Daily Archives: June 3, 2015

DeKorte Park Led the Way – Part 1

Concept Plan for Experimental Park on a Landfill, later renamed Kingsland Overlook.

Concept Plan for Experimental Park on a Landfill, later renamed Kingsland Overlook.

Did you know that Kingsland Overlook was one of the first public parks to be built on a landfill anywhere? I recently came across an article on Inhabitat titled Eight Great Parks Created from Landfills. It shows how far we’ve come. And it got me wondering how much today’s DeKorte Park visitors really know about its history.

It’s hard to imagine, 26 years after ground was broken, that this lush landscape – rich with native vegetation, scores of birds, and other wildlife – was a giant pile of garbage. But that’s what it was when the agency then called the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission decided to establish its headquarters here, ending the spread of the landfill and creating DeKorte Park. The photo below shows how the site looked in 1977. The HMDC began construction of its headquarters in 1983. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the DeKorte story, coming soon.

02 Active Landfill



Red-tailed Hawk Stakes Its Turf at the White House

Red-tailed Hawk defends its perch above the president's office. Photo: Doug Mill/NYTimes

Red-tailed Hawk defends its perch above the president’s office. Photo: Doug Mills / NYTimes.

“A red-tailed hawk is prowling the lush White House lawn and perching just above the second-story window of President Obama’s East Wing residence, lured by a booming population of gray squirrels and undeterred by the harassment of smaller birds that have tried in vain to displace it.”

This from Local birders and White House visitors thrill to the sight of the hawk soaring above, then swooping down on prey on the famous lawn. The resident squirrels are surely less enthusiastic.

The White House has been a great bird-watching spot for decades. The article continues:

“In 1908, Theodore Roosevelt, an avid birder, drew up a list of the 93 bird species he had spotted around Washington while he was president, marking with asterisks those he had seen on the White House grounds. He inventoried dozens of types of sparrows, swallows and warblers he had seen around the presidential compound, as well as more exotic residents, including a pair of sparrow hawks that spent two consecutive winters there and a pair of saw-whet owls that made their home in the South Portico for several weeks in 1905.”

Read more about the White House Red-tail here.