Monthly Archives: March 2009

Secaucus: Raven’s Nest

    We checked on the Common Raven's nest at Laurel Hill County Park earlier week. 

IMG_7823    We did not see any Common Ravens, though recent sightings have been reported.    

   But we did notice the nest is a lot more built-up than when we checked last month. 

    Thankfully, the snow is gone, too.

    Here's the link to earlier post. More on Common Ravens here.

The lost communities on the Hackensack River

HR Bridge closing-1
    As we prepared for our talk in East Rutherford tonight (7 p.m., Civic Center, Vreeland Avenue), a Secaucus resident gave us a 75-year-old newspaper clipping about a bridge across the Hackensack River that once connected Secaucus with East Rutherford and Carlstadt.
   The drawbridge, which included a roadway and trolley tracks, connected Paterson Plank Road on both sides of the river.

    The bridge was deemed obsolete by the War Department and the State Highway Commission when the Route 3 Bridge was completed a mile to the South.

  Click "Continue reading…" for more info.

Continue reading

The Meadowlands is in Audubon Magazine


Great blue heron, doctor's creek, b

    Ace birding author Kenn Kaufmann did a special pullout section on birding in the Northeast for the March-April May section of Audubon Magazine.
   In his section on New Jersey, Kaufmann writes:
   "Farther north, another completed trail shines a spotlight on a very different region: the Meadowlands, in northeastern New Jersey. Just a few miles from the heart of New York City, the Meadowlands play host to more than 200 bird species, from great blue herons and bald eagles to colorful little warblers and goldfinches."
   Click here to read the entire section on "Eastern Edens," which covers all of New Jersey and nine other states.

Of Redtails and Redwings

As the Meadowlands warm again, the Red-tails have become the dominant raptor in and around DeKorte Park.

  Yes, a Harrier or two can be seen patrolling the meadows and marshes, but the Red-tails can be seen perched all over — on trees, posts and radio towers. 

   The Rough-legged Hawks are now fewer and farther between, and Snowy Owl sightings have become increasingly rare.

   As you look across the fields and impoundments, the sounds of Red-winged Blackbirds fills the air. The males call from the tops of phrags and from slender tree branches everywhere. 

   More than anything else, this is the sound of spring here.

    As the impoundments thaw, the waterfowl are coming back — with Green-winged Teal and Pintails a-plenty.

   It's finally March, and the marshes are reawakening from their winter slumber.


Skeetkill Marsh Cleanup

   The Meadowlands Conservation Trust is looking for help with its annual clean-up of this important tidal marsh — planned  for Thursday, March 26, from noon to 3 p.m.  Raindate is Thursday, April 2, noon – 3 p.m.

   The Skeetkill Creek Marsh in Ridgefield, photographed last week above in its drab winter attire, is a 16-acre restored wetlands area that is one of the Meadowlands unsung vest-pocket parks.

   For an earlier blog post on the marsh — and a look at how beautiful it is in summer — click here. For general info on the Skeetkill Marsh, click here.

    If you can help clean up this treasure, wear work clothes, boots and gloves; trash bags and other equipment will be provided.

    Volunteers should gather at the kiosk near the park entrance on Pleasantview Terrace, Ridgefield.

    Please RSVP call Laura Machuca at 201-460-2802 or e-mail her at

East Rutherford: Upcoming Meadowlands Talk

Boating old canoe pic sepia
   "The Meadowlands: Past, Present and Future,” a free slide show celebrating the Meadowlands Commission's 40th anniversary, will be presented at the East Rutherford Civic Center, Vreeland, Street, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11.

   The show, presented by Jim Wright of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, features great archival photographs as well as amazing nature photography – including images taken in East Rutherford.

    The show will run approximately one hour, including a question-and-answer session.

Questions?  E-mail us here.


GUNNELL OVAL    We at the Meadowlands Commission are always scratching our heads on how to spell "Gunnell Oval" in Kearny.
   The sign says "Gunnell Oval," but everywhere we look, we see it spelled "Gunnel."
   The NJMC's Angelo Urato did some investigating:
   "Kearny's Gunnell Oval Park was named after Benjamin E. Gunnell.  He was a popular youth in town, attended the Roosevelt School,  and was a very good baseball player.  
    He died in 1918 fighting the Germans in WWI.
    The sign at the entrance of the park spells his name GUNNELL. 
The  Web site for the Kearny Monument for soldiers who died in for WWI has his name listed as "Gunnel.
    Can anybody shed more light? (We are betting that "Gunnell" is the correct spelling.)