Daily Archives: February 4, 2014

Nifty Star-Ledger Column on the Meadowlands


Bergen County Audubon Society president Don Torino looks for birds at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. 1/21/14 (John O’Boyle/The Star-Ledger)

Star-Ledger Columnist Mark DiIonno wrote a nifty column for The Star-Ledger for Super Bowl Sunday.

Here’s a sample:

Before the 900 buses spew diesel fumes in the standstill of Route 3 and the Turnpike, before the packed NJ Transit trains scream through the marshes, before 85,000 fans move like an ice-chunked river through the security checkpoints, before the mayhem, bedlam and overblownness of Super Bowl Sunday, there will be a few hours of tranquil, reflective quiet in the New Jersey Meadowlands today.

It’s a bird-watching tour called “Super Bird Sunday” at Losen Slote Creek Park. The creek is a tributary of the Hackensack River, and with a few strokes of a canoe or kayak paddle from there, you can see MetLife Stadium rise above the placid waterways and tall marsh weeds.

This is no Jersey joke.

“This is the only place I’ve seen where nature has improved in my lifetime,” said Don Torino, the president of the Bergen County Audubon Society who will lead today’s walk. “This went from a place filled with garbage and horrible stuff floating in the water, to one of the best, if not the best, urban wildlife centers in the country.”

So you won’t read any Jimmy Hoffa jokes here, or any lines about mob drop-offs in 55-gallon drums. And you won’t read the word “swamp,” beyond this one time. The New Jersey Meadowlands deserve better.

Link is here.

Black History Month: Ruby Dee of Kearny


Photo credit: AT&T Archives.

The Meadowlands Nature Blog is honoring Black History Month with a weekly post. Today the topic is  Ruby Dee — pictured above working in Kearny. This series of four posts originally ran in 2009. That’s great thing about history — it never gets old.

Actress and civil rights champion Ruby Dee, who was born in Cleveland in 1924 and raised in Harlem, workedat the Western Electric Company’s Kearny Works during World War II, soldering wires on an assembly line.

She graduated from Hunter College and got her first Broadway role in a play called “Jeb,” about a black GI war hero. The star was Ossie Davis, whom she married two years later.

Both Davis and Dee were active in the Civil Rights Movement throughout their careers. Dee has been involved with the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

Dee starred in “American Gangster,” set in part in Bergen County, in 2007.

For more information on Ruby Dee, click here.

For more information on Kearny’s Western Electric plant, click “Continue reading…”  Continue reading

Mill Creek Marsh Is Closed

Mill Creek Marsh is closed for safety reasons, and will remain closed until the Secaucus park ranger finds conditions safe enough for it to reopen.

In the meantime, please stay off the site.  Shoveling the trail will not hasten the park’s reopening, and trespassing is forbidden.

We know that so many people love Mill Creek Marsh, and we can’t wait for it to reopen either. As soon as the marsh is reopened, we will post it here.

Tuesday Teaser Trifecta

Today’s Teaser is a trifecta of birds photographed by Laurel Hill last week by Jill Homcy.

Can you ID all three?  (Thanks, Jill!)