature Preserve was once called Roemer woods due to its proximity to Roemer Avenue. The preserve was targeted for single family homes construction to bring in tax ratables for Teaneck.  The construction of the homes never materialized. Four acres of woods were sold to the North Teaneck Synagogue Association which constructed a Synagogue there in 1992.

In 2009 I decided to take a trip to the 14.9 Acre Matthew Feldman Nature Preserve in Teaneck. I had read that there was a trail called the Thomas Condit Instructive Nature Trail.

It took two separate trips before I finally located what appears to be the Thomas Condit nature trail. On the first attempt, I parked my car on Winthrop Road and walked to River Road up to Roemer Avenue but could not find a trail leading into the forest.

After researching online I discovered that the entrance to the trails is located off of Winthrop Road where I had parked my car. Looking at the map on the internet at home I realized I had parked too close to River Road to have seen the trail entrance. I drove back to Winthrop Road and found a sidewalk with a Thomas Condit Trail sign leading into the woods.

The Thomas Condit trail consists of a cement/boardwalk path leading from Winthrop Road to the Congregation Keter Torah. There does not appear to be any description or instructive information present on this pathway.

But that’s ok because according to the 2008 Township of Teaneck Comprehensive Plan for Recreation (this plan is no longer available online) a 1/2 mile trail is planned for the preserve. So maybe that will happen in the near future?

Matthew Feldman Nature Preserve Proposed Half Mile Nature Trail (in yellow)

In the meantime take a look at some pictures of this cool place!

A Bamboo Forest?
A new looking shoe

Ouch!

3.11.10 Central Park Plus Surprise County Park Clear-Cut


For days, it seemed whenever I brought my camera with me to Central Park I could never capture this Wood Duck seen above with his feeding girlfriend. But as you can see, I got him after all. 🙂 In fact, I caught a couple of other birds on film today including a little thug (aka European Starling) and an American Snobin (Sorry American Robin, couldn’t help it-bird always has his beak in the air and thinks he is something).

It was good times. Good times that is until I got home and logged into Northjersey.com and discovered that a swath of trees have been clear cut in the Glen Rock portion of Saddle River Park for a sports field. I mean come on, Bergen County needs every tree it has left. I am flabbergasted.

Silas Condict Park Visit 3.09.10


I got out of work early today and headed right to Morris County’s Silas Condict Park for a nice walk. Optimistically I put on sneakers given that the temperature was like in the sixties. But, alas, not warm enough to melt the barrage of snow that fell recently as evident below.

So my sneakers and socks got a little wet. No biggie especially when wet socks lead to a view like this:

May be a little blurry but well worth it. Took lots of pictures and had a pleasant peaceful walk in the woods.

Watching the sky changes colors was a nice change of pace. It really was good stuff.

Other Cool Places!

Hackensack’s Borg’s Woods!

Ridgewood’s Dunham Trail!

Purpose of NJ Urban Forest


Welcome to NJ Urban Forest Blog!

The purpose of NJ Urban Forest is about raising awareness for the natural beauty that can be found right in your own backyard. Most people today are concerned with the Amazon and other far away wild lands being decimated but seem oddly unaware about the destruction of the forest in their own backyard. Tax Ratables are often king more than not it seems. Open space is the best ratable.  NJ is the most populated state in the country and should preserve it’s remaining natural areas.

Feel free to e-mail NJUrbanForest at NJUrbanForest@gmail.com with any comments, memories or suggestion! Thank you and have fun exploring!

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